Social Networking: A Double-Edged Sword

Back in October, we began a series of blogs discussing how social media can and should be used to focus brand awareness. We were briefly distracted mentioning the importance of traditional networking in an increasingly online world, but it is time to go back and finish our original point.

Social networking, when properly handled on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, can dramatically increase brand awareness. However, awareness is essentially the only thing you are guaranteed. And, as most marketers know, people talking about your product do not necessarily equal people actually purchasing it. A savvy business owner needs to culture and mold social media to their own ends. One cannot use social networking passively; in order to coax the best response, you have to dig in and aggressively tackle your marketing. Consistent and accurate content, deals, coupons, personal shout-outs. These are all things that make up a successful social campaign. Within hours of joining a site like Facebook, you can accomplish the networking that weeks of conferences could not handle.

However, it isn’t all peaches and cream. The world of social media is instantaneous. Almost any given person you may run into in a day is carrying a cell phone that can easily update a Twitter feed or Facebook account with a simple text message. People are constantly connected to the world-wide giant that is social media.

This is fantastic if people only have good things to say about your product or service, but what if they don’t? Once upon a time, if a customer was dissatisfied, they wouldn’t really have anyone to complain to at least until they got home, and even then, they would have to individually call other potential customers to warn them, and that was assuming that they managed to stay angry that long. Today, an irate customer can complain about your company online, to hundreds of friends, without even leaving your line of sight. While this certainly isn’t irreparable damage – most consumers are willing to accept a certain amount of unhappy clients – it isn’t doing you any favors. You may wonder if this social media thing was a bad idea when your wall starts filling up with poor recommendations.

So, what does this mean for you? That is a interesting question with a number of possible answers, many of which we will cover in our next post.


Founded in 1989, WebbMason is one of the fastest-growing print and brand management service companies in the United States, helping marketing departments and their internal and external partners save money and streamline processes through a winning combination of industry expertise, exceptional print supply chain partners and technological innovation.

Headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland, WebbMason has 20 sales offices throughout the United States.


One Response to Social Networking: A Double-Edged Sword

  1. Sam says:

    Very well said and I couldn’t agree more!

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