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Pros And Cons Of Social Networking Sites

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Question:

Discuss about the Pros and Cons of Social Networking Sites.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction:

Social networks can be defined as the network of social interactions where personal relationships play a major role. Social networking in business is the latest trend which is gaining popularity year by year. It brings people together to interact with each other. Social networking can be done through many platforms where different parties can communicate and share information with each other (Australian Government, 2015). The secondary data collected on the possible advantages and disadvantages of using social networks in business which will be discussed in this section. Different authors have different views on the subject. The literature discussed will highlight the main benefits of using social networks in business and the flaws of it. The viewpoints shared by different authors will be compared and contrasted.

The main objectives of the literature review are to show an understanding of the topic by referring to various secondary sources and by critically analysing the literature. The objectives include the differences and conclusions which are made by different authors on the topic ‘Advantages and Disadvantages of using Social Networks in Business’. The gaps are identified in the existing literature in the end.

 

Literature Review comparative analysis

According to Van Der Bank (2015), social media or network is now a buzzword in business. The increase in the use of social networks in business has played a prominent role in the success of the business.  It does not only help in communicating with the mass population but also stimulates the sales and productivity of the business. The number of business like travel and tourism, retail sector, hotels, etc. has earned a lot of benefits from social networking. Van der Bank (2015) presents his views that the world is changing rapidly because globalisation is playing its part. The customers from all over the world can be reached when there is a good social media involvement by the business. Good social networks help business in reaching customers sitting at any corner of the world. Increase in competition also arise a need for the business to be more innovative and responsive which can be done with good social networks (Holmes, 2015).

As per Nadaraja & Yazdanifard (2013), Social networking has become one of the most important concepts in the business. The businesses are now involved in marketing which is done through social media websites. This is known as Social media marketing. Social media marketing has made it easy for the businesses to reach customers and target them effectively.  On the contrary, it also has some challenges. One of the main advantages of Social networking is decrease in overall costs. The social media websites provide free subscription and maintenance to the businesses.  It also increases the chances of spreading information from one person to another. In lower costs and time, the information is spread over mass population which provides the ultimate benefit to the business (Smith & Vardiabasis,  2010).

Arca (2012), in the thesis presents that social networking creates huge opportunities to the companies for promoting their brands and helps in achieving the success.  Social networking is growing at a good rate and average hours spent on social media is 4.6 hours per week. Social media has a huge impact on the customers of the business. It is now the most common tool which influence the purchase made by the consumers.

As per Abedniya & Mahmouei (2010), Social networking has not only become an integral part of the lives of individuals but also of businesses. It has now become a challenge for the businesses to use social networking tools and to connect with maximum number of population. Social networks help business because the information is passed from one another rapidly. It is word of mouth which helps business in setting up its image and reputation in the market. There are some social media networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace which spreads information like no other tool can do. Social networking has millions of users which helps in quick acquisition and retention of the customers by the business. In addition, Siricharoen (2012) adds up that Social networking has highly influenced the buying behaviour, thought process, education, shopping and relationships of the individuals.

Social networking is wide and helps in accessing mass population and that is why it is highly preferred by the business. The companies should choose the social networking method which suits the goals and objectives of the business. The business should fully participate in the social networks and show dedication to get maximum benefits of the social networking tools. It further adds that social networks can be used for building up long term relationships with the customers but this is not the sure shot method to generate income for the business.  Social networking tools may provide the benefits of gaining the customers beyond the borders. It helps in expansion of the business as well (Siricharoen, 2012).

 


As per Copp (2012), social networking is not about creating customers and encouraging sales for the products and services but it is a kind of activity which helps in building relationships between the customers and sellers. It helps in growing business and to get engaged with the target customers. It also assists in increasing the brand awareness and enhances the loyalty of the brand. A study conducted by The Social Habit shows that 53 per cent of the Americans are loyal to the brands which they follow on social media. This shows that social networking is helping the brands in establishing loyalty among the consumers.

In the views of Holmes (2015), in the present business world, it is impossible to imagine the business without social networking. The digital transformation and social media has helped companies to boost their earnings. As per the report of McKinsey Global, only 3% of the businesses are maximizing this opportunity which is available for trillions of businesses.

Problems in Social networking

On the contrary Tretenhahn (2011) views that through social networking is the combination of traditional sales and social media tools, it is not the complete replacement of the traditional methods of sales.  Social networking is not completely reliable and may have distorted information which contributes in the loss of image and reputation of the business. European Commission (2010) further adds that Social networking poses certain advantages which include the direct impact of social networking on the promotion and sales of the business.

As per Tiwari (2012), there are many legal considerations with the social networks.  The content is very expensive for the businesses and the effect of the same might disappear after a certain period of time. According to Queensland Government (2017), Social networking is no doubt beneficial for the business but it also carries risks with it which includes the wastage of money and time without providing any return to the business. It can also promote negative aspects of the business. The users may post negative comments about the business which are visible to everyone and people may form wrong image of the business in their minds which ultimately affects the reputation of the business.  It may also create privacy issues or copyright issues. Others may copy the ideas if it is not copyrighted by the business. According to Sachs (2016), social media has been a game changer in business but it depends on the ability of the businesses that how they use the greatest innovation in technology for getting benefits in the business. There are so many social networking sites like Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest and many more which provides benefits as well as harms to the business depending on the usage of the same (Zwilling, 2013).

The papers chosen for completing the literature review are accurate and are good enough to conduct the quality research.  All the sources are been referenced properly at the end of the literature review which includes all the valid details about the source. It contains details like who published the source and the title of the literature source with the year details in which it was published. All the sources are supported with the evidences and the credentials of author are also mentioned. The content used is secondary which is been already used somewhere else but supports the research on the topic of the literature review ‘Advantages and Disadvantages of using Social Networks in Business’.

 

Currency of paper chosen for Literature Review

The sources referred for completing the literature review are published in or after the year 2010. This is because the content referred has to be up to date and not out of context from the topic. The latest information is preferable than to the information which is older. Most of the sources are from articles and from online news articles which shows the current versions of the knowledge and up to date source. During the process of analysis of secondary sources, for the purpose of completing the research, it is taken care that more recent information is taken into account.

Validity and reliability of the paper is required to be checked to check that how genuine is the research. The researches referred have come from the genuine sources where the year and credentials of the author are mentioned. It the details are taken from a website, full web address is been mentioned to show the accuracy and reliability of the source.  Validity refers to the relevance of the paper to the research question. Reliability is when the data is authentic, genuine and trustworthy. Whether the source is reliable or not, it can be decided by going through its year of publishing, author details and credibility of the source.

Research gap can be understood as the lack of studies and approach in answering the research question. It can also be referred as the gap between existing research and the new research. The gap is when the question of the research is not answered through the collection and analysis of data. The research gap in the existing researches or articles is the lack of analysis of the benefits or harms of social networking on the businesses in real. This gap has to be bridged by going through various articles, their views and opinions and then conducting the research which answers the question of the present research. Contribution has been made in this paper by referring to different articles and by comparing and contrasting them to get the final conclusion of the paper.

 

Conclusion

It can be concluded that the businesses can have a lot of benefit from social networking but it is up to the businesses that how they use these sites. They can provide their message r content effectively to the target customers by the help of using  social networking. But the business should know how to use tactics and principles of the social networking tools. The literature review discussed about the advantages and disadvantages of social networking to the business. Different views and opinions of different authors are been discussed. By comparing them it can be concluded that in the period of globalisation,  social networking has become an important part of the business. 

It creates wonderful opportunities to the business but also poses challenges. Millions of people in the world are now connected through social networks and the business can adopt the practices like risk management, Insurance or copyrights which will help them in meeting the challenges. Social networking  improves communication and derives business Intelligence. Social networking is more effective than traditional methods of communication in businesses. Both can be used in combination to get the best results.

 

References

Abedniya, A & Mahmouei, S S 2010, ‘The Impact of Social Networking Websites to Facilitate the Effectiveness of Viral Marketing’, International Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Applications. Vol. 1, No.6.

Arca, C 2012, ‘Social Media Marketing benefits for businesses Why and how should every business create and develop its Social Media Sites?’, Master of International Marketing.

Australian Government, 2015, ‘Pros and cons of using social media for business’, Retrieved from https://www.business.gov.au/info/run/advertising-and-online/pros-and-cons-of-social-media.

Copp, E 2016, ’10 Benefits of Social Media for Business’, Hootsuite. Retrieved from https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-for-business/.

European Commission, 2010, ‘Social Networks Overview’, European Union. Retrieved from https://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/ict/netmedia/docs/publications/social-networks.pdf.

Holmes, R 2015, ‘Why Businesses Can’t Survive Without Social Media’, Fortune.

Nadaraja, R & Yazdanifard, R 2013, ‘Social Media Marketing Social Media Marketing: Advantages and Disadvantages’, Research Gate.

Queensland Government, 2016, ‘Using Social media to market your business: the basics’. Retrieved from https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/marketing-sales/marketing-promotion/online-marketing/social-media.

Sachs, J 2016, ‘The 7 Best Social Media Channels for Business Marketing’, The Huffington Post.

Siricharoen, W V 2012, ‘Social Media, How does it Work for Business?’, International Journal of Innovation, Management and Technology, Vol. 3, No. 4.

Siricharoen, W V 2012, ‘Social Media, How does it Work for Business?’, International Journal of Innovation, Management and Technology, Vol. 3, No. 4.

Smith, W R & Vardiabasis, D 2010, ‘Using social media as a competitive advantage: the case of small businesses’, Problems and Perspectives in Management.

Tiwari, H 2012, ‘Pros and Cons Of Social Networking Sites’, International Journal for Science and Emerging Technologies with Latest Trends, 1(1).

Tretenhahn, S 2011, ‘Discuss the advantage and disadvantage of using social networking tools and concepts in the meeting industry’, AIM Group International.

Van Der Bank, C M 2015, ‘The impact of social media: advantages or disadvantages’, African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure, Vol. 4 (2).

Zwilling, M 2013, ‘7 Steps to Productive Business Use of Social Media’, Forbes.

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