The potential for a company to expand its audience or tap into a new market by partnering with social media influencers is becoming increasingly attractive. “But the impact of social influencers can cut both ways,” Founding Principal Doug Bania told Daily News in an interview on the pros and cons of influencer marketing and what brands need to consider when implementing this advertising strategy.

“[Brands] need to be aware that when social influencers engage in bad behavior that makes the front pages, the company can quickly lose face with customers and lose money,” he said. “A brand that took years to build can be quickly forced into damage control.”

According to Daily News, the influencer marketing industry is predicted to grow by as much as $10 billion over the next five years, so it’s clear a growing number of companies are willing to take the gamble.

“When businesses weigh the cost of shifting some of their advertising dollars away from traditional marketing channels into less costly social media advertising, the strategy often makes sense,” Doug commented. “But some people do good things and some people do bad things, so it’s a risk. The hard thing to determine is if the risk is worth the potential reward.”

Doug expects the Federal Trade Commission will impose more guidelines in the coming years regarding social media advertising, as well as punishments if those guidelines aren’t followed. Read the full Daily News article here.