Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Why DIY Social Media Can Mean Risky Business

While social media is still rather “new”, everyone seems to believe they will be good at it. “How difficult can it be? It’s just a bunch of messages that require us to be social with others, just as you would in real life” – many would say. However, more often than not, people will try their hand with social media and soon forget that their accounts even exist, letting them run dry like a plant without water. Some may even hand their social media work off to a young millennial, thinking they must naturally be good at it (but that creates a larger risk on its own). In order to succeed with social media, especially if doing it yourself, you’ll need to be aware of the risks involved before it is too late.

While it’s natural for small business owners to want to manage their own social media, there are many risks involved that you want to mitigate and plan for. Below are 5 risks you may encounter from DIY social media:

Branding
If you are controlling and managing your brand’s social media, you may likely not know how to start building your brand presence online. Creating a strategy on your own may seem like a good idea but once you implement a weak strategy, it stays online for the long haul. Before setting up accounts and communicating with followers, think about how you want your brand to be portrayed online. Your brand messages have to be consistent on all platforms, and in order to do that, you’ll need to build your brand in your mind first. It may also be a risk for those inexperienced with creating branded graphics that you’ll need for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.

Communication
Communication is vital for social media. It is not a platform created for us to use as a one sided sales funnel. Social media encourages us to be social through interaction and engagement. A risk often associated with DIY social media is a lack of two way communication, often resulting from a lack of understanding or lack of time management. Business owners managing their own social media may simply see their social media as a sales tool, and not as a communication tool.

Professionalism
Another risk that you may encounter involves professionalism. When managing your own social media, you must draw a line and separate your personal social media activity with your brand’s social media activity.  There is a level of professionalism that is expected from brands. However, that does not mean that your messages should be robotic! You can still be humanizing and fun, while still being professional.

Handling Negative Feedback
You may be inclined to respond to negative feedback with a negative response or by deleting the negativity from your page all together. Managing your brand’s social media is much different from managing your personal social media – and this is a risk you’ll need to be aware of. If you’re managing your online presence all on your own, you may not necessarily know the appropriate way to deal with negative feedback. Keep in mind, there’s no way to avoid negative feedback – it will always appear. Knowing how to handle negativity is crucial, even if adopting a DIY social media strategy.

Overall Time Management
A big risk that comes along with DIY social media, especially for small business owners, is the lack of time management. Small business owners have a lot on their plate and it can be time consuming for them to spend additional hours on social media. The danger with this is the lack of commitment business owners put on social media because they must focus on other aspects of their business. This may cause you to spend less time on social media, which can tarnish your online presence. Finding that proper balance may be a difficult task but it is definitely possible – and worth it!

The DIY social media strategy isn’t a bad one – it allows you take on full control and be more hands on with your brand messaging. However, it can be a risky strategy for those who are still new to the social media world. In order to make your DIY social media strategy work best for you and your brand, you’ll need a solid plan. With MBucher Consulting, you’ll learn how to maximize your social media efforts while still maintaining a “hands-on” approach.” We’ll work one-on-one with you, guiding you towards a road filled with opportunities. Contact us today.

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