What Are The Pros And Cons Of Social Networking?

Social media sites made their debut a few decades ago. Back then, they were only regarded as a cheap medium via which one could reconnect with old friends and keep in touch with family members living in distant countries. In recent times, it has emerged as one of the most popularly used marketing mediums by large and small businesses alike. You will be surprised to know that there a few businesses that thrive only because of social networking sites.

This short write-up aims at briefing you on the advantages and disadvantages of social networking particularly in its relation to business promotion.

The Pros
Social networking offers users a range of benefits. The first is the ability to connect with prospective clients and business partners residing in and operating from different countries of the world. Earlier, this was not possible because of geographical barriers and time-induced limitations. The advent of the internet has now made it possible for like-minded individuals to connect with each other conveniently using social media.

The second advantage of social networking is the ability to transmit information, both private and personal, in a matter of minutes. Further adding benefits to its phenomenal speed is its large fan base. Social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace have their membership running into millions. Not only this, when you send a message to someone, he or she passes it on to his friends and those friends in turn pass it on their friends. This way, you can reach out to more people than you imagined. Also, you get an opportunity to convey your word beyond your targeted market without spamming anyone.

While it is not a free medium, it definitely helps cut costs in the long run.

The Cons
The advantages listed above gives you no reason why you should not leverage social networking for your business. However, there is also another side to social media that every business owner should be aware of.

Messages transmitted via emails are password-protected. There are chances of interception, but it is reduced to the minimum. When you use social media for business, you must safeguard your business and its crucial information from scammers and hackers. Being a highly-viral medium, it takes no time for rumors to spread. Getting back your business image once it has been tarnished is not an easy task. Hence, you should always proceed with precaution and have some security measures in place. As an open source stalkers and spammers also use it to spread viruses and procure private contact information

Given the popularity of social networking as a marketing tool, students are being taught how to improve their social networking skills. If you want to make optimum use of this marketing medium, you should proceed as follows.

• Work with a defined strategy and purpose in mind.
• It is tempting to spread the word of your business by joining all the social media sites all at once. This strategy will not work. Instead, you should concentrate on building one profile at a time. Opt to create a profile with the biggies in the market.
• Target a relevant group or one that it is truly interested in your business.
• Familiarize yourself with the social network in order to be able to use its features to your advantage.
• A dashboard is good to work with because you have everything at a glance. Leave links and comments. Also, pay heed to comments made on your posts.