Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Social Networks in Business
The reliance of every business will always remain high on technology for accelerating their sales and managing relationships with customers. The new trend in the sphere of marketing is the use of social networks for business. Today businesses use the new platforms irrespective of their size. From business giants to medium enterprises to local shopkeepers all use technology for making it big into the business world. The use of social networks has proved to be a game changer for the business in a manner that nothing has left this much big an impact in a such short period that social networks have. Social networking has turned business marketing strategies another way around. The new approach to business consists of multi-dimensional communication, exposed environments, and instantaneous responses. (Alharbie, 2015)
One of the main reasons that social networks play an important role in increased business is that with the help of Web 2.0, users are now empowered with generating content. (Web Junction, 2017). Now the consumers have the provision where the information is not pushed onto them. It is fetched by their curiosity.
The future potential of social media is even great. In future the social media not only will play a part in information dissemination and control but also the recruitment of potential candidates. The integration of social media with the business helps the company in managing its supply chain as well as managing projects. (Dossani, 2011). The increased growth of social networks can be traced back to the era when businesses needed expansion. This need of the businesses was fulfilled by removing the trade restrictions and globalizing them. Globalization was the main reason that the increased rate of communication was required. Social media had played the most essential role in the communication front; enabling businesses to interact with their international customer and understand the demand of international markets. (Bieber, 2014)
Social network has provided great opportunities to businesses but it is not untouched by risks and challenges. The greatest challenge that social network possesses is that there is a high risk of the violation of intellectual property. Privacy issues have also been reported that make the social network environment vulnerable. (Belbey, 2015). The networks have affected the deeper level of individuals by changing the way people communicate. Social networks play a significant role in communication. Now consumers have become demanding and aware. Social media has given the freedom of speech to consumers where they can share their experiences and feedback. (Simmons, 2017). This has given the firms a great way to improve their products but at the same time, it also poses a risk to the image of the company. Hoaxes and rumors are very common and people may abuse the power of freedom of speech. The paper is going to cover all the important aspects of social networks in business.
The current study is aimed at determining the various benefits and challenges that businesses are facing with social networks. Various literary sources have been analyzed to cover all the aspects of social networks in the context of business. (Utopia, 2015)
The objective of the research is to analyze the relevant impact of social networks on business. The research is going to answer the key questions i.e. what are the advantages and disadvantages of the social network to the business? (Mark, 2014)
The comparison and contrast of the literature review are done to evaluate the various literary sources which have already been presented in the academic domain. Before understanding the relationship and impact of social networks in the business world let us first analyze the role of social networks in social systems.
The very first article which is being analyzed is about the impact of social networks on individuals as well as on social systems. The author has scrutinized that there has been a drastic shift in the way people interact globally. The consumers are now said to be prosumers- which means that they have turned into professionals. Traditionally there has been the push strategy which was adopted by the companies, which means that the consumers rely on the information provided by the companies but with the evolution of social networks the pull strategies are adopted by the consumers. The pull strategy means that the consumers themselves extract the information using various social network platforms. This article has a similarity with our literature review in that it also encompasses the view that with the use of social networks, customers have become demanding. Social networks have made the process of communication multi-dimensional and symmetric. (Bank and Tat, 2014)
Now that the impact of social networks on individuals and social systems has been defined let us now discuss the impact of social networks in the context of business. As the success of any business lies in its ability to communicate to its target consumers social networks are playing a pivotal role to this extent. Thus the second article that is being analyzed is concerned with the use of social media as a tool of communication. The article critically analyses not only the use of social media in the present scenario but also future trends prediction. One of the trends that have been examined in the article is the use of social networks for educational purposes. The article states that after the research of the respondents around 70% of the respondents were in favor of the usability of social networks for educational purposes whereas 30% were against it. While the perceived usefulness of social networks only around 63% of respondents gave their answers in the affirmative while the rest were negative. The similarity between this research paper and the article is that both lay a significant emphasis on social networks as a crucial device of communication. The article has considered various factors while analyzing the usefulness of social networks while communicating but the difference between the literature review of this research paper and the article is that it has failed to analyze the perceived threats to social networks which might impact future trends stated in the article. (Baruah, 2012)
The third article is more business-centric than both of the above-identified articles discussed. The third article is about how social media has integrated with businesses. The article traces back the main reason behind the increased importance of social networks in business is the movement of business activities across the border of countries. The article analyses that globalization has paved the way for business. Since international communication is the essence of business the need for social networks increased more than ever. Companies all over the world were in need cater to international demands and being proactive the global trends. The author has stated how social networks have empowered the consumers of today. It has been claimed in the article that the creation of the products and delivery of the services are not being co-created by the consumers with the help of social media. The similarity between the article and our literature review is that both have identified the major factor that contributed to the development of social networks as ‘globalization’. The other similarity is that the role of social media in the PR (public relations) has also been discussed in the journal article. However, the major difference between the literature review and the article is that the study has been applied in the context of small businesses whereas the literature review of this business research has been applied to businesses, in general, irrespective of their size. (Abuhashesh, 2014)
The fourth and last article to be analyzed can be said to be one of the most important articles as it discusses in detail the negative impacts that social media can have. The article states that one of the most common challenges that social media can pose to business is that businesses have to realize whether they are merely defending themselves from the competition or they are embracing social media in the best appropriate manner. Another challenge that is hard for companies is to control the data which has been unleashed through social media. The issue of how to engage the customer is also a big challenge that the company has to overcome. The reason behind this is that not every sort of customer engagement is beneficial to the company. The article very well explains the various challenges of social networks. However, it fails to address the future potential for business with the use of social networks. (Leeflang et. al., 2014)
The theme has been developed by bearing in mind the use of social media in the context of business. The various academic sources have led to in-depth research on the topic. The literature review is going to examine the relevance of social networks in the context of business success.
This part of the research is going to divulge the various factors that have led to the augmented prominence of social networks in the present business scenario. The area has been very well researched through various factual resources. This will help the reader to grab a better understanding of the theme of the paper. (Barrett et al., 2006). This means the better quality of the literature source leads to a better quality of the researched paper.
The papers that have been chosen for the literature review are all peer-reviewed. The quality and the value of the research are the essences of the paper. The high-quality peer-reviewed papers help in this arena. The peer reviewing of the papers helps test the validity of the research. This validity is checked by experts in the same field. (Nature, 2006). Thus for correct qualitative and quantitative exploration, peer-reviewed journals have been used.
The journal articles that have been used as literary sources are all been published in international journals. The authors of these journals are all prominent academicians in their respective fields. All the papers which have been referred to in the research are currently published (not later than 2010).
All the research sources which have been identified in the papers are thoroughly checked and reviewed. Thus the information collected this way in the literature review is valid and reliable.
Though the literary sources which have been analyzed in the paper have dug deeper into the various factors of social networks which lead to the success of the business, however, these papers did not assess one of the most important factors of the social network i.e. User Generated Content’s role through the social networks in the success of the business. (Edu, 2017). The research has analyzed how UGC is playing a pivotal role in the success of businesses.
The research has covered all the factors that are responsible for the success of social networks in today’s business scenario. Though companies are yielding great results with the help of social networks at the same time it has posed various challenges too. The paper has thoroughly analyzed the various advantages as well as disadvantages of social networks for business.
Alharbie, A., (2015), Business Growth Thru Social Media Marketing, [Journal Article], Available: http://www.issr-journals.org/links/papers.php?journal=ijias&application=pdf&article=IJIAS-15-113-10, [Accessed 25 April 2017]
Abuhashesh, M., Y., (2014), Integration of Social Media in Businesses, [Journal Article], Available: http://ijbssnet.com/journals/Vol_5_No_8_July_2014/20.pdf, [Accessed 25 April 2017]
Bank, N., Z., and Tat, U., (2014), SOCIAL MEDIA AND ITS EFFECTS ON INDIVIDUALS AND SOCIAL SYSTEMS, [Journal Article], Available: http://www.toknowpress.net/ISBN/978-961-6914-09-3/papers/ML14-714.pdf, [Accessed 25 April 2017]
Barrett et al., (2006), The Concept of Quality in Education, [Journal Article], Available: http://www.edqual.org/publications/workingpaper/edqualwp3.pdf/at_download/file.pdf, [Accessed 26 April 2017]
Baruah, T., D., (2012), Effectiveness of Social Media as a tool of communication and its potential for technology enabled connections: A micro-level study, [Journal Article], Available: http://www.ijsrp.org/research_paper_may2012/ijsrp-may-2012-24.pdf, [Accessed 25 April 2017]
Belbey, J., (2015), Protect Your Firm from the 12 Risks of Social Media, [Article], Available: https://www.forbes.com/sites/joannabelbey/2015/05/21/protect-your-firm-from-the-13-risks-of-social-media/#2cade452331e, [Accessed 28 April 2017]
Bieber, J., (2014), Impact of Globalization of Social Media, [Article], Available: https://medium.com/@jessbiebss/impact-of-the-globalization-of-social-media-7f8e956c10ae, [Accessed 26 April 2017]
Dossani, R., (2011), Social Media and the Future of Business, [Journal Article], Available: http://www.wipro.com/blogs/social-media-and-the-future-of-business/, [Accessed 27 April 2017]
Edu, (2017), What is a Research Gap?, [Online], Available: https://msu.edu/course/aec/891/whatisagap.htm, [Accessed 26 April 2017]
Leeflang et al., (2014), Challenges and solutions for marketing in a digital era, [Journal Article], Available: https://www.aog.nl/assets/uploads/2016/06/Article-Verhoef-Leeflang-Dahlstrom-and-Freundt-2013.pdf, [Accessed 25 April 2017]
Mark, (2014), Literature Review Aims and Objectives, [Online], Available: http://www.literaturereviewof.com/aims-and-objectives.html, [Accessed 28 April 2017]
Nature, (2006), Quality and Value: The True Purpose of Peer Review, [Online], Available: http://www.nature.com/nature/peerreview/debate/nature05032.html, [Accessed 26 April 2017]
Simmons, L., (2017), Social Media and Consumer Behavior, [Article], Available: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/social-media-consumer-behavior-45733.html, [Accessed 30 April 2017]
Utopia, (2017), Literature Review: Purpose and Scope, [Online], Available: http://libguides.utopia.ut.edu/c.php?g=107692&p=698026, [Accessed 30 April 2017]
Web Junction, (2017), Social Networking and Web 2.0, [Online], Available: http://www.webjunction.org/explore-topics/social-web.html, [Accessed 29 April 2017]Order Now