How to Use Social Media Responsibly: Mistakes All Small Businesses Must Avoid

Social media websites

Social media websitesSocial media is an essential part of any online marketing strategy. Whether you own a packaging franchise or restaurant, a strong social media campaign can help you better connect and engage with customers and get your small business free publicity as well. But for all the benefits that social media could offer, there are also pitfalls that you need to avoid.

Infringing on Copyrighted Materials

Let’s say that you have finally thought of a brand name or logo for your business. However, you find that another company is already using it. Unfortunately, you need to keep looking because even if the company is located in another country, its claim on the brand name or logo will hold up, provided that they have a patent and copyright for it.

Grabbing and Posting Images without Consent

Before you post an image on your social media accounts, you need to ensure that you get permission from the image’s owner first. Most people would be fine with using their images, while some might request for a license fee. This is especially vital when posting or “regramming” a photo on Instagram. Thank the original poster for the image of your café, for instance, and then ask if you could regram her post. If she agrees, label the post correctly, credit it to the poster, and then tag her.

Maligning Your Competition

There might be times when you might be tempted to take digs at your competitors on social media because let’s face it, a lot of companies do that. Some companies are even popular on social media because of the drama they cause by sharing slanderous posts about their competitors. However, take note that a team of attorneys usually backs them. Put simply, don’t post anything on your social media that you would not feel comfortable saying to your competitors in person.

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Failing to State Paid Social Media Influencer Posts

When you get an influencer to post about your business on social media, ensure that he or she marks the post as a paid ad or get free services or products in exchange for the post. Take note that businesses are just as responsible to the potential consequences as the influencers.

Yes, social media is an excellent tool that many small businesses can use for competing against more popular businesses and engaging existing and potential customers. However, it’s also too easy to make mistakes that could lead to significant repercussions for your business. Therefore, keep the tips mentioned above in mind to avoid digging yourself into a social media firestorm for the wrong reasons.

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