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The advantages and disadvantages of social networks in business

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The advantages and disadvantages of social networks in business


The advantages and disadvantages of social networks in business



 The social media development alongside the phenomenon concerning social networking has been the most dramatic development in the information age in the past few years. In this age of advanced technology, social networks are common medium for connecting people all across the world through the usage of Internet (Gerdes, 2009). While social media depicts any form of online presence allowing the audience to engage in multi-directional activities revolving the content on the website; social network can be defined as specified social structure that has its basis in the complex set of dyadic ties between individuals or organizations. In course of business, social networks play significant role in the form of social media marketing in course of offering variety of new opportunities. The challenges are there too but solutions to cope with the issues are sought after every now and then.

Project Objective


 This particular project is aimed to find out the plausible advantages and disadvantages of social networks in the business with regard to analyzing them in order to come up with specified solutions. All these are meant to help in the understanding of the issue as well as the significance of social networks in this modern age life alongside aiding in the future research works of this topic.

Project Scope

Social media has turned out to be the most significant and ubiquitous machinery for social networking, online accessing and content sharing. With regard to the characteristic features of consistency, reliability as well as instantaneous nature – the virtual platforms have opened up better new prospects for businesses and online marketing is one of the prime names in this regard. As far as the project scope is concerned, it can be put forth that this research work is all about analyzing the benefits of as well as the challenges posed by social networks in the business; in order to come up with viable solutions.

Literature Review


 The impact of social media: advantages or disadvantages (2015) by Prof. C. M. van der Bank -The strategic importance of social media has been effectively discussed with special emphasis on the sector of travel and tourism here. How far social networking sites play significant role in the tourism operations and management alongside travellers’ decision making has been mentioned in this article with precision. It has been mentioned that the tourism industry is slowly progressing in the competitive business market with the instrument of social media and the opportunities are many-fold (Kietzmann et al. 2011). Social media has managed to explode as a prominent category of digital i.e. online discussion that allows people to create and share content; alongside network at an unimaginable vast rate.

Self-promotion is something that has largely been supported by social networks and thus in the natural course of events; business organizations have found the social media platform as an appealing instrument to market products and services respectively. Business in the virtual platform has become a necessity these days and business companies are coping up with the drastic digital revolution in terms of embracing newer and better versions of technology in order to stay put in the stiff competition (van der Bank, 2015). It is apparent that with opportunities, come the challenges that make the virtual domain even more interesting in course of business activities; and the travel and tourism industry does face the same. Challenges regarding intellectual property and data control have come up in this writing which signifies the ever growing versatility of social networks in business.

Social media marketing benefits for businesses – Why and how should every business create and develop its social media sites? (2012) by Celine ARCA - This particular report is focused in making a detailed analysis of the business benefits of social media marketing and providing viable solutions towards the complicated choice of social media channels. Social media has its basis in the two-way interactive experience between the company and the consumersand that is what makes it different from the conventional media channels that come up with one-way experience to be precise (Kaplan andHaenlein, 2010). As this report presents plausible considerations of business benefits regarding social media marketing; brand exposure, market research, marketing effectiveness, public relations, customer interaction, human resources etc are studied in excess in course of implementation of social media marketing strategic approaches. Moreover, how far the businesses can opt for increasing their social media presence in terms of adapting to the route of social media channels has been discussed and analyzed in the write-up. The limitations and risks encountered by different businesses in course of respective implementation of social media marketing strategies have been showcased in this report in terms of highlighting the negative aspects of social media (Guneliu, 2011).

Social media channels help the business organizations in gaining competitive advantage in terms of offering the opportunity of spying on the competitor companies. Information plays crucial role and social networks happen to bank on the information that are accessible through the revolutionary concept of Internet. In addition to this, effective and quick customer service makes the consumers feel significant and different even more and that is remarkably representative of a more humane interactive way (Livingstone andHelsper, 2007). Lack of feedback control dampens the positive spirit of social networking in the arena of business marketing but nevertheless, social networks define the ultimate go-to option for the business organizations. The current state of social media marketing accompanied by its all-the-way possible future evolution has been commented on as well (ARCA, 2012).

Social media marketing: advantages and disadvantages (2014) by RubatheeNadaraja and RashadYazdanifard - This article has discussed the pros and cons of social network in the business domain through the analysis of social media marketing. The research work has time and again emphasized on the notion that the very concept of social networks is a unique yet quintessential; and therefore is to be explored to its fullest capacity in future (Gurau, 2008). Social media marketing has been trending in the recent years on a worldwide platform and business organizations are not left behind to use this phenomenon as an appropriate tool for more efficient and profitable business. This specific approach of outreach coupled with marketing has paved ways for the development of new tools that invariably add to the business productivity and profitability. As the business organizations are capable of providing an array of information without any sort of disruption, barring any human intervention – this advantage marks an overall leap in the technological advancement which involves digital superiority over other forms of contact (Nadaraja and Yazdanifard, 2014).

While negative post responses attribute to the one of the most damaging aspects of social networking, information sharing and easy reachability to the consumer section makes up for the beneficial aspect of social networks (Jonassen et al. 2003). While the online marketing environment has made the audiences more proactive and fragmented; the business companies have been entitled to combine variety of information in a complex natured message. It has been observed that the designated characteristics of the social media applications and social media networks are making the integrated online marketing implementations both effective and inevitable as far as online approach is concerned.

The importance of social media in their contribution to the marketing of sports events (2013) by Marina Bartoletti - This research paper has predominantly focused on the influence and significance of new media, specifically the social media on the sports events’ marketing. How the social media has largely impacted the marketing clause, both effectively as well as adversely to some extent – has been dealt in extensively. Social media inclusive of the social networking sites proves to be an efficient instrument of successful business and how this rings true in case of marketing of sports events has been depicted in this research work with utmost precision (Merrill et al. 2011). Social networks are designed to reach global audiences and that is what benefits the most in businesses as the customer reachability plays a vital role to keep up in the competitive front. Social media being the most popular information-transmission method, communication matters the most in business arena and this research work has focused on the necessity of effective communication through the communication medium named Social Network (Friedman, 2011).

Furthermore, in case the employees tend to use the company social media sites as mediums of viewing objectionable or illicit material; or post unethical comments regarding the business organization – then the consequences generally include potential legal hassles that are disruptive for the respective business growth (Bartoletti, 2013). Though a fast response can aid towards minimizing the damage, yet the criticisms remain a big part of the virtual platform as it goes nothing gets lost in the virtual world. The commercial reality is largely captured and communicated by the social networks and that precisely depicts the pivotal status of social media in business, in this case sports events (Hafele, 2011).

The benefits of social networking services: A literature review (2011) by Dr. Phillippa Collin, Ms Kitty Rahilly, Dr. Ingrid Richardson, Dr. Amanda Third – Here the vehement usage of social networking services (SNS) has become the part and parcel of everyday communication across the world and Australia is no exception in this regard. Whether the youngsters or the business companies – everybody is hooked to social media in some or other way and that has sharpened the technical edge of the society to a large extent as the world has gone digital in almost all possible respect (Hillstrom, 2010). This research work focuses on the benefits of SNS usage which are largely linked with and dependent on good internet coupled with media literacy. Businesses tend to benefit from the universal nature and communication capacity of the social networks and Australian business region is found to be on the progressive side with regard to adapting to the virtual reality of the technological advances.

It can be put forth that as far as the relationship of social networking with the businesses is concerned, there is certainly no fit-for-all approach and this is true in terms of the variety of the businesses. The benefits can be multi-faceted and depend largely on the type of platforms, features and the business organizations (Collin et al. 2011). The different platforms of social networking i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etctend to allow the business companies in improving communication as well as productivity on grounds of dissemination and distribution of information amongst different levels and groups of employees and the consumers in far more efficient manner – that eventually is targeted towards causing noteworthy increase in the productivity.

The possible advantages can be mentioned as:

·         Open communication facilitation that invariably leads towards discovery and delivery of enhanced information

·         Widening of business contacts due to the global reachability of the social networks

·         Improvement in the brand image and business performance alongside upgradation of client base with minimal advertising usage

·         Providing employees platforms to discuss ideas and queries and customers to engage in feedbacks and reviews

·         Acting as an effective instrument of recruitment for the companies due to the wide audience connection

·         Aiding in the process of market research expansion and effective implementation of marketing campaigns

In course of pointing out the possible disadvantages, certain considerations are made and those can be listed in the following.

While social media, specifically the social networks are regarded as powerful marketing tools, it’s not entirely free from risks. As the world has gone digital and so as the businesses have opted for digital activities in order to keep up in the competitive race; threats tend to pour in by means of hampering the functionality of the business organizations and the instances are frequent all across the world. Social media marketing has made the business companies exposed to the possibility of negative publicity as audience and users happen to criticize certain decisions of the companies by means of their respective comments and reviews and posts (Evans, 2011).

Social media presence has largely opened the gateway for hackers and valuable as well as confidential information tend to get leaked within a blink of eye and affects brand image and business revenue. Hackers happen to commit fraud and also launch virus attacks that make the business organizations vulnerable and therein pop up frivolous occurrence of data or identity theft.

All the articles and reports mentioned above testify the validity of the research topic and help in constituting a feasible background in order to be analyzed in depth and detail.


In the concluding segment, it can be said that social networks and social media marketing are both great ways for business organizations in broadening their respective exposure to the global audience at a much affordable expense as compared with the traditional ways despite having its downside. Certainly, media presence is necessary in this tech-savvy age and setting up a presence on the popular social networking sites helps in targetting new customer base and at the same time makes respective corporate brands more visible on the international front. Moreover, the two-way communication is by and large facilitated by the forever-on-the-go activities of social media and that in turn causes remarkable improvement in the customer services and simultaneously enables the business organizations in gaining valuable information and tailoring communications accordingly. Almost all business organizations fall prey to the hacking hazards and the trend of going viral in adverse manner causes extreme damage to the business opportunities and profitability. Security concerns thus come up which is a major criteria in any sort of business. Well-defined and comprehensive policies need to be introduced in the workplace in terms of preventing virtual hazards and also abusive activities of any kind.


ARCA, Celine. (2012). Social media marketing benefits for businesses – Why and how should every business create and develop its social media sites?, Wiley Publishing Inc., New Jersey, United States., pp. 110-201.

Bartoletti, M. (2013).The importance of social media in their contribution to the marketing of sports events.Journal of Economic and Social Research, 3(1), pp.43-58

Collin, P., Rahilly, K., Richardson, I. and Third, A. (2011) The Benefits of Social Networking Services: A literature review.Cooperative Research Centre for Young People, Technology and Wellbeing. Melbourne.

Evans, L.L. (2011) “Social Media Marketing: Strategies for Engaging in Facebook, Twitter and Other Social Media”, QUE Publishing, Indiana, United States.

Friedman ,L. (Ed.). (2011). Social Networking.Greenhaven Press, Gale/Cengage Learning.

Gerdes, L. (Ed.). (2009). Cyber Crime.GreenhavePress(CA).

Guneliu, S. (2011). 30-Minute Social Media Marketing: Step-by-step Techniques to Spread the Word About Your Business: Social Media Marketing in 30 Minutes a Day. McGraw Hill Professional.

Gurau, C. (2008). “Integrated online marketing communication: implementation and management”, Journal of Communication Management, vol. 12 no. 2, pp. 169-184 DOI 10.1108/13632540810881974

Hafele, N. (2011). “Social Media Marketing: Interaction, Trends & Analytics”, ICT 511 Fall, 51 (3): 1-6

Hillstrom, L. (2010). Online Social Networks. Farmington Hills, MI. The United States of America.

Jonassen, D.H., Howland, J., Moore, J andMarra, R.M. (2003). Learning to solve problems with technology: A constructive perspective (2nd edition) Columbus, OH; Merrill/Prentice-Hall.

Kaplan, A. M., and M. Haenlein. (2010). “Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media”, Business Horizons, 53:59–68.

Kietzmann, J.H., Hermkens, K., McCarthy, I. P. and Silvestre, B.S. (2011).Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media‟.Business Horizons, 54(3), 241-251

Livingstone, S,andE Helsper.(2007). Taking Risks when communicating on the internet.Information, Communication & Society. 10 (5):619-644.

Merrill, T. et al. (2011). “Social Media: The Business Benefits May Be Enormous, But Can the Risks – Reputational, Legal, Operational – Be Mitigated?”, ACE Insuring Progress.

Nadaraja, R.and Yazdanifard, R.(2014). Social media marketing: advantages and disadvantages. European Journal of Marketing, vol. 34 no. 8, pp. 954-74.



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