Ignoring social media gives your competitors an advantage.

Ignoring social media gives your competitors an advantage.

There is still a misnomer out in the business world that smaller brands or local businesses can ignore social media because they just aren’t as big as the major brand names. This is untrue. No matter how big or small your brand is, you need to implement some kind of social media management strategy into your marketing plan. Social media offers a variety of opportunities for brands to understand and participate in conversations with potential customers. While participating in social media isn’t without risk, not participating could be very damaging to your brand’s reputation. Here are four risks your brand can face if you’re not implementing a good social media strategy.

1. The Crowd Will Define You If You Don’t – The new frontier for reputation risk management is on social media networks. Whether you realize it or not, people are talking about you, your brand and your business. People involved with your business expect you to be paying attention to every aspect of your company in real time, especially when it comes to customer service complaints or feedback. By not being involved in social media management, you risk not knowing what is being said, whether it’s positive or negative. You also risk people telling stories about what they think your business is, instead of your business telling the story.

2. Competitors Get a Leg Up – Ignoring social media gives your competitors an advantage: they will seem hip and current while your brand will seem archaic or clueless. In a social media world that’s constantly changing, the last thing you want is your business to seem out of date. Not only that, but your competitors can also monitor your brand mentions on social media and respond to complainers with offers or other means to woo them away from your brand. Be smart, do some social media management and pay attention to what your customers want. You’ll be surprised how many of them are on Yelp, Facebook and even Twitter spreading the word about your brand.

3. Don’t Ignore or Be Silent – In today’s social media world, silence is a killer. When a crisis does occur social media accounts help keep people informed of what’s happening and you can even apologize or rectify a bad situation.

Remember, just because you have social media account, that doesn’t mean you have a social media presence. Abandonment is another form of ignoring. Twitter accounts with no weekly or daily activity instantly convey the message that you either don’t care about the impression you make, or that you don’t care what others think about your brand. Make sure you are doing regular social media management. Update your social media accounts on a weekly, if not daily, basis. And don’t forget to continue to regularly update your company’s blog, which is also considered social media.

4. Build Industry Contacts – Social media is also a powerful way to create a community of like-minded individuals within your industry. This interaction at a social level helps break the ice and gives you inroads to people who can help your business grow. Take a look at how LinkedIn can help you promote your brand while building a strong industry following. Remember, if influencers trust your brand and spread the word about your business, others will be more willing to trust your brand too.

Social media management can be challenging for businesses, brands and professionals with the need to adapt, change and grow in a larger online environment. In the past, companies only had to worry about their local presence or their brand reputation in a state. Now, because of social media, businesses big and small need to worry about their global presence. So make sure your brand is represented and you know how it’s being portrayed.

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Three Girls Media, Inc. is a public relations and social media management agency with teams in Silicon Valley and the Seattle area. We love working with small and emerging companies across the nation to raise their brand awareness and name recognition. We offer a complimentary 30-minute phone consultation with our CEO and can answer your questions and discuss your specific marketing needs.

Call 408-218-2391 or Contact us today to arrange yours!

Photo Credit: Ivan McClellan Photography