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Emergence Of Social Networking Sites

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Question:

Discuss about the Advantages and disadvantages of using social networks in business.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

People belonging to the current era are gradually becoming accustomed with the advancement of technology. The overarching term social networks ensure systematic practice that allows business organizations in improving the way of communication as well as productivity. Social networking is the form of internet based social media programs that allows making an effective connection with business clients as well as customers. Marketers in order to enhance their brand image and reputation intend to use the popularity of social networking platforms (Baltar and Brunet 2012). The enhancement of social networks allows the business organizations in getting familiar with the new customers who even belong to different geographical market.  With the help of social networks number of business can be expanded to different geographical corners. The business executives get the scope to promote their brand and services to various geographical areas. The products and services get the scope to reach beyond regional market. Therefore, business executives get the opportunities to expand their entire process of business in the international market again.

At the same time, the emergence of social networking sites are constituted with some of the major disadvantages as well. After the emergence of social media the business service providers get least opportunity in collecting customers’ feedback by making face to face communication. Customers while providing necessary feedback to the service providers regarding the products as well as services cannot maintain privacy. Feedback through social media or any kind of private forum is not private. They have to make any kind of comment publicly (Picazo-Vela et al. 2012). For that particular reason large number of customers does not intend to provide feedback through social networking sites. Business organizations have to face difficulties in gathering customers’ feedback. This particular study has focused to make an in-depth analysis about the advantages and disadvantages of using social networks in business.

Project Objective

The primary aim of this particular study is to critically evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using social networks in business. With the help of various eminent scholars the study has focused to present both the positive as well as negative impact of using social networking sites. The primary objectives of this specific study are as follows:

  • To critically evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using social networks in business
  • To highlight the factors that affect in using social networking sites within business
  • To provide some of the major recommendations on how the necessary barriers of using social networking sites can be overcome

Project Scope

It has been observed that in last five years business organizations especially small and medium enterprises are facing innumerable difficulties in expanding their entire process of business in different geographical boundaries (Aljabre 2012). People belonging to the various countries are not aware of the products and services of those small and medium organizations. Automatically, the target market of those organizations remains the same. Business executives do not get enough scope and opportunities in enhancing their target market for rendering a boundary on the overall communication. In order to make a change on the overall business process the executives of various organizations have decided to emphasize on the social networking sites for enhancing their overall business process. After the emergence of social networking sites the business managers have faced immense scopes to introduce their brands as well as services beyond going the regional market (Sekaran and Bougie 2016). At the same time, emergence of social network has brought some of the disadvantages on overall business performance as well. This particular study has primarily focused to make an in-depth critical analysis about the impact of social networking on the enhancement of overall business process.

 

Literature Review

Literature review is the systematic procedure of making an in-depth analysis about a particular topic by involving some of the eminent scholars belonging to the contemporary ages. In this specific study an in-depth critical overview about the impact of social media network on the overall business performance has been portrayed.

The overall concept of social networking sites and its significance on business performances

Batjargal et al. (2013) stated that with the dynamic change of global industry the needs and demands of the customers are changing gradually. As per the earlier business scenario, people were very much accustomed with the traditional media networks. Traditional media networks include television, radio and print media and so on. People belonging to different geographical boundaries are not very much familiar with the service process of business organizations especially small and medium enterprises. Therefore, social media platform is one of the most effective media vehicles with the help of which people belonging to different geographical markets can communicate with each other by sitting at their own place. As report says, around 40% of the populations are connected with social networks (Myers 2013). The first billion reached within the year 2005. The second billion reached within 2010 and third billion reached within 2014. After the increase of wide range of social media users the business performers get better scope to interact with their clients (Baruah 2012). At the very initial period the promotional activities were highly dependent on the electronic as well as print media vehicles. International customers get least opportunities in sharing their own opinion regarding the reliability of products and services. In this kind of situation, the social networks have become of the most significant platforms for introducing the brand in the global market.

As emphasized by Sashi (2012), large number of business organizations are primarily associated with some of the most recognizable social media channels for promoting their entire business process in different geographical corners. The social media channels include Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Linkedin, etc. The rate of social media users all over the world includes:

Figure 1: The rate of social media users all over the world

(Source: Zikmund et al. 2013)

The numbers of Facebook users are wide in range in comparison to other social media platforms as opined by Gronum et al. (2012). Large number of business organizations tends to give their online advertisement of products and services through social media pages. People with the current trend do not intend to follow news in a stereotype manner. Therefore, business experts do not intend to use the news channels as their platform of business promotion. After rising the innumerable rate of Facebook users is one of the major advantages for the business experts (Denscombe 2014). As a result, the marketing managers are intending to use Facebook pages for drawing the attention of customers. On the other hand, other people belonging to different geographical markets to use other social networking sites as well. Customers of global areas can get the scope to provide their own point of views regarding the service quality a particular brand in social media platform. Okazaki and Taylor (2013) opined that business experts do not have to go anywhere in order to gather necessary feedback from the customers. This particular study has focused to make an in-depth overview about the positive as well as negative impact of social networking sites in expanding the entire business process. The range of target market can also be increased after the use of social media platform.

The impact of social networks on business organizations

In order to evaluate the impact of social network on the overall business the study has tried to portray both the positive as well as negative impact. As per the opinion of some of the eminent scholars some people are not very much accustomed with the advancement of technology. Rennie and Morrison (2013) stated that especially people who belong to the age group of 40 to 60 are not very much aware of operating technological process. In this kind of situation, social media networks act as a major negative impact on the overall performance level of the organization. At the same time, some of the eminent scholars have stated that social media has emerged as a bridge among the customers of different geographical markets. Business experts are flexible enough in launching the brand in the international market with the help of social media platform. Automatically the business experts have raised their target group beyond going regional market.

After the evaluation on the impact of social media platform on the overall business process this particular study has provided an in-depth overview on how much effective the social media is for enhancing the business performance level of the organization.  While providing some of the major recommendations on how the necessary barriers of using social networking sites can be overcome the study has suggested in providing training and development session to the employees based on which they can enhance their skill and competency level.

 

Necessary advantages and disadvantages of social networking sites

As emphasized by Slovensky and Ross (2012), social networking sites are the flexible platform where the business organizations can create personal profile, own page and forum for collecting customers response. With the growing progress of civilization the business trends are getting changed gradually. Employees are getting accustomed with communicating people with the help of social media platform. In this kind of situation, social media has become one of the most inevitable platforms for business promotions as well as expansion. On the other hand some of the eminent scholars believe that social media platform is possessed with some of the major disadvantages as well. The primary advantages of using social networking sites are as follows:

Connecting the entire world:

Social media has connected the entire world within a specific boundary. An individual social media user can communicate with anyone by sitting at their own place. Therefore, business experts intend to use social media platform for introducing their brands as well as products to the global market. Borgatti, Everett and Johnson (2013) stated that automatically the international customers get an effective scope to provide their feedback regarding the reliability of products. Business executives on the other hand, get an opportunity in enhancing their product variety to meet the needs and demands of global consumers. In this kind of situation, people belonging to different geographical market would like to show their interest in using products as well as services due to the large number of product variety. 

Online advertising attracts global consumers:

Social networks allow the organizational employees to present the advertising campaign Worldwide. Social media users by sitting at their own workplace can view the online advertisement. While presenting the advertising content the marketing executives have to focus on some of the major aspects. Chen and Bryer (2012) stated that the content writers should focus on developing the content in such a way that people belonging to different geographical ages and religious backgrounds can easily understand the content. On the other hand, the business experts should never focus on the people of specific geographical location. Product should be designed in such a way that people of various religious backgrounds can focus on using the products as well as services.

Providing as well as collecting immediate feedback:

With the help of social network platform the customers get the scope to provide an immediate feedback regarding the reliability of products and services (Eriksson and Kovalainen 2015). In most of the cases it has been observed that the business experts have provided negative regarding the quality of products as well as services to the business experts. Based on the customers’ feedback the organization is able to change their strategies and policies for fulfilling the needs and demands of the customers. On the other hand, it has also been observed that business experts get the scope of providing immediate feedback to the customers so that customers do not lose their trust on the organization.

On the other hand social networking sites are not devoid of some of the major disadvantages as well. The primary disadvantages of social media networks are as follows:

Lack of direct communication:

After the emergence of social networking sites the business experts fail to communicate with the customers directly. As a result, the customers do not get the scope of providing direct feedback to the service providers. As per the opinion of Whiting and Williams (2013), direct communication is highly important in order to get an effective feedback from the customers. Social media platform is not competent enough in collecting genuine feedback from the customers as their every comment is published publicly.

Raise of cyber bulling and criminal activities:

The raise of cyber bulling crime activities are increasing day by day after the emergence of social networking sites. Use of social media can expose the individuals for harassment as the entire contact detail is very much exposed to everyone (Dabner 2012). In this kind of situation, people belonging to different geographical markets are facing insecure in using the platform of social media.

 

Influencing only young generation:

Hamat, Embi and Hassan (2012) opined that social media network is influencing young generation only with the help of which aged persons belonging to different geographical boundaries are getting deprived of getting aware of the upcoming brands and products. Therefore, the people belonging to different age group are not very much accustomed with the advancement of technology. In this kind of situation, business organizations fail to draw the attention of customers belonging to different geographical boundaries.

Factors implementing social network on business performance

Some of the major factors that become a serious hindrance in using social networking sites within the process of business are as follows:

Lack of proper training on technology:

As per the opinion of Dabner (2012), senior employees do not have proper training in handling the technological operation. As a result, while providing customer services those employees have to face innumerable difficulties in operating the technological devices. Customers fail to get proper response at the stipulated time. Automatically they intend to show their reluctance in using the products and services from this particular organization. As emphasized by Eriksson and Kovalainen (2015), organizations should always provide an effective training and development session to the employees. As a result, the customers would not have to face difficulties in receiving the service process within specific time. 

Lack of sufficient technological equipments

It has been observed that business organizations especially SMEs sometimes fail to use social media networks for communicating with the customers due to the lack of sufficient technological equipments. On the hand, employees are not capable enough in operating technologies (Chen and Bryer 2012). On the other hand, the employees so not have enough scope in developing their technological skill due to the lack of proper equipments at the workplace. In this kind of situation, services providers have to be dependent entirely on face to face communication, direct marketing and so on.  Technological equipments enable the service providers in maintaining communication by sitting at their own workplace. At the same time, the customers get the scope to receive an immediate response from the customer service providers. 

Lack of economic strength

Economy is one of the most significant factors based on which the rate of business expansion is highly dependent. Organizations are able to implement technological equipments, web page promotion and social media promotion only when the economic strength of the organization is on the favor. It has been observed that large number of business organizations due to the lack of economic strength fail to use social media networks for promoting their business a as well as for communicating with the international customers. As per the opinion of Borgatti, Everett and Johnson (2013), marketing managers should invest sufficient number of budget for the business promotion. As a result, the customers belonging to international markets would become aware of the brands and products.

Limited target customers

As opined by Slovensky and Ross (2012), social media network attracts those kinds of customers who are from young group of ages. Most of the social media users are from young generation. As a result, people belonging to other age group face difficulties in getting proper knowledge and information regarding the reliability of brands and products. In this kind of situation, business organizations are dealing with limited number of target group of people. However, in order to overcome this particular situation, the business experts along with using social media platform can use the popularity of print media as well as electronic media as well. As a result, the people of various age groups would be aware of the reliability as well as validity of brands and the products.

 

Literature gap

The entire study has focused to make an in-depth overview about the impact of using social networks in business. While discussing the impacts of using social networks the study has focused to make a critical overview about the various positive and negative aspects of social media networks. This particular literature review is not devoid of some of its negative effects as well. As per the opinion of some of the eminent scholars social media highly impacts on young generation in committing cyber crime. Therefore, the study could have focused in dealing with the negative impacts of using social networks in more detailed way.

Summary:

The primary purpose of this particular literature review is to highlight the various impact of using social networks in business. In order to portray the various impacts of social networks the study has depicted the opinion of different scholars. People belonging to different geographical boundaries can get the scope of getting an overview about the reliability of brands and the products. Therefore, this particular study has highlighted the positive as well as negative effects of using social networks for promoting entire process of business. At the same time, the study has depicted some of the major factors that highly influence in implementing social networking sites. The study has critically evaluated those factors as well.

Conclusion

This particular study has focused to make a deep insight on the advantages and disadvantages of using social networks in business. Numerous eminent scholars have provided their own opinion about the impact of social networks in enhancing business performances. People belonging to different geographical markets do not have enough knowledge about the reliability of products and services. Therefore, the business executives intend to use the popularity of social media platform for making effective promotional activities. At the same time, it has also been observed that some of the major factors are there that highly prevents the overall performance level of the business organizations. For an example, social networking sites are primarily beneficial for the young generation.

Therefore, people belonging to different ages are not getting aware of the products and services if the organization depends on social media network fully. In the literature review part, the study has focused to make an in-depth critical analysis with the help of which various conspicuous scholars have provided their own opinion about the effectiveness of social network sites on the overall business performance. The emergence of facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram has brought the people of various geographical markets closer. At the same time, the business executives should focus on other media vehicle as well with the help of which people belonging to different age group can also be aware of the brands and services. Business organizations should never be restricted within a specific group of people. Therefore, the marketing executives can use the social networks on one hand for expanding the entire process of business. On the other hand, the marketing managers should be dependent on other platforms of media as well for being attached with customers of middle ages. 

 

Reference List:

Aljabre, A., 2012. Cloud computing for increased business value. International Journal of Business and social science, 3(1).

Baltar, F. and Brunet, I., 2012. Social research 2.0: virtual snowball sampling method using Facebook. internet Research, 22(1), pp.57-74

Baruah, T.D., 2012. Effectiveness of Social Media as a tool of communication and its potential for technology enabled connections: A micro-level study. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, 2(5), pp.1-10.

Batjargal, B., Hitt, M.A., Tsui, A.S., Arregle, J.L., Webb, J.W. and Miller, T.L., 2013. Institutional polycentrism, entrepreneurs' social networks, and new venture growth. Academy of Management Journal, 56(4), pp.1024-1049.

Borgatti, S.P., Everett, M.G. and Johnson, J.C., 2013. Analyzing social networks. SAGE Publications Limited.

Chen, B. and Bryer, T., 2012. Investigating instructional strategies for using social media in formal and informal learning. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 13(1), pp.87-104.

Dabner, N., 2012. ‘Breaking Ground’in the use of social media: A case study of a university earthquake response to inform educational design with Facebook. The Internet and Higher Education, 15(1), pp.69-78.

Denscombe, M., 2014. The good research guide: for small-scale social research projects. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

Eriksson, P. and Kovalainen, A., 2015. Qualitative methods in business research: A practical guide to social research. Sage.

Gronum, S., Verreynne, M.L. and Kastelle, T., 2012. The role of networks in small and medium?sized enterprise innovation and firm performance. Journal of Small Business Management, 50(2), pp.257-282.

Hamat, A., Embi, M.A. and Hassan, H.A., 2012. The use of social networking sites among Malaysian university students. International Education Studies, 5(3), p.56.

Myers, M.D., 2013. Qualitative research in business and management. Sage.

Okazaki, S. and Taylor, C.R., 2013. Social media and international advertising: theoretical challenges and future directions. International marketing review, 30(1), pp.56-71.

Picazo-Vela, S., Gutiérrez-Martínez, I. and Luna-Reyes, L.F., 2012. Understanding risks, benefits, and strategic alternatives of social media applications in the public sector. Government information quarterly, 29(4), pp.504-511.

Rennie, F. and Morrison, T., 2013. E-learning and social networking handbook: Resources for higher education. Routledge.

Sashi, C.M., 2012. Customer engagement, buyer-seller relationships, and social media. Management decision, 50(2), pp.253-272.

Sekaran, U. and Bougie, R., 2016. Research methods for business: A skill building approach. John Wiley & Sons

Slovensky, R. and Ross, W.H., 2012. Should human resource managers use social media to screen job applicants? Managerial and legal issues in the USA. info, 14(1), pp.55-69.

Zikmund, W.G., Babin, B.J., Carr, J.C. and Griffin, M., 2013. Business research methods. Cengage Learning.

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