There has been a monumental growth and popularity of social media in the past few years. It started in 1997 with a site called Six degrees and has been experiencing an upward trend ever since. Especially post 2006, the growth rate has been stupendous. Popular sites such as Flickr, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and so on entered the market in the early 2000s. Not only have these sites had millions of users now but also a wide variety of businesses as well.
It is evident, the way technology is booming, a wider range of people are going to enjoy its benefit be it for personal reasons or commercial use. There are a varied number of social media platforms most of which have a preferred set of demographics. Furthermore, mergers and acquisitions of different sites let the user create and share content across different platforms.
Social Media Marketing has been around for decades now and we have become more comfortable with it due to its user-friendly interface, however, that is not the only advantage it has. Every coin certainly has two sides. Where there are numerous benefits for social media, there is a dark side attached to it as well. The nature of the effects depends on the usage, caution, and intentions of the user. However, in all honesty, social media can still have negative impacts regardless of the aforementioned criteria.
Thus, let’s have a deeper look at these advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Social Media
One of the greatest advantages of social media is connectivity. People sitting in any part of the world can connect effortlessly over social media, regardless of their location, background, or culture. It has made the entire world just a few clicks away.
Millions of people are using social media on a daily basis. It is a great opportunity for businesses and individuals to reach a wide range of audiences. It allows you to have direct contact with others. Not only can it facilitate in building stronger relationships but also help in addressing long term needs and fulfil customer satisfaction. It will be safe to say that it creates a loyal and genuine market for companies. It helps in associating different cultures and diverse communities together and helps understand them better.
2. Information and Updates
The next biggest benefit of social media is its speed. News spreads like wildfire online. We can update ourselves with the latest happenings around the world just as easily as the local news. Most of the time, televisions and print media broadcast improper or biased news, and this is where social media serves as a hero.
Any content that has logic and reason behind it can go viral instantly if it reaches the right target audience. It is one of the fastest ways to spread news, information, and updates. You can connect with anyone and share your thoughts with another. To add to it, you can acquire information related to specific topics that interest you, and it serves as a great platform to learn, unlearn, and relearn.
Social media has a lot of benefits for students, teachers, and basically any individual who is interested in learning. It is a great platform that has substantial content educational in nature. It is very easy and accessible to gain knowledge and education from others through social media.
For instance, an expert in a particular field can publish his or her writings online or launch online classroom courses for individuals who do not have the time to take part in classroom learning. You can follow anyone over social media and learn new things from them.
Their geographical location cannot be a barrier here and this is the beauty of social media. There are a lot of tutorial videos available online that helps many students. Studying through videos or YouTube has become a growing coming trend these days amongst youngsters. Thus, regardless of your educational background or location, you can learn from anyone, and that too free of cost.
Where there are people, businesses are sure to follow. That’s a saying which is true for social media as well. A large part of industries are now coming online and making their social media presence felt since every second individual is on some of the other social media in today’s world.
Whether you have an online business or offline business, the best way to market and promote our products and services is on social media. It enables us to reach a wider target audience as it is not geographically limited. The whole world is open for us as a market that makes businesses more profitable and inexpensive as promotion through social media is largely cost-effective and efficient. It is also one of the quickest ways to market and brand your products as half of the world is active on social media throughout the day.
Social media helps creates awareness and innovate people’s way of life. It spreads new updates amongst people and promotes higher standards of living in them. Social media has helped people discover new and innovative ideas that have made their life simpler and further enhanced them.
Everyone including farmers, students, lawyers, doctors, teachers amongst many other professions can benefit from social media’s awareness function.
For instance, whenever a new piece of information concerning on-going public news surfaces, it is easier for people to dig deep online and reach the base of the news or recheck facts. Further, awareness about different trends online, new products and services also comes through social media.
6. Better Customer Satisfaction
Most humans try to seek and attract attention combined with acknowledgment and social media encourages it. Many of our social media platforms work on photo posting algorithms and this helps a business in resolving customer questions and doubts better. Companies can post photos or videos of new products and services online on their social platforms.
Users can then not just ready but actually understand the working of the services as well. Some companies often put customer reviews and appreciation videos online, which helps a potential buyer in making an informed choice and purchase. Moreover, organizing online launches or Q&A sessions helps people get quick answers to their queries and builds up more trust amongst people.
7. Brand Management
Last but not least advantage of social media is that you can build your brand. When you market your products or services, you build a relationship with interested leads and potential audience. Social media allows you to post regular organic content, which strengthens your relationship with the audience and builds your brand image.
Further, spreading information about your brand through social media such as rectifying mistakes, posting new product launches, apologies, and so on adds to brand management as a vital social media function.
Most people seek reviews and validation before buying any products online so that they can make a wise decision. Social media or Digital Marketing helps in creating strong brand images that help to increase the customer base.
Disadvantages of Social Media
1. Replaces Personal Contact
Since everything is available effortlessly online, it has been encouragingly replacing personal contact from human lives. There are times when one has to convey a message or information to other individuals and most people today, use social media for this.
However, anything said or done on social media is not always sincere. You could write a very emotional message to your friends or a company could write a heartfelt apology to its customers in an attempt to rectify the wrongdoings.
Although the message would reach the target audience faster than any other media, its content may or may not be genuine. It further decreases face to face communication skills as well. People have gotten so comfortable sitting behind a computer screen and working that work or social culture will soon get extinct.
2. Cyber Crimes
Social media is a very popular place, but it’s a big bad world full of deceitful connections, scams, and frauds. For starters, a significant number of children are victims of cyber bullying. Anyone can create a fake account without getting traced. Furthermore, personal data and privacy can easily be hacked.
Not only are there are a ton of examples of scams and frauds online but more and more culprits are finding new ways to do so. A few of the major scams such as phishing requests, hidden URLs, cash grabs, hidden charges, chain letters, and so on are actively used to scam people.
This usually takes away some part of their wealth or companies’ critical data which can be used as a benefit by competitors in the market.
Social media is no less than an addiction. A 5 min work or study break is often extended for hours and hours. It is often found out that once we take a break, we continue scrolling through news feeds mostly, looking at some interesting updates or casually killing time.
Social media addiction is terrible can often ruin personal lives as well. Teenagers are the most affected of this lot. They tend to get involved with social media extensively and gradually end up cutting off from society.
The average time a person spends wasting on social media can be exchanged with more productive tasks or rather some fresh air and an exercise that will help an individual grow in the long run.
4. Security Issues
One of the major disadvantages of social media relates to its security. As easily as the information is broadcasted and is reached to the audience, a similar algorithm can be used to spread your personal secure data as well.
In today’s world, all the security agencies have an access to everyone’s personal data and accounts. This not only compromises privacy but also keeps individuals at a greater risk of fraud, theft, and deceit.
At times, people deliberately put secured data like bank details or phone numbers online to take revenge or merely to torture individuals. Thus, none of our data published online is secured. Phishing people using someone else’s pictures are one of the most common examples of a security breach.
5. Adverse Health Effects
Excess use of social media can have severe negative effects on our health. The impact is not just on our physical health but mental health as well. To begin with, it makes a person lazy. No exercising and spending most of our time on social media makes a person gain weight.
Thus, obesity is one of the most common diseases these days. Other than that, it also brings in different disorders along with it. For instance, prolonged exposure to a computer or phone screen can lead to eye damage and weaker eyesight. Further, it often causes stress, headache, and cervical.
Often content that goes viral on social media encourages children to undertake dangerous stunts and physical tasks that can lead to deaths or long-term disabilities.
Social media is a time-consuming process, i.e. it is a long-term investment. Social media marketing plans run long or on-going campaigns. To further add to it, sometimes people might ignore your page or content because of a lack of interest or no mental space.
The knowledge that the information will still be available later often persuades the audience to save the posts. They can then view them at a later point in time.
Many times, they often end up losing interest in such content or completely forget about it. It might take time to convince the target audience to take action on your post. Thus, this makes social media a time-consuming process.
7. Qualified Personnel
The last disadvantage of social media is that it requires qualified personnel. In layman’s terms, one needs to study and understand the entire mechanism and working of social media before putting up anything online.
Any content uploaded online has an equal chance of defaming a company, organization, or a person as it has of uplifting and building a brand image. Furthermore, aimlessly posting content without targeting the right audience will only lead to expenses that do not pay themselves out in the long run.
Thus, you require qualified personnel who understand the algorithm and demographical specifications of a different platform before resorting to social media for any kind of activity.
We hope that we were able to explain the disadvantages and advantages of Social media in an elaborated way. It will be safe to say that despite all the cons, we can’t stay without it, and honestly, we shouldn’t!
If there is something else that you would like to know then do connect with us and we will answer all your questions.