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The Top 10 Pros and Cons of Social Media in 2021

Social media are must-have tools for a company, but be aware of the potential cons of using them. Learn more about both sides of having a social media account!

Social media has changed the way we interact — but it has also changed the way we do business. Social media marketing campaigns are some of the most effective ways of reaching a wider audience and promoting your business. However, having an active social media presence as a business does come with its own set of complications. So, are there more advantages than disadvantages of social media sites for business? This is what we will explore in this post.

What Are the Advantages of Social Networking Sites?

There are a number of things that make social media platforms a must-have tool for a company:

Borderless networking

One of the key benefits of social media is that you get access to more resources. By creating a social media account for your business, you get to explore business opportunities without borders. This means that more people will know about you and your product — and this translates into more sales, better brand recognition, new markets, and more.

More “selling” hours

A social media account and general online presence extend your working hours way beyond the traditional 9 to 5. Someone scrolling through their social media feed on a completely different timeline may come across your product or service and want to purchase it.

Instant feedback

A social media account is a great way to test out new products and services, deals, discounts, special offers, and more. Your followers will know instantly when you publish a new post and will respond with comments, likes and other activity. This way, you will get a clear idea of how your new offer is performing and will be able to make timely adjustments.

Collaborations

Social media networking makes it much easier to find businesses that you can collaborate with. These may be companies in your niche that offer products and services that go in tandem with yours, influencers who can promote your business, specialized groups for businesses in your niche, and more.

More opportunities to get your message across

Social media offers you lots of ways to reach potential clients and appeal to their values and interests. In addition to targeting your clients with new products and releases, you can use your social media platform to convey important messages. For instance, you can stress that your manufacturing is eco-friendly, focus on the importance of eating healthy, or initiate discussions of important world events and issues.

Low-cost marketing

Using social media can be especially beneficial for small businesses and startups that don’t have a large marketing budget. Social networking is a great way to reach out to a wider audience and get them acquainted with your brand. As of January 2021, there were over 4.66 billion active internet users in the world. Having a social media account gives you a chance to speak to a remarkably large audience and have your story heard.

Search engine visibility

What is the first place you go to when you need a service or product? For most of us, the answer would be Google (or another search engine popular in your country). Having a strong social media presence makes you much easier to locate on the web. So, when someone runs a search for a product or service, there is a good chance that your company will come up in the search results if you are offering it.

Keeping up with the trends

Scrolling through your social media feed is the quickest way to catch up on what’s trending. From challenges to hashtags, there are multiple ways to promote your products and services on a social media platform and get more engagement on your posts. Plus, by interacting with others in your niche, you can come up with joint creative marketing campaigns and stay current.

Lots of free data

By watching what your potential clients engage with on a social media platform, you can learn a lot about their consumer behavior and what they are interested in. Plus, you can use posts and polls on your own account to gain further insights. You can then go on to use this data to adjust your content and marketing strategy to keep your current and future clients happy and engaged.

Better customer support

Your clients will definitely feel more reassured if you do have a social media presence. This way, they will always have a place to turn to if they have questions about your product or service. Your social media account will also be a place where your potential clients may come for reviews and to interact with your existing fan base.

What Are the Disadvantages of Social Networking Sites?

As you can see from our extensive list of social media pros above, there are lots of reasons why a business would generally benefit from a social media presence. With that, it is absolutely essential to be aware of the potential cons of having a social media account.

As with many business marketing practices, social media networking is not without its downsides. Here are some of the main cons of social media networking:

Negative comments and cyberbullying

One of the most unpleasant aspects of having a social media account (whether a business one or a personal one) is that you will probably experience negative comments — and, in the worst-case scenario, cyberbullying. Users may also get into arguments in the comments section under your posts, attacking those with differing opinions. Finally, followers of your competitors may leave unflattering reviews, criticize your business practices and more.

Bots, frauds and scams

Frauds and scams are not the inventions of the internet — but they do thrive in the online environment. According to Facebook, close to 7% of the new accounts on the platform are bot accounts created for fraudulent purposes. These can get you or your followers involved in scams, affect your account activity and more.

Addiction and mental health concerns

Too much of anything is generally bad. It’s the same with social media. Whether you are managing your accounts yourself or have a team dedicated to doing so, spending too much time online can have a detrimental effect on you or your team’s wellbeing. If you are active on social media, make sure to take regular breaks and make your mental health a priority.

Change of focus

As we’ve mentioned right above, social media can be very addictive. This is why it is quite easy to get too involved in your online activities and disregard other aspects of your business operations. It can be especially dangerous for small companies with not a lot of resources to spare. If they focus too many resources on their social media presence, other parts of their business may suffer.

Misleading information

Another downside of using social media is that you really need to filter the information you are getting. This means that you need to be extra careful about what you repost and forward — especially as a business. One of the main “superpowers” of social media is that any idea can go instantly viral — however, this also brings about the danger of sharing incorrect information.

Privacy concerns

For any business, privacy and data security are some of the main considerations when getting involved in any online activity. Having a presence online (even in the form of a social media account) opens you up to potential threats like data theft. Competitors and fraudsters may gain access to your business data and use it to blackmail you or to cause damage to your company. This is why it is absolutely essential to exercise due diligence when having a social media account.

Account hacking

Another unfortunate danger of having a social media account is that that very account can be hacked. If hackers “steal” your account, you may be asked for “ransom” money to get it back. For a lot of businesses, losing an account that they’ve worked hard to build up can be a serious problem, and they may choose to pay the amount asked to get it back. To prevent this from happening, it’s very important to use strong passwords for your account and contact social network support if you suspect unauthorized activity on your account.

Lack of engagement

If you don’t have enough time and other resources to invest in your social media presence, chances are you won’t see the desired response from your audience. These days, managing a social media account can be a full-time job — and a small business may find it difficult to keep up with all the work without a dedicated team. The lack of engagement on your page may lead to you feeling discouraged and also result in a weak online presence.

Copying and mimicking your social media strategy

If your social media account is successful, there is nothing that can prevent your competition from simply copying your strategy. Thus, even if you’ve invested lots of time and other resources into developing a social media strategy that works, a competitor can simply adopt it as their own and achieve the same results.

Failure to reach everyone with social media marketing

While social media marketing is probably an indispensable part of any modern marketing campaign, it is not an all-in-one solution. Depending on the nature of your business, there is a high chance that you won’t be able to reach all your potential clients exclusively via social media. Some people may not be active on social media or even not have accounts on the platform you are using for marketing. Thus, it is important to combine social media marketing with other practices.

Final Thoughts

So, should you have a social media account as a business? Everything points to a strong “yes”. With that, it is important to carefully plan out your social media presence and invest time and resources into creating a social media strategy that works for your business.

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