Social media: balancing risks & benefits

The subject of social media can elicit a mixed response. Sometimes excited. Sometimes fearful.

Social provides your business with the possibility of unlimited reach. It’s shaping the way businesses do business. 

For example, social can help you:

  • Connect your business with your clients
  • Recruit the finest candidates for jobs
  • Offer priceless public relations
  • Provide a viral marketing tool

However, social channels can also prove hazardous to your business – depending on how you and your employees use it. Getting a message out to a large amount of people almost instantaneously comes with its pros and cons.

Social Buzz

You don’t need to ‘go viral’ in order to be noticed on social media. It’s all about putting your business on a platform to promote your brand and protect your reputation.

Sharing content and stories about your business is one thing, but it’s also good to know who’s talking about you. You need to know if someone is tarnishing your business’s name or reputation. And if they are, being present at least gives you the opportunity to respond and address the issue head on.

To find out what people are saying about your business, you can use any number of tactics. Simple searches in Google and on social channels. Setting up Google Alerts. Even investing in a monitoring tool. Each of these tactics will give you better results than the last. But the vital message is that you do something.

If you do find references to your company name that could be hazardous to your business or your reputation, you have a few options:


  • Check social networking sites. Are customer complaints the cause? Can you respond and address any valid issues? Can you report any invalid ones?
  • Is the source something an employee has shared? If so, how healthy is your social media policy? Do you even have one? Your employees should be aware of this and be clear on what content they are, and are not allowed to associate with your business.
  • Is it coming from an external source or website? If so, can you contact them to ask them to take it down or address and resolve their issue they are having with your business?

The great thing about the online world is how easy it is to gauge opinion through simple searches. Whether positive or negative, you can then decide what you want to do with that information to improve your businesses reputation and reconnect with what might have been a lost customer.

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