6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media in Business

7 Min Read
Social media is one of the most tried-and-true business tactics for increasing customer engagement. But is it the right tool for you?

Social media, like most things, is a double-edged sword. It can help your business tremendously if you know how to use it. But, it could be a waste of time and other resources if you don’t. As nearly 4.5 billion people use social media worldwide, by creating a social media account for your business, you’ll be able to reach clientele you didn’t know you could have.

Still, you should consider carefully before making accounts on several platforms just because you can.

1. Pro: You gain a channel of communication with your customers and leads.

Social media is the easiest way to connect with would-be customers these days. Nearly every customer who has worked with or purchased from you in the past likely has a social media account.

You can reach out to them to tell their friends about your new presence on social media. Also, you should have messages open so people can contact you with offers of collaboration or questions about your products and services. Open yourself up to conversation from people.

Publicly thanking consumers for their praise and admitting shortcomings in response to criticism can be an excellent way to showcase your strengths. It shows that your business listens to and cares about what consumers think of the brand. As 47% of customers find brands more favorable when they answer questions and respond to complaints via social media, you’ll simultaneously be positioning your brand in a more favorable light.

2. Con: You might rely on ads.

Of course, to find those aforementioned would-be customers, you have to grab their eyes on social media.

Word of mouth might be the most popular and effective advertising tool. However, if you can’t reach new groups of people through it, you’ll have to branch out.

Ads on social media often aren’t expensive, and they can draw plenty of people to you via demographic targeting. You may find ads worth the investment. But, if leads start to see your ads too much, it could backfire on your business quickly.

3. Pro: Your page can unite like-minded people.

By running a social media account for your business, you can draw your customers together in one place.

They all have something in common: a love for your business! People may be able to identify a support system full of people who understand their stage of life by simply interacting with them in the comments.

You can bring together new friends and create a community that adores your business and everything you offer.

4. Con: Social media is time-consuming.

There’s a reason why being a social media manager is its own job.

First of all, you have to choose someone who knows how to curate certain content for any kind of audience. You also have to have someone make graphics and content for your page.

You also have to have that person on standby to reply to any questions in the comment sections or direct messages. They should also research the latest trends or changes in the app and algorithms. You should start with one social media platform instead of all of them.

5. Pro: You can answer frequently asked questions.

Having information on your social media accounts can help you answer the hot questions your leads ask without taking it to direct messages right away.

Restaurants and food services can include their menus on their social media pages, thereby answering any questions on what they offer and the exact price a customer should expect to pay.

You can explain more about your business by linking your website to your social media. Highlights on Instagram can be great for FAQs, as you can save a permanent question sticker that allows people to go back and ask questions whenever they feel like it — and you can post the answers to your story when applicable and save them to the FAQ highlight.

Similarly, you can put more information about your company in a lengthy about section on Facebook, which also supports direct menu uploading for any business that provides food or beauty services.

6. Con: Social media requires extensive monitoring.

You shouldn’t allow a conversation in your comments to spiral out of control.

When someone has a legitimate criticism, it’s common for brands to reply to let them know their voice has been heard and thank them for the new perspective they brought.

You’ll also want to monitor the comment section for any arguments that break out. You don’t want to give off the impression that your business tolerates hate speech or other inflammatory and offensive things.

You should have a community moderator keeping an eye on your comment sections — or limit them so that only people who follow your account can make comments.

What’s the verdict?

As a business owner, whether your company chooses to use social media should be your decision alone.

If you decide to create accounts on social media, try to focus on the platforms that give you the most return on your investment rather than spreading yourself thin across multiple platforms.

When choosing the person who will run your social media accounts, make sure to pick someone who knows what they’re doing and understands the algorithms. The more you invest in your social media game, the more payoff you’re likely to see.

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As a business technology writer for ReHack Magazine, April Miller is passionate about researching and spreading awareness of the latest technologies impacting the business world.