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How Social Media Affects Business

With the rise of the internet, it has never been easier to get information. Access to all kinds of data is right there at our fingertips; waiting to be found. However, with social media playing such a prevalent role in society, the influence that other people’s opinions have on us, and the chance that we receive misinformation has never more significant. We are constantly inundated with posts, tweets, status updates, and material that fuels what we believe and influences our opinions. We repeatedly engross ourselves with ways that enable us to have information almost instantaneously. In being able to find the truth so easily, and inversely being so susceptible to misinformation, it is easier more now than ever to help or hurt your business through social media.


Think of it this way: Social media and your business are like driving a car going 150mph – Driving that fast allows you to get to your destination much faster, but at the same time you run a much larger risk of getting in a car accident and endangering yourself. Social media has made our businesses drive at 150mph. It is so much easier to succeed in our businesses, but in contrast it takes no time at all to run them into the ground.

Every company has to watch what they do; good or bad, because with a click of a mouse, it can be broadcast all over the internet. If it portrays you in a negative light, you’ll be spending more time trying to put out the fires than you do trying to grow your business. Take for example Kitchen Aid when they tweeted an offensive comment towards Barack Obama’s late grandmother after the first 2012 Presidential debate:

KitchenAid promptly retracted the comment and apologized for the incident. Despite this however, damage had already been done to their reputation and all they could do after that was try and stop the metaphorical bleeding and do damage control. With a good Public Relations team and the resources to repair what they had damaged, KitchenAid still survived; the company is still a leader in the industry, but their insensitive tweet sure didn’t help their cause. For any company, an event like this is a PR nightmare! If they were a smaller company, or if they didn’t respond as quickly as they had, the situation could have been a lot worse.

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Before social media, before YouTube and the internet, negative PR incidents like the one KitchenAid had would usually just fade away with time; they would drop out of the headlines and people would eventually forget them. However, with the internet and social media, everything is archived, and everything can be magnified. All it would take is a quick Google search, a couple social media posts, and all of the sudden events that some company’s would rather forget become somewhat relevant again and their public image could be jeopardized. At any point in time, anyone has access to find ‘slip-ups’ and inflict even more damage to the image of the company who made those mistakes.

Today, companies have a so called “permanent record”. Anything they say or do is filed and archived online where anyone can access it. Every company needs to be vigilant in making sure they don’t do anything they’re going to regret. Social media has brought all new meaning to the term “look before you leap”. But with everything that can go wrong, there is a lot that can go right! Thousands of companies have jumped on board the social media train because they realize the potential that social media brings. The rise of social media has allowed varieties of businesses to be seen, but with so many businesses online, it can be hard to stand out. Social media can speed-up your business success if you know how to do it right, but that idea includes one very important component… You have to know how to do it right.

Read 1892 times Last modified on Tuesday, 01 July 2014 22:42
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