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How Social Media Can Become The Enemy of Your Business Reputation

Social media is a great way to build your brand’s reputation since it connects your business with people all over the world. Managing your online presence is crucial for building trust between your company and your customers. Unfortunately, social media can also break that trust and ruin your business reputation in a matter of seconds. This article covers how social media marketing can damage your company’s reputation and teaches the best ways how to avoid such situations altogether. Let’s take a look!

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Social Media In Marketing

Social media is a powerful tool in today’s digital marketing age. With more than 3.7 billion active users, it’s an essential marketing strategy for today’s world that simply can’t be ignored.

For example, more than 60 million businesses have created business pages on Facebook for marketing purposes, and that number keeps growing. So, what is social media marketing?

Well, to put it simply, social media marketing is the use of social networks to gain more exposure and a convenient way to attract your target audience, either through direct interactions with your customers or by launching social media campaigns.

This type of marketing strategy is widely used since it’s time-efficient and cost-effective, favored by many different age groups. However, social media management can sometimes be a tricky and daunting task.

Examples of Social Media Backfires

If you’re not convinced that bad social media management can harm your brand, here are a couple of examples of social media promotions gone wrong:

AT&T’s 9/11 Tribute Backlash

During the commemorative anniversary of 9/11 in 2013, the American mobile network AT&T tweeted a picture of a hand holding a phone, taking a picture, and displaying the Tribute in Light that represents the two fallen towers with a caption saying “Never forget.”

Quickly, the tweet went viral, with a handful of Twitter users becoming outraged. Some of them threatened to switch mobile carriers. Others wanted to boycott the company for using a national tragedy as a marketing ploy. Fortunately, the tweet was taken down an hour later, and the company issued an apology soon after.

YouTube Creators’ 4th of July’s Tweet

We all use emojis in our daily communication. In fact, 92% of internet users use emojis in their texts. That is why sometimes, a little piece like an emoji can also become the source of a social media blunder.

YouTube Creators’ Twitter account posted a tweet on the 4th of July, asking their followers to name their favorite American YouTube creators. However, instead of using the American flag emoji, the account accidentally used the Liberian flag.  Users immediately recognized the mistake, making fun of the account managers for not knowing their own flag.

While it wasn’t very harmful to the company, it proves that small details like that do not remain unnoticed.

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Good Social Media Marketing Practices

Now that you know how social media missteps can tarnish your brand’s image, here are some marketing suggestions you can follow:

  • Form your guidelines – before jumping into the scene right away, make sure your company has set a list of guidelines that everyone must follow. Specify what is allowed, setting a potential punishment if those rules are ever infringed.
  • Use different social media graphics – gaining attention on social media is very important. Graphics are an excellent way to do that. There are different kinds of social media graphics that can be used on social media platforms that will help to attract attention on social media and convert casual visitors into loyal customers.
  • Stay professional – don’t sacrifice your brand’s image to some edgy or over the top joke. Staying professional is a must. Remember that you’re representing your brand, so stick to your values and don’t take things personally.
  • Hire a social media specialist or experienced brand mention services – while you may have some basic knowledge of social media marketing strategies, a dedicated expert can bring your business to a whole another level. We’re going to talk more about this in the following section.

Benefits of Hiring a Social Media Specialist

Social media is about building connections. However, right now, many brands still use social media as a one-way promotional tool, instead of a platform.

Hiring a social media specialist ensures two-way communication between your brand and your customers so that you can expect a boost in user engagement. Here are some additional benefits of hiring a social media specialist to manage your social media networks:

  • Create marketing strategies – a specialist will recognize what your marketing tactics lack and will help you manage them accordingly.
  • Communicating with your userbase – social media specialists use the platforms to interact with customers and help them out in case they need assistance, so no direct message or tweet goes unanswered.
  • Building a reputation – being active on social media helps you build a reputation that determines how you’ll be perceived by the public.
  • Stay trendy – social media trends are always changing. That is why social media professionals are up to date with these changes, identifying the most popular methods or platforms to promote your brand at that specific point of time.

Wrapping Up Social media marketing is something that every business needs to pay attention to. It can offer your brand exposure, build trust between your customers, and generate more leads, traffic, and sales.

However, managing social media is not as easy as it seems. If it’s done poorly, it can backfire and ruin what you’ve built so far.


Mary J.


I am a passionate blogger and the chief editor at my own content marketing company PRable. Since college, I was interested in break-through technology and technical writing about innovative products and services that change our everyday lives for the better. I am also interested in web design and photography.