Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Social Media in Business
The importance of social media has increased in recent years with a large percentage of people who use social media. It has paved the way for the marketers to reach a huge number of people through social media. Every business needs to interact with the customers via social media platforms. This project focuses to identify the advantages and disadvantages of social media in business. Based on the background study on the topic project objective has been set. Based on the objective the subject has been elaborately discussed with using proper methodology. This paper attempts to identify different aspects of social media networks in business.
The research proposal is highlights the need of awareness that requires to be spread regarding present scenario of social media marketing and share of business enterprises on social media. The objectives of the project are:
- To understand the usefulness of social media in terms of business.
- To understand the ways through which usage of social media can proved to be fruitful for different business organizations.
- To understand the disadvantages and challenges that underlie in using social media for business purposes.
The scope of this project is limited as it primarily focuses on the evaluation of existing literature in the field of using social media in business. As there has been lots of work regarding this issue, the aim of this particular research is to go beyond the often discussed problems of social media and identify seldom discussed problems and scopes of social media when incorporated in any business. The researcher also attempts to critique the advantages and disadvantages of social media in business in order to understand the previous development of literature regarding this pertinent issue and compare that with current research outcomes in order to focus upon the underlying research gap.
According to current study among over 3 billion internet users over 2 billion users have active social media accounts. Famous social media websites have become marketing platforms for large and small business organization. Its effectivity is in the fact that is equally affordable for most of the companies. It has been proved to be a greater marketing platform for the companies. As per the market reports the number of social networking media users is increasing gradually in the recent few years (Scott, 2015). Therefore, it is evident that are tempted to use the social networking media as marketing platforms.
Different aspects of social media business
Here the discussion focuses upon different areas of social networking based media. There are several advantages and disadvantages of using social media for business marketing and other business related functions (Scott, 2015). Different business houses have gained success recently due to their effective use of social media. There is some benefit of social media for every company if they use it in a correct manner. Without having the knowledge of how to use it properly it can proved to be harmful for any company. In previous years web based social networking used to be considered as a passing prevailing fashion (Scott, 2015). With the increase of social media based consumers different business organization started off with associating their profile with some or the other social media based platform. Social media can serve as a marketing platform in order to launch new products and services (Scott, 2015). It can also be used as a mode of contact between the service providers and the users. With the advent of E-commerce and social media networking business different companies can use them for selling their products and services as well (Scott, 2015).
In current scenario, the customers are busy with their social media accounts and the advertisers can facilitate their advertising, promoting and showcasing through the social media networks.
Advantages of social media
With the correct use of social media networking every company can gain certain facilities and advantages that can proved to be helpful for the progress of the enterprise (Aral, Dellarocas & Godes, 2013). According to the managers of different business firms the advantages that they enjoy can be summed up as following:
- They can gain valuable customer insight from their social media activity. Social media has the capacity to provide your customers a huge number of data in a very short period of time (Aral, Dellarocas & Godes, 2013). The business organization can collect information about their customers. This can be utilized the data in order to decide more intelligent business choices.
- Social media platform can also be used as the mode of gaining loyalty and to increase brand awareness. A strong social media connection can ensure an easy contact between any company and their customers. It is helpful for customer retention and brand loyalty. According to a recent U.S based study 53% of the Americans who follows their brands in different social media networks are more loyal to their brand choices (Aral, Dellarocas & Godes, 2013).
- Social media platforms can also be used as the platform to run the targeted ads with fruitful results. It can be a wise marketing choice as the ad services through social media are inexpensive and affordable for the companies (Aral, Dellarocas & Godes, 2013). Posting ads on social media can help the companies to reach their target audience in a short span of time. It becomes easy for the companies to measure the performance of their advertisement.
- The social media marketing option also helps in generating higher converting leads as the companies have the opportunity of regular interaction with the audience (Aral, Dellarocas & Godes, 2013). It helps to retain the audience and increase the sales.
- Nowadays more than 67% of the consumers use their social media networks as a purchasing platform (Scott, 2015). therefore, the companies through associating with the social networks can improve their service and customer experience.
- With increasing website traffic and search ranking any company can have a higher enquiry position of their company (Jussila,Kärkkäinen & Aramo-Immonen, 2014). It helps to have a successful online marketing strategy for a company.
- Social media can also be used to recognize the activities of the competitors. With the help of web based marketing a company can easily be aware of the activities and marketing strategies and their manners of product showcasing of their competitors (Okazaki & Taylor, 2013).
- Social media networks can be used for faster communication with the audience and the companies can share content in a faster and easier way.
- Social media apart from being used as a marketing and a platform for communication, can also serve the purpose of building relationship with the customers.
Disadvantages of social media
In spite of several advantages there are many disadvantages and threats of using social media as well. Though it is an effective and cheap source of marketing the products and the company, it can also proved to be harmful for a company (Scott, 2015). Without a proper use this mode can have these advantages:
- Sometimes social networking can be intensive the long term commitment and relationship that the social media networks attempts to establish between the companies and the customer, can have an adverse and long term effect on the company (Aral,Dellarocas & Godes, 2013). It is important for every business organization to have a responsible team to communicate with the customers properly. Every business organize should focus on the fact that with a service to manage their social networking activities it can be difficult for the companies to compete.
- According to the opinions of experts for different companies it is critical to ensure their individual trademark and copyrights while utilizing the web based advertising and marketing options (Tsimonis & Dimitriadis, 2014).
- Active use of social media networks can also cause privacy, trust and security issues of the company. It is therefore, important for the organizations to be mindful of the security issues that they might encounter in future (Nielsen & Schrøder, 2014). Trust of the customers is primary aspect that is directly associated with the position of any company. The company needs to work on building and keeping the trust of their customers in order to maintain their reputation.
- Some of the recent studies have found that the customers have spent more time and energy in sharing data, suppositions and contemplations with each other through internet. Advertising systems have included and influenced the person to person communications and because of this more customer generated data and content are being fused through the medium of internet (Hajli, 2014).
- one of the major disadvantages that the use of social media in business is the negative feedback which is generated by the customers (Trainor,Andzulis,Rapp, & Agnihotri, 2014). Negative feedback that the company encounters via social media create both positive and negative pressure on the company. Recently, the power of feedback is rising as the customers check the review of the product or services before they avail them. The negative feedback of a product or service can have adverse effect on the company’s reputation and can decrease their sales as well.
This study is led to identify the advantages and disadvantages of social media networks from the perspective of a business organization (Laroche,Habibi & Richard, 2013). With the increasing technological advancement social media networks are been used by different business organization for promotional and marketing purposes (Vinerean,Cetina,Dumitrescu & Tichindelean, 2013). Therefore, it is identified to be important to discuss other use of social media as well. The study with the help of adequate data attempts to bring out several aspects of social media networks that can proved to be instrumental in the progressive development of different business organizations.
Social media is such a platform that can be established anywhere, anytime with enough knowledge on how to operate the system with the help of internet connectivity. It is important for the marketers, online content creators and the advertisers to consider as a basic part of their communication system. It is noteworthy for the marketers and the advertisers as social media has its impact on every aspect of people’s lives.
Research design and methodology
Research designs indicates a proper structure that has been maintained in order to conduct the study successfully. It is maintained for the structured representation of the overall strategy that has been selected by the researcher in order to integrate different components of the study in a coherent and logical fashion. Research design presents a layout of the complete study. There are mainly three types of research designs namely, descriptive design, explanatory research design and exploratory research design. The researcher for this study attempts to select the descriptive design in order to reach a productive conclusion of the evaluation.
Research methodology describes different tools and techniques that have been used in order to reach the conclusion of the study successfully (Taylor, Bogdan & DeVault, 2015). It is highly important to maintain a correct methodology in order to conduct the study properly. It is important to achieve a proper framework of the study through different methodological tools (Flick, 2015).
Research philosophy is the primary component that formulates the path of the research. There are different research philosophies with their individual characteristics (Panneerselvam, 2014). Based on the topic research philosophy needs to be selected accordingly. For this study positivism has been suggested as the appropriate research philosophy (Smith, 2015). Positivism because of its individual reasoning can be helpful in the developing the conclusion of the evaluation.
Research approach can be defined as the plan that is going to be followed in order to conduct the study. It is evident that correct research approach paves the path for a successful conclusion of the overall study (Smith, 2015). Research approach works as an important instrument that helps to delve deep into the undertaken topic and helps in differentiating different aspects of the study. Research approaches are majorly of two kinds which are inductive approach and deductive approach. In order to conduct the study properly deductive approach has been suggested as the appropriate research approach of this study. \
Data collection method
Choosing the right data collection method is considered to a vital part of the research. Data collection method is distinguished between Primary Data Collection method and Secondary data collection method (Smith, 2015).
Primary data is considered to be the new data that is collected by the researcher whereas secondary data is the already available data that is collected by someone else. Secondary data collection method is suggested as the appropriate one for this study as there is already a huge amount of data available regarding the issue under discussion.
Sampling is a vital part of data collection method. Sample indicates a small proportion of the overall population that has been selected on the basis of few special attributes that they possess. Sampling techniques are of two kinds, probability sampling and nonprobability sampling. Here non probability sampling has been suggested as it seems to be appropriate for the research.
Data analysis technique
It is important to analyse the gathered data using proper techniques. There are primarily three types of data analysis techniques that are been appreciated highly by the researchers. Among qualitative, quantitative and mixed data analysis technique both qualitative and quantitative data analysis technique have been taken under consideration by the researcher (Smith, 2015).
Qualitative method is important to evaluate the already available literature on this research topic and analysing different aspects of social media networks in association with the business. Quantitative method is important for the analysis of the quantitative or the statistical data associated with the issue.
One of the primary limitation of this research is that the study has been conducted in a limited period of time. It has been difficult to understand the complex procedure through which the companies establish a contact with the stakeholders like blogs, user generated contents and social media. It has been difficult to understand the marketing strategies that the companies apply in their social media marketing process because different companies use contrasting strategies from each other.
Because of limited amount of capital thorough research has not been possible by visiting different companies and have the firsthand data with the help of interviews in person with the managers. The research is based on the secondary data and huge amount of already available on the discussion of this particular issue. Because of limited time the relevant data which has been gathered and scrutinized are collected mainly from internet sources. As there is already a huge amount of data available it is problematic for the researcher to select the authentic data. Further studies can be done to focus upon different ways through which the company can effectively use the social networking platform.
Refer to the appendix.
This study different aspect of social networking and its advantages and disadvantages upon any business organization. Both the advantages and the possible adverse effects have been scrutinized with the help of the proper methodology. A hypothesis has been generated with the detailed discussion on the available literature on this particular issue. This project aims to offer new information and enlighten new aspects of social media and its use in business. The existing literature mostly sheds light upon the ways through which social media can be used as a online marketing and advertising platform. This project attempts to go beyond that and identify other aspects of social media when incorporated in any business activity.