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Social Media helps a lot with any kind of business when properly utilized. However, one should be careful when responding to complaints, criticisms, or crisis.

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Social Media - A Bane or a Boon? Understanding the Risks

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social media a bane or a boon understanding

Social Media ­ A Bane or a Boon? Understanding 


 the Risks

Social media is a powerful tool for business if properly handled. It can help a lot in generating

business leads and also produce a brand image of the company. Research conducted into the

importance of social media has proven its benefits for public-organization relationships. Businesses

can now hope to reach a wider audience base by effective social media marketing through the

various social media platforms.

prior to the popularity of social media

Prior to the popularity of social media, businesses used to advertise about their products and

services through newspapers and television advertisements. The cost of promotion proved too high

to be borne by businesses. Also, the performance of the promotions could not be effectively

measured. Advertising through social media is cost-effective and the performance can also be easily

measured. This is the reason behind the increasing popularity of social media marketing.

The power of social media in helping businesses to grow cannot be stressed enough. More and

more companies are looking to create an online brand image in this age of technology to further

their sales. While this has an advantage, it also poses a lot of risk. Social media, being a public

forum should be handled with care, since any information posted on it can go viral within a matter

of seconds. Special care should be taken when commenting or posting about any religious views or

political opinions or caricature of a famous personality. It has the potential to easily escalate into a

huge issue. This can result in a social media crisis.

The most common causes of social media crisis are-

Feedback from unhappy customers

An insensitive tweet

A personal remark regarding religious or political views

An inappropriate picture

An offensive remark

Harmful comments posted by ghost writers (rival companies)

Accidents caused by external factors beyond the company’s control

To sum up, social media has its shares of benefits and risks, like any other thing. If the crisis arising

out of social media can be effectively handled by businesses then the medium can be utilized to its

full potential for effective brand building and business growth. To effectively deal with a social

media crisis, follow these steps:

Efficiently Monitor the Crisis

It is important to monitor how the crisis develops, irrespective of the cause. This should be done in

a way so that the volume of social media messages do not overwhelm you. For this purpose, use

social media monitoring tools. Also, make sure to post relevant updates through your social media

channels, so as to respond directly to customers. Never leave any feedback or customer response

unattended. Keep a dedicated member or a team in your company solely for this purpose.

Own your Mistakes

When your customers receive a faulty product or a service and comment on the same, then you

should make sure that you address the issue. Acknowledge your fault and assume responsibility.

Take necessary steps and close the discussion thread by notifying the actions taken to resolve the

issue and also request the customer to share his/her feedback post resolving.

Efficiently Dealing with Bad Reviews

If a customer who has availed your service or product has posted a bad review regarding it, first

check whether it is a genuine grievance. If they are commenting regarding something which was

not included under the terms of service, then do not admit responsibility for it. Address the issue

and explain the services and terms of use, post the policies as evidence and finally make sure that

you do not leave the customer angry or unhappy

you do not leave the customer angry or unhappy. Engage with them and let them know that you

would be more than happy to help them when they have genuine complaints.

Handling Insensitive Comments

When someone from your company posts insensitive or personal comments regarding any religious

or political party or some eminent personality on your company page, it can result in a social media

crisis. To deal with it, ensure that you issue an apology to the persons/parties concerned. These are

sensitive topics and they should be handled with care.

The benefits of social media are plenty. However, the crisis arising out from it can also be very

damaging for your brand image. Dealing with them efficiently is very important. If you do not

possess the resources or you are unable to effectively monitor the situation then you can hire the

resources of a knowledgeable social media marketing agency to help you out.

Conclusion: Strategical approach to social media has proven helpful in risk management scenarios.

It is a very bad idea to wait for a social media crisis to blow over, thinking that it will solve the

situation. Ignoring it will only worsen the scenario. If used correctly, social media can be an added

asset. Taking resort to reply to social media threads to handle a crisis proves useful in effective

mitigation of the situation.

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