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Advantages And Disadvantages Of Social Networking On Business

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Question:

What Is the Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Networking on Business Promotion?

 

Answer:

Introduction:            

A business has to deal with a hundred different challenges to survive and sustain in the ever changing dynamic economy. The consumer market continues to change every day and keeping the customers happy as become nothing short of a huge accomplishment (Albarran 2013). There was once a time in the history of business market when a single brand only produced a particular kind of product, a time in the past where a product characterized a brand. The scenarios have changed drastically since the time and the corporate world has transformed itself into a complete strangers. Gone are the days when a product made a name for the brand, now the brand name sells the products (De Vries, Gensler and Leeflang 2012).

In the era of retail marketing, there is no product discretion left in the business world. Every brand has expanded its product variety to the hilt and the competition is sky high. In order to deal with the mounting competition the marketing realm has transformed as well. The age old ad campaigns just do not cut anymore, the current age is all about on the go marketing (Ashley and Tuten 2015). Ever since World Wide Web came into existence, the human society has never been the same. Every single human being irrespective of age or gender are hooked to the wonders of internet, with the groundbreaking technologies like smart phones at the fingertips nothing is unattainable. Internet blogging and social media has taken over our existence and it has taken over business market along the way. This report will discuss the good and the bad of using social media marketing tool for the growth of business ventures (Albarran 2013).

 

Social media marketing:

In the early days of marketing, ad campaigns and news paper articles was all it had to offer. With the ‘back then’ craze being the television, electronic media caused the surge for the different brands became well acquainted with the general mass by the virtue of electronic media and funny and attractive ads (Bae 2012). However ever since the social media came around, the marketing world has witnessed the revolution never seen before. It has changed the known facts and figures, methods and techniques of the good old PR realm. Social media has not been just a tool to the marketing giants; it has been the boon and the blessing that allowed them to reach their target market by all means (Berthon et al. 2012).

Social media marketing encompasses the kids, the young, and the not so young with a massive impact ad connects with them in a level that the marketing world never saw before. The boom the popularity of different business venture due to social media marketing has been more overwhelming than exciting (Bae 2012). And anything with that revolutionary impact has its own sets of pitfalls also with the heaps of benefits that it bestows the world with. The market who’s who is still trying to discover ways with which they can utilize in the right manner that can avoid the risks associated with it (De Vries, Gensler and Leeflang 2012).

Different social media platforms:

Studies suggest that social media marketing is a elemental discovery of this century that will take the corporate marketing to a whole another dimension. However the business companies are still struggling to find a stable way to utilize the social media marketing in a manner that would not potentially put the brand name to a huge risk (De Vries, Gensler and Leeflang 2012). However, the power of online marketing and the grip it has over the target market cannot be denied. Various authors have stated that the main element behind the huge success of online media marketing is the vast array of different platforms (Bae 2012).

Facebook and Twitter probably are the very first social media platforms introduced in the market, and history will remember the off the charts success and response it received from the target market. At this tech savvy age, a novice to facebook and twitter can hardly be found. And due to their incomparable success of these two are by far the most abundantly used marketing platforms. Facebook, the young generation craze has so much more to offer than an interconnected world of strangers (Bae 2012). A facebook page allows any business venture to create a fan page for a service or a product, a page that the users can follow to be updated about the business operations of the services and products. On the other hand the handy twitter handles allows 140 character long posts or tweets, as popularly known as, about the services or products offered. After these online media giants the next two entries demand equal recognition (Erdo?mu? and Cicek 2012).

Youtube, as argued by different authors, are the best and most effective substitute of electronic media with a much more diverse scope or promise. Youtube provides the companies albeit virtual but the most realistic scope to know and see what business companies are offering (De Vries, Gensler and Leeflang 2012). On the other hand, LinkedIn is completely professional interface that allows different business opportunities to reach you. Blogs are the repository for the journals of online journals written about a product, a services or a review of the both. And lastly websites like Pinterest and Digg offers you to bookmark and save different posts about a new product or a newly launched service and save it to revisit later. Apart from theses abundantly used social media platforms there are a lot more, the websites of a different company or brand being another way to attract the customers. With these many options there are a myriad of advantages to using social media as a marketing tool (Erdo?mu? and Cicek 2012).

 

Advantages of social media marketing:

Ever since its immergence of social networking, it has changed the face of the marketing and PR completely. Fosdick in his article suggested that the biggest and most thrilling advantage to social networking is the fact that it is extremely cost affective (Fosdick 2012). It has to be mentioned that most of the social networking sites are free to access and create a profile to access the target market. And the little to no cash that these websites charge is insignificant on te wake of the amount of attention it attracts from a global target market. Hence with just a little investments and a team of quality PR management, business venture are not just able to react a global customer base but stay connected to them and update about the customer what steal your details at the irresistible price with uncompromised quality. Pay per click advertisement strategies of social media like facebook or youtube might seem to burn a whole in the pocket but considering the global sensation that these websites are, the benefits vastly outweigh the cost (Stelzner 2013).

The reach of this websites are another huge plus to using this marketing technique, studies suggest that the social media sites makes a business brand visible like a beacon and positions it in the league of global market. A catchy slogan or tagline posted to the social media can easily become the viral sensation and increase your brand recognition globally (Tuten and Solomon 2014). A detailed critical study on the efficacy of the social media marketing has explained that over 91% of marketers across the globe claim that their social marketing efforts have heavily decreased the cost and exponentially increased their exposure in the market worldwide (Hays, Page and Buhalis 2013).

Other than that social media marketing increases the inbound traffic to a substantial amount. It should not escape notice that without social media marketing the business operation will only attain the usual customers but expanding into online media will allow you to attain a traffic surpassing all country borders. Other than that a business venture with good social media popularity is known to have higher conversion rates (Hays, Page and Buhalis 2013). With the increased visibility, every single blog or media post will attract more viewers and keep increasing conversion opportunities. Heymann-Reder suggested in his article on the comparison of social media and conventional marketing strategies have shown online media marketing to have a whooping 100 % higher lead to close rate than traditional brand promotional strategies (Heymann-Reder 2012).

Lastly social media marketing allow the customers to be connected to their favorite brands at all times, this inclusion not only makes them feel more valued but also allows them to reach out to the service providers to resolve any issues they might have. And studies suggest that it elevates that customer satisfaction rates radically (Heymann-Reder 2012).

 

Risks and disadvantages:

With the unending list of irresistible advantages there also are a number of risks associated with the social media marketing. The first and foremost disadvantage of the social networking sites is the obscene amount of time it takes (Saravanakumar and Sugantha Lakshmi 2012). With so many people using the interface at the same time anything can go wring within seconds and a experienced team has to be at the beck and call for sabotages and pitfalls of using social networking as a marketing tool (Kim and Ko 2012). Other than that there is need for constant updating the social media stature of your brand or service to keep up with the cut throat competition of this age. Kumar and Mirchandani in their article state that marketing professionals need to keep the followers enthralled and captivated with the conservative and communicative quality to avoid losing the followers (Kumar and Mirchandani 2012).

Keeping aside the obvious challenges of social media marketing, it also is associated with a number of potential risks. Veteran and his coauthors in their article have suggested that  there might have a saying in the past that any publicity is good publicity, but in case of social media brand reputation is everything (Vinerean et al. 2013). A disgruntled customer posting a ton of negative feedback can seriously affect the brand reputation and in turn the customer loyalty. Hence unless there is highly efficient and productive PR team handy, it is difficult to manage negative online media traffic (Papasolomou and Melanthiou 2012). Other than that only hacking and virus and malware can also affect the efficacy of the social media presence of the brand. According to the recent report from the IT Audit and control governance authority the five major risks associated with the social media marketing are virus and malware, online hacking, confidentiality and privacy of corporate content, unrealistic and unrelenting customer demands and noncompliance, without addressing these five risk factors the smooth sailing social media marketing can approach a huge pitfall (Saravanakumar and SuganthaLakshmi 2012).

 

Conclusion:

On a concluding note, it can be said that there are a few risk factors associated with the social media marketing along with the wealth of benefits it provides. The growth and popularity it provides to the business companies is unparalleled and it can be the much needed boost to the small ventures that are not that visible to the target market across the globe. However most of the companies are not willing to take the plunge or do not know how manage the dynamic ways of social media market.

Critically thinking in case of small scale businesses the risks associated with using social networking as a marketing tool, can  be a little too much to handle with limited manpower and meager experience in the market. However, it should not escape notice that the conventional methods of marketing are not devoid of any risk either. Hence with correctly placed strategies to address the potential risk factors and downfalls social media marketing toll can be the innovation that takes corporate marketing towards a new dimension.

 

References:

Albarran, A.B. ed., 2013. Social Media Marketing (pp. 86-104). New York and London: Routledge.

Ashley, C. and Tuten, T., 2015. Creative strategies in social media marketing: An exploratory study of branded social content and consumer engagement. Psychology & Marketing, 32(1), pp.15-27.

Bae, W.C., 2012. Social media marketing.

Berthon, P.R., Pitt, L.F., Plangger, K. and Shapiro, D., 2012. Marketing meets Web 2.0, social media, and creative consumers: Implications for international marketing strategy. Business horizons, 55(3), pp.261-271.

De Vries, L., Gensler, S. and Leeflang, P.S., 2012. Popularity of brand posts on brand fan pages: An investigation of the effects of social media marketing. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 26(2), pp.83-91.

Erdo?mu?, ?.E. and Cicek, M., 2012. The impact of social media marketing on brand loyalty. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 58, pp.1353-1360.

Fosdick, M.A.G.G.I.E., 2012. The globalization of social media: Consumer relationships with brands evolve in the digital space. Strategic Direction, 28(6).

Hays, S., Page, S.J. and Buhalis, D., 2013. Social media as a destination marketing tool: its use by national tourism organisations. Current issues in Tourism, 16(3), pp.211-239.

Heymann-Reder, D., 2012. Social Media Marketing. Addison-Wesley Verlag.

Kim, A.J. and Ko, E., 2012. Do social media marketing activities enhance customer equity? An empirical study of luxury fashion brand. Journal of Business Research, 65(10), pp.1480-1486.

Kumar, V. and Mirchandani, R., 2012. Increasing the ROI of social media marketing. MIT Sloan Management Review, 54(1), p.55.

Papasolomou, I. and Melanthiou, Y., 2012. Social media: Marketing public relations’ new best friend. Journal of Promotion Management, 18(3), pp.319-328.

Saravanakumar, M. and SuganthaLakshmi, T., 2012. Social media marketing. Life Science Journal, 9(4), pp.4444-4451.

Stelzner, M.A., 2013. 2013 Social media marketing industry report: How marketers are using social media to grow their businesses. SocialMediaExaminer. com.

Tuten, T.L. and Solomon, M.R., 2014. Social media marketing. Sage.

Vinerean, S., Cetina, I., Dumitrescu, L. and Tichindelean, M., 2013. The effects of social media marketing on online consumer behavior. International Journal of Business and Management, 8(14), p.66.

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