You are an entrepreneur eager to grow your young company into an industry giant, and you know that marketing—and especially social media marketing—is a promising way to launch your business into the stratosphere. In order to expedite your growth, you may be tempted to cut some corners in social media optimization, but there are some potential pitfalls to compromising your ethics.
Choose Honest Growth Online
There are more than a billion users on major social networks like Google+, YouTube and Facebook, so it can be disheartening when you start your account with ZERO followers. You have probably seen the ads that offer thousands of Likes or Followers for just a few bucks, and you might think it is worth the cost. You may think “no one will notice,” but you should know that the major networks have social media marketing experts who monitor unusual activity like a thousand follower leap for a new account. If they catch you cheating, they may ban your account, making it much more difficult to promote your business on their platform.
Furthermore, it is important to remember that you are building relationships with online users. If you hoodwink them into believing you are more popular than you actually are, and they learn about your shady practices, your online reputation will take a nosedive. You would need an army of social media marketing consultants working years to rehabilitate your reputation.
Why Being Ethical Makes You Stronger
There are a myriad of ways that you can compromise your ethics to get ahead in the game, but in the digital age that is like trying to navigate a minefield with an tractor trailer. Almost every corporate entity is under the microscope, so any misstep is immediately picked up by major news outlets, online blogs or just unhappy online users.
Take for example the fiasco at Wells Fargo bank. This is one of the top banks in the world, but the revelation that employees were creating fake accounts toppled their CEO and led to the firing of more than 5,300 employees. The company is still reeling from this debacle, and they are probably working with top social media marketing companies to try to salvage their ruined reputation. The lesson here is that, eventually, any misconduct will come to light.
Make Wise Choices
You may consider yourself an ethical entrepreneur, but it can be difficult to manage your social media campaign without offending one party or another. That is why it is important to hire white hat social media publicists that are experienced with managing successful social media campaigns. Not only should you check out any prospective social media management agency beforehand, but you should work closely with them to ensure that all of their marketing practices meet your high ethical standards.
It is often wise to stipulate that you only want ethical marketing from the outset with any new marketing firm. If they fail to meet your expectations, don’t hesitate to find another firm. After all, your startup’s future could be in jeopardy.