Social media provides incredible platforms for companies to build their brand, drive targeted traffic and generate media coverage. While social media has endless opportunities for success, it is easy to get caught up in the virtual world of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and end up in a sticky situation. Before you set out to conquer the world through social media, make sure you are aware of these social media obstacles and how to avoid them: 1. Damaging your company’s reputation Social media provides the opportunity to either build your company’s credibility, or tear it down. Often times, businesses think the best way to drive traffic to their site or product is by writing attention-grabbing posts that will result in the most clicks. However, just because a social media post is exciting and unique doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to gain your audience’s trust and continued business. Implementing a system of checks and balances when it comes to posting on social media is a great way to ensure your posts are accurate, relevant and fair. It’s also important to find a tone that is true to your company culture, and implement that tone throughout all social media accounts. Benjamin Franklin once said, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” Social media is a powerful tool, so use it wisely and good things will come! 2. Forgetting to build customer relationships While social media platforms can be seen as a place to blindly post all of your thoughts and ideas, it’s important to remember that there are real people on the receiving end of your tweets and Facebook posts. 65% of companies have trouble generating traffic and leads. Part of this problem stems from either misinformation, or not enough information about your company’s audiences. Before embarking on your social media journey, it’s vital that you spend a lot of time researching your different audiences so you know what they like, what they don’t like, who they are, where they are, etc. Once you compile this research and begin posting on social media, a great way to build a strong relationship with your customers is by replying to their comments and inquiries. This will show them that you are invested in your relationship with them and you appreciate their business. Always remember, there is a real person on the receiving end of your social media posts, so act like it! 3. Failing to keep up your social media accounts Developing your company’s content is one thing, but keeping up with your social media accounts is another. While quality is typically more important than quantity when it comes to posting on social media, it’s still important to produce content consistently so you don’t fall behind. In 2016, 78% of U.S. Americans had a social media profile, representing a 5% growth compared to the previous year. With so many people using social media to hear about the latest and greatest, your company will benefit greatly from producing content on a regular basis and staying in touch with your valued customers. In order to keep up with your company’s social media accounts, it would be valuable to implement a team to help manage, develop and supervise each account. Social media is everywhere these days, so be sure to make it a priority. Is your company aware of these social media pitfalls? By keeping these social media challenges in mind and incorporating a strategy to avoid them, your company will be ahead of the curve.