Where would we be without social media? Well, we probably wouldn’t be glued to our mobiles on a near 24/7 basis for starters.
But let’s think about other implications, especially for business owners. On the one hand, social media has many advantages, and in many ways, it has helped them to grow their businesses.
While social media can be a blessing for business owners, it can also be a curse. Let’s take a look at both the advantages and disadvantages of social media, and pay special attention if you’re a business owner yourself.
Blessing: Social media is a great way to increase brand awareness
There are all kinds of ways to create brand awareness. Business owners can take out ads in the classifieds, pay for billboards, and send out marketing materials to existing and potential customers. These are all useful strategies but they can be costly.
Thank goodness for social media then. Business owners can advertise on social media without spending a penny. Well, this isn’t entirely true. There are paid options, such as Facebook Ads, but it is possible to advertise for free simply by posting content regularly. Furthermore, brand awareness can be increased when social media users share content with their networks.
Curse: Bad content can lead to poor brand recognition
A great social media post can do much for the business owner. It can attract positive attention, build brand trust, and have the potential to go viral.
But let’s talk about social media fails. As you can see from the linked article, it is possible to post content that creates negative attention, often because of offence caused. Companies are then left red-faced with subsequent social media posts being apologies instead of attempts at advertising. The message for business owners? Be careful what you post, as while big companies can sometimes escape unscathed, the same might not be true for small business owners.
Blessing: Social media can be a platform for generating leads
Business owners can generate leads on the phone, at business meetings, and through referrals. They can also generate leads on social media.
Customers can directly get in touch with business owners after following links to their business landing pages, and business owners can use social lead ads as part of their social media marketing. Business owners can also approach customers or potential clients directly after searching for people in their demographic. LinkedIn would be a good place for B2B sales leads, for example.
Curse: Angry customers can create havoc on social media
How many times have you vented your rage on social media? You may have created a post that expressed your anger or you may have visited the page of the business that grieved you and left an angry comment.
Social media can be a breeding ground for bad word of mouth. Once a person learns of the bad practices of a business via a customer, they can share critical posts and links with others. Before long, the reputation of the business could be left in tatters, unless steps are taken by the business owner to make amends before things have escalated too far.
Blessing: Social media is good for customer service
Many businesses employ staff members to monitor social media channels. These employees follow up with customers when feedback is left and they actively talk to customers online using chat options such as Messenger.
In this regard, special media is a blessing for customers as they no longer have to wait an age for an email reply and they don’t need to be put on hold with a phone call. Business owners can see the advantages too, as they can gain customer loyalty after implementing ways to communicate on social media.
Curse: Social media can lead to employee downtime
Social media is the reason why business owners should sometimes insist on a ‘no phones allowed during work hours’ rule for their employees. As we suggested at the beginning, many people are glued to their phones on a too-regular basis and this is because of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the myriad other social media channels that can eat up a lot of time.
Of course, there are those employees who will use social media for work purposes. Those in charge of marketing, for example, have a reason to spend time studying Facebook, etc. But for anybody else? Well, they should steer away, as the distraction of social media could hinder their productivity and cost the businesses they work for.
Social Media: A Blessing Or A Curse For Business Owners?
As we have seen here, social media is both a blessing and a curse. Should you be a business owner, take note of what we have mentioned. While social media has many benefits when it comes to advertising and generating leads it can also lead to downtime and bad word of mouth. Think about the implications involved and take the appropriate steps to manage social media within your business.