It seems that more and more businesses are turning to social media for advertising and customer relations these days, but how can a company foresee these social networking sites advantages and disadvantages.  Here at BBSM we have spent years marketing in the social networking arena and have compiled quite a list of the social networking sites advantages and disadvantages.

Here are a few of the key points:

Top 8 Social Networking Sites Advantages and Disadvantages

The Advantages:

  • Finding Good People – Social Networking sites like LinkedIn are a great resource for business owners to find new talent or even partners for a new venture.
  • Free Business Promotion – This is probably the biggest advantage for business owners using social networking sites. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and many others are great forums for you to talk about your business, your services and even exhibit your industry expertise.
  • Low Cost Advertising – Some social networking sites provide a business owner with the opportunity to advertise to a very specific demographic for very little money. So you can advertise to exactly the customer that you want to attract and save money versus other forms of advertising.
  • Build your credibility – By consistently interacting and posting a person can build trust and credibility amongs their audience which in turn can lead to more business.
  • Ease of Communication – Social networking sites allow you a fast and free resource for communicating with your customers and potential customers. Announce sales, promotions, special events and more by simply typing your message and posting it to your page or profile.

The Disadvantages:

  • Everything Is Public – The nature of social networking sites is that they are ‘well’ social, so things get shared. And one small mistake can morph into a public relations nightmare.

A Red Cross employee accidently tweeted from the Red Cross Twitter account that she’d found some extra beers and was #gettingslizzerd.

Red Cross apologized an hour later with these words:  “We’ve deleted the rogue tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we’ve confiscated the keys. 

The Vancouver Sun

  • Negative Publicity – People really like to use social networking sites as a place to express their frustration and disapproval of a business that they feel has wronged them in some way. Being on the receiving end of this negative publicity can have dire consequences, so it’s important to keep your customers happy and respond quickly to any issues that someone does publicize.
  • Time Consuming – Social networking sites can suck you in and before you know it you’ve spent hours looking at pictures, videos, and reading clever posts. It’s important to remember when using social networking sites for business purposes that you stay on task and only spend time on the things that help your business. ‘If it doesn’t make dollars, it doesn’t make sense [cents]!’

Social Networking Sites Advantages and Disadvantages

There are many more arguments that could be made for social networking sites advantages and disadvantages, but we believe that the advantages of using social networking sites far outweigh the disadvantages for any business owner (as long as you know what you are doing).  The biggest benefit is that you will attract more business, keep more clients, and ultimately make more money!