Social media can be daunting, scary even. A lot can go wrong. But this fear is paralysing. It leads many companies to avoid making full use of it – and lose out on the strong advantages that social media will bring. The chance to connect with their customers and clients; the ability to give themselves a more human and personal touch. So why are companies so afraid of social media?

“We say one little thing wrong, and we’ll be burnt at the stake.”

 There is genuine fear of going viral for the wrong reasons. Any kind of slip up on the part of a company can result in heavy negative press. A social media presence means almost instant messaging the public, without the usual filtration process. So if there’s a spill, it can be picked up quickly and amplified massively across the social media space.

What if a company employee accidentally publishes a controversial internal memo on social media?

Andy Warhol predicted that everyone will get their fifteen minutes of fame. But he didn’t foresee how easily that could result in a lifetime of social shame and infamy. It’s all too easy to say something which requires context, and see it spread rapidly without that context applied… resulting in major brand damage.

But there’s no reason to be worried when your company is partnered with an experienced social media agency. They act as the buffer between the company and the public. For instance, we make use of a community management team who handle interactions with your community of customers. They know what they can and can’t say, and have a prescribed methodology for dealing with even the most difficult cases. Allowing them to defuse angry customers.

Here’s an example: a Mall client, with recently upgraded security for the parking garage. The security now requires mall patrons to pass through two booms. This adds to wait time. Queues form. Before you know it, patrons are stuck in the parking area for fifteen extra minutes. Unsurprisingly, they vent their frustrations on the Mall’s Facebook page. And that’s when our community managers have the opportunity to engage and defuse them.

“What’s so important about social media anyway? It’s a fad. You just ‘poke’ people.”

Then you have the companies that have a limited or outdated understanding of social media. They just don’t see the potential it has for their brand. It’s a (relatively) new tool they’re unfamiliar with, and that makes them uncomfortable. Technology has rapidly advanced in the last 30 years – if you’re younger, you tend to be used to the rapid rate of change, and embrace it far more willingly. If you’re not, then it feels like you’ve only justmanaged to get your head around something when the next evolutionary jump arrives.

For older clients, we explain carefully how their audience now live in a virtual world alongside this one: it is a world of noughts and ones, of data, of newsfeeds, and status updates; it’s a world their market slips into at the touch of a smartphone button; it’s not another way of interacting with customers, patrons, or clients… it’s becoming the only way to interact with them.

All too often, we on the forefront of technology forget that new trends and developments don’t excite everyone. Sometimes, they cause consternation and confusion. The solution? A social media agency that understands these concerns, and is patient in guiding a company’s decision-makers through the social media space.

“We won’t get our ROI, so this prospect is DOA.”

And there’s the lack of understanding some companies have in regards to the profitability of social media. They just see the cost, and don’t perceive the benefit. That’s partly because the rewards aren’t immediately obvious – building up a community seems a bit kumbaya. Everyone, including the company shareholders, sitting around a campfire holding hands.

But that’s missing the point. By building up a community who follows you and your posts, engages with you, and lodges grievances with you, your brand becomes something very familiar. Close. This encourages brand loyalty. This allows for special offers to be communicated – and through careful posting and boosting, these offers have a chance to go viral.

Social media is an important part of a company’s repertoire in building a loyal customer base. And it allows for data processing, and thus customer profile building – which in turn provides for tailor-made offerings designed to strongly appeal to a customer.

The return on investment can be very significant when a company allows itself a social media presence. And these days, they certainly don’t have to go it alone. Not when there are many exceptional social media and digital agencies out there willing to guide them.

If this sounds like your company, why not give us a call or email us on info@fgx.co.za for a chat about making the perfect social media strategy for you. You can also like our page on Facebook, and follow the latest news.