Building Up Your Social Network: Is It Good for Business?

Social NetworkIf you’re even asking this question, it’s likely that you already have an inking regarding the answer: yes. Absolutely, yes. In fact, engaging in social media is so important for your brand nowadays that you could seriously miss out on jobs and opportunities if you don’t engage.

A good example comes from a social media campaign Ford ran a few years ago. The car company promoted something called the Fiesta Movement that encouraged people online to promote their products on their behalf. They didn’t have to spend a dime on advertisements because regular people did the legwork for them. The effort netted the company 50,000 people interested in purchasing a Ford who didn’t already have a Ford.

Another benefit of having a thriving social network for your business is getting endorsements from a wide variety of people, in particular, those you might not have access to otherwise. Getting people with broad appeal, a receptive audience, and clout in their fields

Now, there are some drawbacks to utilizing social media for your business. The benefits far outweigh these drawbacks but it’s still important to note what you might be getting into. When you have a bunch of people online promoting your product or business for you–essentially representing you–there is room for trouble to arise. People could say something on your behalf that puts your business in a bad light. They may speak negatively about your company (in public). They may turn something positive into something negative. You just never know and that is the nature of using a social network.

Another potential drawback is a general lack of influence. Yes, you may be able to build up a lot of followers on Twitter or get a lot of likes on Facebook but what does that translate to specifically if you’re not creating useful content that can be shared widely? If it’s not influential? If it doesn’t truly speak to people?

Basically, it all comes down to this: leveraging a social network for your business is important. Vital, even. But you need to do it right and you need to be smart about it. If you’re not either of these things, you put yourself at risk for ruining your company’s reputation and actually damaging your brand instead of bolstering it. Be smart though and you stand to build up your business in some seriously significant ways. Good luck!

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