5 Social Media Marketing Pitfalls To Avoid
Social media can appropriately be described as any medium through in which target audience participates largely in constructing and providing its content. This potential, ability or practice of participating in the creation of the content is one of the most crucial aspects of social media and the part which marketers find most useful and intriguing. It is also this act of participation that forms the crux of what is now starting to be referred to as the attention economy. Social media therefore have become one of the most potent means of marketing in contemporary times.
In spite of all the advantages which the social media confer on the users and the larger society, there are still attendant disadvantages. These are a result of the potential abuse of the system as well as the pitfall that exist side by side the advantages. The following are some of such pitfalls:
i. Defamation: This is adverse effect on the reputation or person of another resulting from someone’s written or spoken statement. The former is specifically known as libel while the latter is known as slander. In the context of the social media, implying with a post on a social medium that someone else is dishonest or lacking in morals or any other utterance capable of painting that person in bad light could lead to defamation. Considering that companies are heavily involved in the social media, initiating posts likely to tarnish the image of another brand could lead to action for defamation.
ii. Breach of Contract: In view of the interaction between brands and their target audience on social media these days, there exists the risk of making promises in the cause of marketing which could be construed as having given rise to contractual obligations on the part of the company. It behooves the company to exercise due diligence in its utterances in the course of marketing on the social media.
iii. Negligence: Even in the social media scene, there exists duty of care, rights and obligations to be performed by someone or respected by another. Issues of client confidentiality also apply and any company using the social media as a vehicle for its marketing must bear in mind that the laws prohibiting negligent behavior also apply here. This might be of special interest to professional services firms and practices.
iv. Trademark: This is definitely a major pitfall for marketers on the social media scene. Trademark laws seek to protect the investment which a company has put into its brand. It protects the brand from being hijacked by another person and causing the company a loss. It also protects the target audience against impostors who seek to substitute inferior goods using the invested efforts of another. Marketers using the social media must guard against any act which can constitute a trademark breach.
v. Copyright: One of the hottest issues on the internet is that of plagiarism and in the context of the social media, using someone else’s intellectual effort could very easily constitute a copyright breach.