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23 Disadvantages and Advantages of Social Networks in 2018

It is inevitable to think that social networks are a double-edged sword. Since its popularization there have been both detractors and defenders of Social Media , but the only certain thing is that it is important to know how and how not to use them. Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter … the list is getting longer and the trends are marking in which social networks a brand should be, to take advantage of the influence of marketing , for example. In this article we have gathered 14 advantages against 9 disadvantages of the use of social networks so you can assess them both personally and business.

Definition of social networks or social media

When we talk about social media, we basically refer to the social structures formed by different individuals and organizations that relate to each other forming communities in digital platforms. Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin, among others, offer services that allow forming groups, sharing information, images or videos according to the interests of users.

Each social network has its own objectives and uses, so the content must be adapted to each of them, for example, Facebook is a very useful social network to connect well-known people or with the same hobbies and interests. In contrast, Twitter is a microblogging platform designed to convey information or opinions and Linkedin is a professional social network. On the other hand, the networks of the moment are YouTube , a platform that allows users to upload their own videos and Instagram , which brings together users interested in photography that tell their day to day.

“Social networks for companies  can bring many benefits  and also some headache. Before starting to use them it is important to be aware that they require time, dedication, professionalism and training. “

It is very important for the reputation of the company to put social networks in good hands and invest time and money so that the results are good. Next, in this post we detail the  advantages and disadvantages of social networks for companies and individuals .

14 Advantages of social networks

Social networks can have many advantages both personally and business as long as they are used correctly. In the following list you can see in detail what your benefits are, both personally and at the company level.

Benefits of social networks on a personal level

#1. Instant communication

  • Communication:  All people have the need to relate to others. Social networks offer the opportunity to share special moments and get in touch with friends, acquaintances or strangers from any part of the world with whom we share interests.

#2. Job opportunities

  • Personal brand:  Social networks can be our best letter of introduction. One of its advantages is that it can be considered a 2.0 curriculum, with which we can take advantage of to develop our  personal brand .
  • Work:  Many companies look for potential candidates in professional social networks such as Linkedin. They even investigate their personal profiles in other networks such as Facebook or Twitter to better know their candidates. That is why it is so important to correctly configure the privacy of our profiles and be very careful with what we upload.

#3. Information and entertainment

  • Entertainment:  They offer information and entertainment in real time and on demand. We can choose who to follow or what means of communication we are interested in to keep us informed on what happens anywhere in the world.

#4. Social Reporting

  • Denunciation of situations:  Thanks to social networks, situations that are unnoticed by the media come to light. In addition, it facilitates the work of organizing solidarity actions such as abandoned animals or people who need help.

#5. Share knowledge and information

  • Share:  The option of  sharing knowledge and information  can be of great help for training activities as happens in university groups or specialists in different disciplines.

Advantages of social networks for companies

# 6 Increase brand visibility

  • Amplitude of barriers: With social networks are reduced geographical barriers can reach many more people through the Internet.
  • Brand image: It is very important to realize that social networks for companies are not only a catalog of the products and services of the company, but that we can use them to create a recognizable brand.

# 7  Channel of diffusion of the contents of the company

  • Web traffic: Content is a very important part because it generates traffic on social networks and on the company’s website.
  • Online presence:  In addition, they make the brand more visible and provide added value that fans and potential customers will appreciate.

# 8  Customer loyalty and contact of potential customers

  • Loyalty: In social networks companies can develop customer loyalty actions with offers or content that may interest them.
  • Customer acquisition : They are also a very interesting tool for  attracting customers . For this it is always necessary to plan a good  Social Media strategy .

# 9.  Possibility of associating a blog

  • Quality content: A blog can be very beneficial for our brand, and there is no better way to disseminate good content than creating it yourself.
  • Engagement and notoriety: Good content is very useful to  improve engagement in social networks , get followers and increase traffic on the website of the company. This will lead to customers to know better the same and are encouraged to hire services or buy your products.

# 10.  Measure the result of marketing actions in real time

  • Engagement: With the likes, comments and shares of users in the social networks of the company we can know the responses of our followers in real time.
  • Google analytics: With Google Analytics we can continue the tracking of users who visualize our content in networks and see indicators of their activity such as the time of stay, bounce rate or the% of users who return to the web.
  • Monitoring tools: another way to measure the result is through social media monitoring tools  .

# 11.  Promote communication and collaboration between professionals

  • Networking:  Social networks can facilitate communication between professionals and companies, and favor collaborations between them.
  • Feedback:  They give us the  opportunity to react  if the company’s strategy in social networks is on the right track or we are wrong because of the quick feedback they allow us.

# 12.  They can improve the online reputation of the company

  • Brand image: Having a good image on the network is very important because it generates confidence in potential customers. It is very common to consult opinions in the social networks of companies before hiring a service or buying a product. It is also becoming increasingly for the hiring of professionals so it is very important to  create a personal brand  on social networks.
  • Reputation management: That is why it is very important to manage communication with customers, because if we do not know how to respond well to these in their doubts or problems we can damage the reputation of the company. For this the best thing is to have a  crisis management manual for online reputation.

# 13.  Customer service channel

  • Customer service: To build customer loyalty, it is necessary to serve them, listen to them and respond to them in order to solve their problems. Our satisfied customers can be the best brand ambassadors of the company in social networks.
  • Management of comments and questions: You always have to be aware of the comments and answer the questions of users of the company’s social networks in a prudential time. Users understand that they do not answer on weekends or after hours, but they do not forgive not getting a response.
  • Management of criticisms and suggestions:  Criticisms should not be ignored either. You must always answer with education, giving explanations and providing solutions to the problem. A bad opinion can lead to a crisis and seriously damage the image of the company in social networks.

Keys to customer service in social networks

  • Training in Customer Service: It is very important that people who are in charge of the company’s social networks are trained and know how to face any problems that may arise.
  • Calm and education: At the time of answering, always maintain calm, education and have patience.
  • Solventar errors: In the case that there has been an error, provide solutions and track the incident so that the client is satisfied.
  • Do not lie: You should never cheat, if you discover the lie you can aggravate the problem. An error can be explained, but a lie is difficult to justify.
  • Beware of the repercussion: In the network, we do not know the repercussion that the critics of the users can have. It is possible that this dissatisfied customer has many followers and those negative comments cause a serious prejudice to the image of the company.
  • Speak privately: A good solution is to solve problems by talking privately with the client, even talking on the phone so that they feel cared for, trying to solve their problems and becoming a satisfied customer.
  • Crisis resolution: If managed well, a crisis is an opportunity to demonstrate the professionalism and good work of the company.

# 14.  They offer the opportunity to analyze the competition

  • Benchmarking : Investigating the social networks of the companies that are our competence, we can know which strategies are working and which are not. The question is not to spy to copy, but to analyze the market and know where our brand is. For this you can use tools like  SEMrush , with which you can not only analyze the networks, but also the website and strategy of positioning and online advertising of your competitors.
  • Analysis of the competition: The online competition analysis provides information to identify the strengths and threats of the company. This is very important when making decisions and planning strategies and you can do it with some of these  monitoring tools and social media analysis.

Disadvantages of social networks on a personal level

#1.  Scams in social networks

  • Scams to users: Scams in social networks to people are becoming more common. Therefore, it is important to know  which are the most common scams and how to avoid them.

#2.  Configuration of our privacy

  • Privacy: It is very important that we review the privacy settings before starting to upload content or disclose personal data. For this we must determine the amount of data we want or we should publish.

For example, publishing some information such as the days that we go on vacation, the objects we have at home or our geolocation makes us more vulnerable to theft.

#3.  Compliance with the rules of use

  • Rules of use: Failure to comply with the rules of use of social media publishing inappropriate content may result in the closure of the profile.
  • Damage to the brand: A breach of the rules of use, in addition to a loss of followers could also damage your brand image.

#4.  Impersonations of identity

  • Impersonations: Identity impersonations are often suffered by known people or companies and can be very harmful.

It is a disadvantage that is beyond our control, since it does not depend on the good or bad use that we give to our social networks. In our hands, it is only necessary to denounce those responsible for each social network for identity theft.

#5.  Cyberbullying and Grooming

These are two phenomena that mainly affect children and young people under age.

  • Cyberbullying: Cyberbullying is the digital variant of bullying that consists of humiliating a person repeatedly with insulting and cruel messages or threats on social networks.
  • Grooming: Grooming are adults who, posing as young people, establish a relationship of friendship and trust with minors to convince them to send them erotic images.

# 6  Social networks addiction

  • Loss of time and addiction: leaving aside obligations or losing a lot of time on social networks can be a serious problem, especially for young people who live pending the image they reflect on social networks.
  • Adolescents: These situations tend to be more frequent in adolescents. The best way to solve it is to control their habits and the contents they share on social networks.

# 7  Confusing the personal profile with the professional

  • Errors of use: in the same way that we do not behave the same with our friends that when we are at work, in social networks we must do the same.
  • Think who sees the publications: When sharing our photos or special moments we have to think about who is going to see it.

 solution  to this disadvantage or disadvantage is to  maintain well differentiated profiles  between the personal and the professional.

Disadvantages of social networks for companies

Before creating the profile our company in social networks must be aware that it is a task that requires time and money. We must be aware that the more visibility the company has, the more risks it exposes.

# 8  Trolls and bad reviews

  • Bad criticism: Bad criticism must be accepted and try to counteract with explanations or solving the problems that supporters represent.
  • Trolls : The trolls make unfounded comments and criticisms with the intention of disturbing or provoking discussions with those responsible for social networks or with other followers.

In these cases, normally the most appropriate thing is to follow the motto “Do not feed the troll” until you get tired of bothering.

But if we see it from another point of view, discussions with other users can benefit us, since they generate traffic on social networks and it is likely that other supporters come to our defense and if we solve the situation well improve the reputation of the company.

# 9.  Investment of time and money

  • The results take time: It requires an investment of time and money, and the results are not immediate. the reputation is created daily and with constant work.
  • Sometimes you have to pay: They are not 100% free. Some platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin increasingly restrict the visibility of profiles and content of companies in social media to encourage them to buy advertising.

In short, social networks for companies or for personal use have pros and cons. But if we use them correctly and  know their advantages and disadvantages, they can be very useful  to entertain us, inform us, look for work or clients depending on the use we make of them.

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