Social networking’s popularity has skyrocketed during the last few years and many businesses are finding that a presence on these sites can be beneficial to them. After all, it’s cheap,easy, and convenient. It’s definitely a proven method to enhance your search engine optimization (SEO), and stay better connected to your clients and referral sources.

So what’s the catch? Here are a few things to beware of when using social networking to promote your business:

Unintentionally offending someone.

Separating your business’s social networking presence from your personal presence can be challenging. Be careful to keep personal opinions that could offend somebody off your page. Employees should keep their pages private so their personal opinions and lifestyles aren’t affiliated with the company.

Spending too much time on it.

Social networking can be dangerously time consuming and addictive. Spending too much valuable time updating statuses, tweeting, posting photos and commenting can be detrimental to the productivity of your business if it interferes with time that could be better spent doing something directly for or with a customer. In the corporate world, there’s no room for wasted time because time spent equates to money spent.

Scams, phishing, spam and malware.

Recent studies show a 70% rise in security risks on social networks. Individuals and businesses are spending more time on social networks and putting more private information on the Web, creating unnecessary security risks. Precautions can be taken to lessen the risks but hackers will always find a way to breech security, which is why this issue is extremely difficult for social networks to patrol.

Social networks can be fun and useful tools for promotions, transparent communication between company and consumer, and driving people to visit your website, but they don’t come risk-free. Be sure you and your employees are in agreement when it comes to being a part of social networks and take the necessary precautions to avoid complications that could be harmful to your business.

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