The answer to this question is simple: both. Social media can be beneficial to a company’s reputation, in addition to detrimental. The difference lies in the way social media is used. Instead of discussing whether it is beneficial or detrimental, we are really talking about: If a company uses social media effectively or ineffectively. Social media is a business platform as much as it is personal.
Effective social media use projects a favorable image of the company, and it is a constant effort. This means having a team that manages the company’s social media pages, not just one person. This depends on the size of the company of course, but a team effort is more effective. The content should be related to the goals and industry of the company. As I said, in this instance we are using it as a business platform, which should avoid personal content. Of course, keeping all posts professional, clear of vulgarity, and FACT-CHECKED/PROOFREAD is essential. Other businesses and potential customers will be evaluating your posts while reading them.
Essential social media use keeps in mind that everything posted to sites is permanent. Once you hit “post”, that information that you shared is out there forever. Each post needs to have a reason. It should also follow a regular schedule. This will show your followers that you are professional and consistent. Something to keep in mind: these general guidelines are a loose framework. Just like anything else, it depends on the unique context in which the business is located.
The reverse of effective social media use is as you guessed: ineffective. Not doing any of the previous things I have discussed would generate ineffective use. In addition to the opposites already mentioned, there are some hallmarks of ineffective social media use. The main hallmark is how you respond publicly to the feedback you receive on social media. Not responding positively and constructively will damage your reputation heavily. This is where having a social media team is beneficial. A business will not be able to respond to everything, but responding to as much as possible positively will help your company’s reputation.
To wrap up this discussion of social media use, we can evaluate an example. DC comics tweeted out a page of one of their comics. On this page it read: “translated from Pakistanian”. The post immediately was evaluated and received numerous responses on Twitter. This post was not fact-checked or proofread, as the official language is known as Urdu. This slip is forever documented and will remain as a stain on DC Comic’s reputation. Keeping in mind how to use social media effectively will help this technology platform be beneficial to your business. Not paying attention to social media intricacies and permanence will cause harm to a company’s reputation. Social media is a powerful business tool.
– Drew Apanavicius