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Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Social Media to Promote a Business

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In today’s society, we use the internet to get all our gossip, news, weather and do most of our shopping. So it is only fitting that we also use the internet and social media to check on businesses. Businesses use social media to do their advertising for products, goods and services. In fact they use social media to connect and build relationships with customers and future prospects. So what is social media? “Social Media is a new set of tools, new technology that allows us to effectively connect and build relationships with customers.” (Safka, 2012) However, there are advantages and disadvantages of using social media to advertise. Businesses need to know how to use these advantages to build a lucrative business and how to avoid the disadvantages that could be harmful if not deadly to the business.

Unlike traditional marketing, like television, radio and news papers, social media’s role does not fall under conventional advertising. Social media works best when used to send out messages that will encourage customers to network with you or explore your website, blog, videos or other information. It’s about encouraging a new type of word-of-mouth advertising. (Safka, 2012) Social media is a cheaper (sometimes free), cost effective way to advertising for your business. Some examples of social media are facebook, foursquare, LinkedIn, and twitter. You could also write blogs to connect with a customer base. Social media has many advantages. 1. Using social media, you have the potential to reach millions of people 2. It is faster to reach those millions of people

3. You would have the ability to target certain groups of people in different areas of the world. 4. Social media allows you to communicate on a personal level with customers. 5. Allows you to get feedback to help or improve your business. There is also the use of social media within your business, inter-office communication. This allows employees to connect with each other, post pictures from events within the company, have informal conversations, and announce events that are coming up. This type of group page can create a fun and informational culture within the company. All these advantages can drive your business to great heights, create web based clients and help with communicating with your employees and customers on another level bring you success. (Mckee, 2010) Disadvantages

The social media environment creates not only opportunities, but challenges and some complications also. So with the advantages comes the disadvantages. Here are some disadvantages:

1. Commitment : If you decide to use social media to promote your business then you need to make sure you have someone to maintain the site or blog. One of the things that customers do not like is going to a web page or blog and seeing that it is October and the last post was in April. It gives them the idea that if you do not have time to maintain your site then more than likely you will not have time to give good customer service.

2. Bad Branding – ” The wrong online brand strategy can doom a company, and put you at a huge viral social disadvantage. Just ask Sony. Sony has a great platform in the PS3 but they chose to neglect the value of effective social media and as a result the sales of the Microsoft Xbox have soared while Sony’s always remain number two.” (Mandrusick, 2011)

3. Relevant Content – Some marketers seem to forget the blog or web page belongs to the company and not to them. This is a very bad and I mean bad thing. People do not want to know what you did last weekend but they do what to know what the company is doing to innovate itself.

4. Time – but time and commitment are all the same.

5. No short term return on Investment – “Seeing a return could take anywhere from a few months to a year before a company sees the benefits of increased customer loyalty and sales.” (Mandrusick, 2011) 6. Negative comments – but I do not see this as being a bad thing. Negative comments can be a good thing. If you know what is wrong you can fix it. I think this could mean that if you had a disgruntled employee posting negative remarks toward the company. Controlling this could be of the highest importance.

Preventative Measures

Social media has changed the way that companies do business. This technology has some major disadvantages so we have to implement preventive measures. Some of these measures are easy and some can be difficult. Commitment, time and negative comments – Can be turned into advantages because you can create a new job position. Therefore one or more person’s is soley the upkeep of social media. Bad branding – The business need to diversify multimedia to appeal to larger audiences. Use different types of social media such as insta gram, four square, vine and YouTube. Try to reach different groups and diverse people and create a team to do the up keep of that social media. Some companies need to outsource to a PR firm. This firm always plans a head to make sure there is no damage to the business

With technology being a part of our everyday routines, it makes sense that social media can be used for businesses. However, the advantages of companies using social media also come with disadvantages. Companies fall into the social media world thinking it will be their savior, and in fact it could very well be. However, if you do not watch how things evolve within that world social media could be the companies doom.


Mandrusick, M. (2011, 9). The Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing. Retrieved 7 20, 2014, from Automatedbuildings .com: http://automatedbuildings.com/news/sep11/columns/110826030404mandrusiak.html Mckee, D. E. (2010). Social Media Marketing: The Next Generation of Business Engagement. Hoboken, NJ, USA: Sybex. Safka, L. (2012). The Social Media Bible. Hoboken, NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons.

Each course assignment is a problem to solve that requires critical thinking. When you have finished writing your draft research paper, reflect on the six-steps of the critical thinking process you used to complete this assignment. Include specific details to clearly demonstrate the ways in which you have applied the six steps as you completed your draft paper. Compose your reflections below.

Step 1. Demonstrate a positive attitude toward solving a problem. (Explain how you kept a positive attitude as you completed the draft paper.) Keeping a positive attitude was not easy. I was running out of time. I kept telling myself that I got this and finished in good time. Step 2. Focus on the accuracy of the assumptions and conclusions. (Explain how you remained focused on the assignment to be clear about the requirements. For example, describe how you made sure you were following the assignment instructions and scoring guide criteria to make sure everything required was included.) The way that I kept to the scoring guide and the instructions, I had them next to my computer for easy access.

Step 3. Break the problems into workable parts. (Explain how you broke the assignment into smaller more easily tackled parts and provide a reason for your approach.) I was not able to break the paper down into smaller parts. I will in the final paper.

Step 4. Do not guess or jump to conclusions. (Describe how you knew you had the necessary information to move forward to write your draft paper. For example, explain how you identified the information that you needed to complete your paper.) I ask myself questions as I went through the discovery process.

Step 5. Employ meaningful self-dialogue throughout the process, including written or drawn prompts as well as spoken words. (Explain how you organized the assignment, for example, using notes, tables, diagrams, and drawings.) I used notes and bounced ideas off my daughter.

Step 6. Briefly describe what it felt like to go through the process. (That is, describe what you thought and felt as you completed your draft paper). As I went through the writing process I was not at ease with writing because I know that I am not a good writer.

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