Social media is a huge part of the way we all live our lives in 2013, and most businesses believe that having Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, and LinkdIn accounts are an absolute necessity. Particularly for small businesses, social media can be a great way to increase brand awareness, increase traffic to your website, and generate sales. However, there are three questions you need to ask yourself before setting up social media accounts – because they could end up doing your business more harm than good!

Do you have the time to manage a 24-hour help desk?

Are you prepared for your Facebook page to become a 24-hour help desk? Many of your customers or potential customers will use social media as their first point of contact for your business, and they expect a quick response! If you don’t have the time and resources to check your social media accounts a couple of times a day and reply to questions and comments; consider holding back on setting them up until you do have the time to manage enquiries.

Facebook Help Desk

How will you handle complaints and negative feedback?

There are people out there who love to publicly criticise businesses on social media. We’ve all seen complaints and negative feedback go viral on social media, but how would you handle this type of situation? Some businesses may be willing to delete negative comments and ban fans or followers who are looking to cause problems for your business, while others won’t want to risk any further negative criticism towards their brand as a result of this. Even if the negative feedback is not legit, and is simply the work of a ‘troll’, what sort of effect will this have on your business?

A good example of social media negativity going viral is this recent complaint to Smith’s Chips that has received more than 20 thousand likes in a week:

Smith's Chips complaint

Will social media ACTUALLY help your business? Or are you simply jumping on the bandwagon?

A number of factors should be considered to determine whether or not you actually need social media accounts, or you are just another bandwagoner! Will social media really help with your business goals? Will you be able to post special offers, new deals, news, exclusive discounts, or anything of value on a regular basis? Will it help you generate more business, or will it be a big waste of time and damage your brand?

Social Media Bandwagon

In 2013, social media is HUGE part of everyday life. But if you don’t have the resources to manage your own accounts, you can still increase brand awareness and get the benefits of social media by simply including social sharing buttons (and encourage sharing) throughout your website!