A report from the Altimeter Group suggests that companies using social media marketing are aware of some of the risks associated with the channel.

A report from Altimeter Group found that social media marketing concerns some businesses who believe a presence on the site could hurt their brand’s image on the web. However, using the channel effecitvely can help marketers drive more site traffic and attract new prospects.

According to the study, 35 percent of marketers, including many actively use social media, believe there is “critical risk” related to brand reputation on the channel. Moreover, 31 percent said said there is “significant risk,” 23 percent responded “moderate risk” and 10 find little or no risk using social. Despite the acknowledgement that a social presence can hurt a company, many marketers have found it is an essential part of their strategies.

Avoiding issues related to brand damage with social media is essentially a function of developing a clearly defined brand message on the web and carrying it out across channels. Marketers are well-advised to keep social content industry- and company-focused, and assign trusted employees or third-party experts to manage the accounts.

Brafton recently highlighted data from IDG Enterprise that found more than 40 percent of B2B companies actively use social media marketing, and the majority say their efforts effective for driving leads and building awareness. Risk is present on social media, but an effective, responsible strategy can help organizations avoid these issues.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.