6 Business Mistakes to Avoid in a Social Media World

by Blair Evan Ball on March 22, 2011

Protecting Your Business in a Social Media World is essential. Everyone is a reporter now, an author, and has a platform for expressing their thoughts and opinions.

Here are 6 tips to Protect Your Business in a Social Media World.

1. Going into Social Media without listening.

Social media doesn’t stop at 5 o’clock and it doesn’t stop on Friday. Are you or someone in your organization listening to what is being said about you or your company? Non Profit?

Are You Listening

United Breaks Guitars…David Carroll is a musician who had his guitar broken by United Airlines. David tried the normal process of getting it fixed and reimbursed by United Airlines, but to no avail after nearly a year of pursuing. Being the musician he was…he decided to create a YouTube Video of this event. Unfortunately for United Airlines he was a hugh success, garnering 11.5 million views and he is now producing video #3. United wasn’t listening and it has cost them dearly.

Get busy today and set up a Google Alert with your name, company name, etc. It’s free, and it will come right into your email in box.

2. Going into Social Media without a Policy.

Every organization should have a written social-media policy that includes the following points:

  • Define what you mean by social media — for most, social media means an online forum for two-way communication.
  • Clarify who will own work products created on social-media sites.
  • Spell out the type of information considered proprietary or confidential  — customer details, company financial data, etc. — and say that it should never be shared on these sites.
  • Spell out the type of potentially damaging information that should never be shared on these sites: offensive comments, libelous statements, illegal activity, etc.
  • Determine which employees should be contributing to social-media sites on behalf of the company and what activities these individuals should be engaged in.

3.  Going into Social Media without a Strategy.

The reason why All businesses need to have a social media strategy is because it…

  • Prevents any misunderstandings.
  • Emphasizes why social media is relevant to your business’ overall goals & objectives.

4. Creating a Facebook Profile Page instead of a Brand Page.

Facebook was created on personal profiles, many business owners still think a profile is what they need to promote their business. But it’s not.

If you identify with any of the following, you’ll want to create a Facebook Page, not a Facebook profile.

Create a Facebook Page

5. Going into Social Media without a Privacy Strategy.

There are two kinds of information that can be gathered about a user from a social network:

  • Information that is shared.
  • Information gathered through electronic tracking.

6. Going into Social Media without a Review Reply Strategy.

In a Social Media age where everyone is now a reporter and has access to reviews, they can cripple a business if it is not handled properly. Take Angry Amy…a real example. Amy had a disgruntled customer write a bad review on Yelp of her Pizza Restaurant in Scottsdale Arizona. Angry Amy chose to attack him personally in the Yelp review stating that she didn’t want to see his ugly face and to keep his ugly comments to himself. This spread like wildfire across the Internet, her sales are down, and one wonders if she can recover.

6 Tips for Replying to Reviews.

  • Be nice.
  • Don’t get personal.
  • Feedback is helpful.
  • Keep it short and sweet.
  • Thank your reviewers.
  • Be a friend, not a salesperson.


A few good men

“You can’t handle the truth” . . . and it can be brutal and hurtful.

Privacy will end.

Your competitors will be watching – and you should be watching them.

What other mistakes should businesses avoid in the Social Media World?

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