In the financial world, every opportunity has its risks, and the same is true of social media marketing. Here are three social-media marketing pitfalls and how to overcome them:

1. Negative comments. Of course a business as fine as yours is never deserves a negative comment. However, there may come a day when someone posts something negative about you on your Facebook wall, comments on a blog post you’ve written, criticizes you via Twitter, etc.

What to do: Upon seeing these comments, you may feel inclined to lash back or click “delete,” but this is a bad idea. Instead, take the high road and respond with poise and maturity. Promptly (within 24 hours) acknowledge the negative feedback and offer a resolution to the issue. If the situation is too complex for social media, offer an email address or phone number where you can be reached. Remember: on social media, everyone silently eavesdrops on everything you say. It is of paramount importance to make a good impression.

2. Inappropriate comments. Unlike negative comments, inappropriate comments may take the form of profane, offensive or threatening language. While it’s unlikely your business will face this problem, it makes sense to be prepared.

What to do: Any posts or comments containing this sort of language should be deleted ASAP. Regardless of what has been said, you should politely reach out to the individual (via personal message or email) to explain why the post has been removed. You are responsible for everything posted on your social-media platforms, and an inappropriate sentiment will reflect negatively on your brand.

3. Compliance. As noted above, everything posted on your social-media platforms is your responsibility. Your posts—and your fans’ posts—must adhere to the compliance policies set forth by FINRA and the SEC.

What to do: If somebody posts something that violates compliance policy, remove it. Such a situation can be handled in the same fashion as an inappropriate comment. Get in touch with the individual (personally or publicly) and politely explain why the post had to be removed.

There’s no doubt that the social-media jungle has its perils. But you shouldn’t let that stop you from taking advantage of the powerful opportunity presented by this medium. Arm yourself properly and you can make the most of social media for the betterment of your business.

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