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5 Problems with Social Media and How it’s Affecting Your Networking

Posted by Robert Beckerman
Robert Beckerman
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5-problems-with-social-media-and-how-its-affecting-your-networkThere is no denying that social media has grown in recent years, not only in popularity but also in power. We’re all networking at unprecedented levels through platforms like Twitter, Vine, LinkedIn and more. As social media has grown, so too have social media problems. Even the most tech-savvy business can find itself mired in social media problems and the networking nightmares they can create.

Keeping Your Network Safe

Online privacy continues to be one of the thornier social media problems. Workers whose attention wanders to the internet aren’t always as cautious as they should be, which could result in accidental downloads of malware, spyware and all manner of viruses. At best, this costs you time and money; at worst, the private information of your business or your customers can be stolen and used maliciously. As the owner of the desk where the buck stops, the burden falls to you to make amends.

Lost Productivity

Slacking off at work is nothing new, but in the digital age it appears sometimes to be at epidemic levels. Not a quarter passes without CEO-level management and HR posting statistics on lost productivity due to internet abuse on the clock. The hardest part of any company’s social media management is enforcement. Workers are simply less apt to pay heed to directives to refrain from abusing online access when their immediate supervisors carry high-end laptops and handheld devices loaded with the latest gaming apps.

Forgetting the Basics

Additionally, networking at the local level can be quite challenging. Salespeople who become dependent on social media may lose the interpersonal skills that are still so important to networking. Bottom line: if your customers are resistant to interacting with your business through social media, you can’t force, bribe or trick them into doing so. It has been tried and the blowback can be stunning. Yet companies need to be alert to every networking opportunity; customers expect instant, all-hours access and social media proves ideal for this purpose. Satisfaction – as always – is your first priority. Just keep in mind that, even in the modern age, networking can sometimes depend on your willingness to pound the pavement.

Micromanaging the Internet

No corporation today is immune to the far-reaching effects of negative online press. Entire websites aggregate and archive negative exchanges between customers and companies. Attempts by organizations to “sanitize” their online presence are not kindly taken to. If your business garners bad reviews, own up to them and improve – it’s that simple. Negative commentary posted on social media is another problem entirely when generated by employees. There are several ways employers can react, and those options are as varied as the circumstances under which the statements arise. It would seem the classiest option for all concerned is for the employee to exhaust all official channels to have their problem addressed, and then find a way to let it go. On the other side, an employer at least appears more magnanimous by offering another chance for private redress. Taking the high road leaves fewer obstacles in the road of later networking.

Enforce Your Social Media Policy. You do Have a Social Media Policy, Right?

Successful companies must devise and implement cogent, realistic policies regarding social media, not just in terms of networking with potential clients and consumers but also capitalization on the opportunities these media provide. Many do, but an alarmingly high percentage of businesses large and small still don’t even have a legitimate online presence. That’s just not appropriate at a point in time when online networking is so crucial.

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Topics: Social Media, Sales Effectiveness, Networking