Advantages of Social Networking for Businesses
Discuss about the Scope of Social Networking Largely.
Social networking has become one of the major topics for discussion among researchers which provides business firms with a platform to get connected digitally with its customers, subsidiary units, suppliers, dealers, and business colleagues. It allows sharing of information, activities, photos, and scope for group discussions. It has become an important tool for managers and employees of business organisation whether small or big to establish and run the business with ease (Elison, 2007). Though there are many who do not consider it as an efficient way and are more inclined to its disadvantages as it may sometimes result in an unexpected failure (Popova, n.d.). Others consider it as a useful and cost effective way which enables to carry on business in diverse areas without the need of going there physically. There are many social sites used by managers like Twitter, Face- book, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. These sites provide assistance to billion’s of business owners which is why social networking is gaining popularity and has become an inevitable part in business. Before making social networking as an integrated function in business for advertising or communicating, its consequences must also be considered or else may become the reason for fallback. In this research paper, the pros and cons of social networking will be reviewed on the basis of discussions made by authors and researchers who have observed its implications, culture, customs and importance which can provide assistance for employers to make decision regarding implementing social networking in their business (Claywell, n.d.).
The scope of social networking (SNS) identified in literature depends largely on factors like the kind of people involved and the amount of involvement required connecting socially with targeted people to fulfil the ultimate goal. In bigger companies where brand recognition plays an important part like food and beverage industry, electronic appliances, mobile phones, Construction Company, etc. social networking proves very effective and fast way in which customers are made aware about the products and services (AT&T Intellectual Property, 2008). On other hand it can also be said as an effective and time saving means of advertisement. Introduction and testing of new products seems easier with customer feedback and response which ultimately saves time and reduces costs of campaigning. In big organisations, social networking enables the employees and management to connect and exchange information digitally which also is saved for further references. Earlier people used to communicate with the help of letters and faxes which required physical storage and were accessible in place where they were kept or sent. Social networking plays an important role here as the requirement of physical storage is relieved and can be accessed simultaneously by many people as required in businesses like share trading, group discussions, online training, blog sharing, etc (Philippa Collin, 2011).
Disadvantages of Social Networking for Businesses
The reasons to adopt social networking in business is not limited to marketing or sharing information, but also connecting with the customers in a positive way who provides influence to the business. Advertising by mediums of televisions or magazines and Emailing has become a traditional way of marketing as it does not connect directly with person associated. In business where developing relationship with customer is essential, social networking provides evidence of smooth functioning like in online shopping; IT enabled services, website designing firms, customer service agencies, etc (Fernando, 2012). It also allows interacting people within the firm or with outsiders and thus enables prompt answering during conversation (Bank, 2014). Where visual interactions are required and considered beneficial, like project discussions with visual presentation to clients in distant areas, or selecting brand campaigning ideas with graphic demonstrations among employees, social networking again becomes essential.
Advantages of SNS are various and can be taken as an inevitable part in today’s business where the idea of business owners have changed and does not limits to provide with product or service only but to gain sustainability with brand recognition. The advantage of sharing knowledge and information among group of people can be spontaneous as SNS enables quick questioning and feedbacks. While discussing, time and energy of travelling is saved while the quality of meetings is not reduced and allows visualizing things in broader ways. SNS is one of the cheapest modes of interaction within the organisation which requires only a digital device and internet connections and thus has gained much prominence in growing nature of organisations. The ability of reaching targeted customers and suppliers without wasting much time and energy is another important role of SNS in business. According to a recent survey made by Forbes, 94% of corporate industries use Social Networking Medias in their business to give exposure to their effort (DeMers, 2014). Brand recognition is another factor which attracts firms to get involved in SNS as it provides one of the finest tools for branding of products and services. More people are getting attached to SNS and prefer them to identify different brands with comparison while making purchases. Social Medias presents comments and discussions about the product or service which helps customers to make decisions for buying them. On the basis of their selection they make further recommendations on social website and the circle goes on. This in return also provides information to the firms relating customer demands and drawbacks of their products along with knowledge about areas that require to be considered (DeMers, 2014).
In business there are times when information sharing becomes important especially in partnership firms, joint ventures, subsidiaries, and others who are associated and require sharing day to day information and services. Getting connected is another problem faced by large organisations whose divisions are spread or whose work is related to outside connections. Having a broad network of people to make contacts at the time of urgent and quick decisions, SNS plays fair and helps in reducing risks which could otherwise happened in absence of on the time connectivity (Lianxi Zhou, 2007). Promoting product or service in social media is another advantage that helps in getting poignant carrier, prolific initialisation of new product and introducing new associate to the firm (Copp, 2016). It assists in dispersing good information about products of organisation or associated people which in return leads to develop career opportunities and advancement of the firm. Thus not only material growth is established but people related opportunities are also enhanced. There are many online discussion groups and websites to which organisations are attached which helps them to select people. They can make contacts with them later and can introduce them to their firms with the help of SNS and thus reduces the initial process of human resource management (RANJAY GULATI, 2000). Thus after analysing positive facts of social networking, it can be measured as an important tool for increasing exposure and interconnectivity in any business.
While reviewing social networking impacts on business, many disadvantages had also been identified that are associated with it and can devastate the target behind social networking. There are several online websites and individual who specialises in committing theft and fraud. While uploading data online, exchange of it requires cyber permissions and links which are copied and formatted by scammers and can lead the company towards wrong direction or even loss of significant details. Many companies have faced such problems which had also led to their bankruptcy for example in case of Sony Cyber Failure where the company had to bear a large amount of data breach (The Sileo Group, 2017). There are many banks like Lloyds bank and Oschad Bank in Ukraine which have experienced cyber attacks recently (SecureUrLife, 2017). The social networking can occasionally become time consuming method as the two way interaction, which is its prime target, can sometimes take lots of time.
The changes in market and business environment are focussed in building long term relations with customers who can bring in more sales to the company. As it is a long process and does not develop in few days, time investment is required by the company so as to procure more data in longer period for healthier change (Kumar, 2017). Other disadvantage noticed in literature is SNS invites outsiders to get hold of internal management data under the name of account maintenance, data analysis, planning and other important discussions. In daily routine these are few important works which are sometimes outsourced to different agencies via social networking sites. Although there are many trusted websites who performs the work genuinely, but few of them takes advantage of the situation and makes improper use of data and also sells them to their business competitors. Thus it becomes very important on the management part to ensure privacy and data security (Takahashi, 2011).
Since online promotion of products does not enables customers to touch or feel the product, it becomes difficult for the customer’s part to make decisions regarding any new product which in turn has a negative impact on the business. Also the threat among customers regarding false products listed online can become an issue as internet marketing is considered unreliable and unsafe to some extent.
Company trademark and copyrights are also at a risk while promoting brands on social media. Many false companies exploit the intellectual properties of famous brands and can facilitate information regarding trademarks and copyright. They misuse the data and sell their products under namesake of other brands and while customers get cheated, it results in losing brand image (Yazdanifard, n.d.).
It is very necessary on the company’s part to make proper look out of their trademark and copyright and monitor the same on regular basis. Organisations must make their agreement with social sites that can help in safeguarding company’s data by making certain rules and regulations to specify the proper use of intellectual properties so as third parties are unable to misuse them. Other issues of SNS are loss of customers due to negative feedback of product or services. While launching any product, not every customer is satisfied or happy and can give negative feedback on social sites. This in return leaves bad impression on other customers and makes them rethink to buy that product and hence the ultimate goal of business is hampered. Thus after analysing it can be said that social networking if not utilised with proper care and caution, can result in adverse affect in business.
With fast and increasing accessibility over technology and internet, social networking has become topic of consideration by business owners, marketers, advertiser’s, and online data creator’s. Today not only customers get benefitted with social marketing but also the business employees gains over it by promoting themselves for job application or promotion. The effects of social networking although is risk oriented but at the same time has become an inevitable part in business. The above literature review about advantages and disadvantages concludes in the advancement of online technology in business units in which the firm’s shares information within and outside its unit. On an average not every organisation understands the pitfalls of SNS and requires of understand the pros and cons about it. A successful organisation is the one which comprehend the basic ideology and strategy of utilising social media and uses the same in an effective and improved way. If recognised properly it might be fruitful in achieving customer engagement, brand promotion, interconnection within the organisation etc (RANJAY GULATI, 2000). Thus the key result of social networking in business can be said as an element to provide boost up to the business along with making relationship within and outside business environment.
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