Social media marketing can sometimes be like navigating a mine field. I’ve said as much in the past, focusing on the risks of consumer backlash and “cancel culture.” But as time goes on, there are more and more dangers lurking.
Your social media presence is vital to your brand, but it can also be an object of scrutiny for competitors, detractors, law enforcement, and ordinary people bearing a personal grudge.
The emerging threat is illustrated by recent news out of France. A ruling by the constitutional court has permitted customs and tax officials to monitor social media for signs of undisclosed income. This probably doesn’t directly affect your social media marketing unless you’re based in France; but it does point to some of the ways in which social media can be weaponized or turned against its users.
The French law might actually seem reasonable to some readers. But you don’t need to support tax evasion to see how such measures could challenge privacy and free speech. If those measures become normalized, it’s not difficult to imagine how they could start to impact law-abiding individuals and companies.
And if the French law comes to represent a trend in the broader Western world, it will be necessary to consider how one’s social media marketing strategy should respond. It won’t be practical any time soon to drop out of a closely-monitored social media marketplace. So web service providers are sure to encounter rising demand for closely-guarded social media management.
At the beginning of the decade, a semi-careless presence on social media would have probably come with more benefits than drawbacks. But as we move into 2020, this is no longer the case. Your social media marketing needs to protect itself vigilantly against offending a portion of its audience, exposing proprietary information, and giving any impression of illegal conduct, even if there is none in reality.
And that’s just part of the make-up of this mine field. Once upon a time, you might have felt comfortable crossing it on your own. But today, it’s best not to embark on a campaign without professional mine sweepers in the form of a social media marketing company.