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Social media’s rush to ruin

Business be warned: Rushing too fast to get “social” with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest or LinkedIn may set you up for failure or waste your resources.

That’s the advice of New Zealand consultant HaloBiz GM Julie South.

“Social network accounts are free to set up and therein is the first trap” says South. “Business owners mistakenly believe all they need is a Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, G+ or Pinterest account to get online and have social presence that’ll get the phone ringing”.

Because social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, G+ and LinkedIn are free to set up, anyone with an email address and access to the internet can open an account. South understands most people probably know someone who’s had a website built that’s gone over budget, over time and then failed to deliver; it’s therefore no wonder the ‘I-don’t-need-a-website-to-get-my-business-online’ attitude exists.

“The harsh truth, however, is with free social platforms the business doesn’t have any legal claim to the assets (eg, ‘likes’) on a site. If a Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest or G+ account were to be shut down all the investment in that platform by the business would be wasted with no recourse for compensation. All ‘likes’ on a Facebook page belong to Facebook – not the business,” says South.

The last thing any business needs is to have its (perhaps only) social platform shutdown because of a breach.

“Sadly, some businesses fail to realise that all it takes is a pissed off competitor with a bit more Facebook knowledge to hit ‘report this page’ and your account could be shut down or suspended. Hell’s Pizza knows what it feels like to turn up to work one morning and discover its Facebook page shut down. It does happen.”

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