6 pitfalls of social media

Social media risks
PostedJanuary 23, 2013, in  Step 2: simple self assessment
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The role and importance of social media keeps increasing. Social media can be an effective means to increase brand awareness, reach your target audience and increase online visibility. Social media offers many opportunities, but there are also risks. Watch out for these 6 pitfalls.


Sofiaperesoa (Wikimedia Commons)

Pitfall 1: social obligation

Many organizations start with social media because they feel it is 'something' they should be involved in. It is then regarded as a liability instead of a new opportunity, not having a clear purpose and the resulting effect often being disappointing.  

Pitfall 2: underestimation

Social media is often seen as an easy, inexpensive tool for which little time is needed. Social media is indeed easy to use, but must be approached very seriously. Without a clear policy and / or a clear strategy the intended results will not be achieved.  

Pitfall 3: short term thinking

It is often difficult to capture the Return On Investment (ROI) of social media: followers, fans, likes and retweets do not deliver direct conversion. However the use of social media can lead to significant positive effects, but this requires a long-term vision. The purpose of social media is to build a relationship with your target audience. This takes time, just like in real life.

Mentionablehonor (Wikimedia Commons)

Pitfall 4: no guidelines

Whether you are communicating through the company website or through Facebook: it always has an affect on the appearance of your organisation. To avoid miscommunication, it is wise to establish guidelines. You can lose your good reputation only once.  

Pitfall 5: not listen

Social media is about interaction, to talk and to listen. The latter is sometimes forgotten. People want to be heard and really appreciate it when they can come into contact with a company in an easy way.  

Pitfall 6: no added value

Finally, the most common pitfall: using social media as a commercial sales channel. Nobody wants to see nothing but advertising on it. However everybody is looking for valuable content that adds value. So communicate information that is interesting and relevant.  


For those who are aware of the risks, social media can achieve excellent results. Curious how? Next week’s post contains six smart social media strategies for 2013.

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PostedJanuary 23, 2013, in Step 2: simple self assessment
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