How many times have you heard businesses celebrate the number of followers they have on Social Media platforms? For me it is more often than I could count, and really, why wouldn’t they? Gone are the days of organisations spending a small fortune on advertising for their businesses with no guarantee of return on investment.

For many organisations, reliance on the far reach of social media, and the power of its users, has become the norm. However, with its low costs and large audiences, it is easy to get carried away when using social media in your business. It's wise to tread carefully and be aware of the pros and cons before you start.

The potential advantages of social media is a growing list:

  • An increase in sales;
  • Greater customer engagement;
  • Opportunity to access international markets;
  • Direct customer feedback and interaction;
  • Reduced marketing costs;
  • Increased traffic to your website;
  • Improved ranking on search engines;
  • Opportunity to conduct market research about your customers; and
  • Improved networking opportunities with customers and other businesses.

While there are many positives to utilising social media, it is important for organisations to remember that it may not be suited to every business. By jumping the gun without appropriate preparation or planning, the launch of your social media presence could be a waste of your time and money.

Some of the possible red flags that you might want to consider:

  • Not having a clear marketing or social media strategy may result in reduced benefits for your business;
  • Additional resources may be needed to manage your online presence;
  • Social Media is immediate and needs daily monitoring;
  • If you do not actively manage your social media presence, you may not see any real benefits;
  • Risk of unwanted or inappropriate behaviour on your site, including bullying and harassment;
  • False or misleading information being posted (either by you or your followers) could result in fines;
  • The way that employees relate to social media and employer ‘rules’ around social media; and
  • Greater exposure online has the potential to attract risks (risks can include negative feedback, information leaks or hacking).

While there are risks, having a social media strategy and a social media policy before launching your business on a platform will help mitigate these risks.

If you are not sure where to start or if you would like further information on developing the people documentation to launch your social media presence – we can help. Just email

Candice MacFadyen

Candice is an energetic and pragmatic problem solver focused on tailoring bespoke....

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