While social media has helped small and large businesses reach greater success, it has its faults. It is a double edged sword which can cut both ways. With knowledge of the existence of danger, a business can avoid the traps and reap benefits from social media. Some of these disadvantages are discussed below.
The staff in the business office may end up spending working hours catching up with friends and family on social sites. This robs the business of effective production. It causes backlog of work and eventually affects profitability. The business will suffer if staff members get hooked on the social media craze. There are organizations which have blocked access to some sites like Facebook from work stations in a bid to prevent this kind of time wastage. These are not many. Typically it doesn’t work for long as staff members find ways to circumvent the firewall. Research has shown that about 1.5% productivity is lost on Facebook alone.
An employee may post something on his page that is deemed offensive by a colleague. The hard feelings may spill over into the office causing destruction of the working spirit. This may end up affecting productivity negatively. An employee may also post something that offends his superior leading to unnecessary tension in the work place.
If a business makes a wrong move offline, the damage can be controlled. When a business messes up online, particularly on social media, the damage is practically uncontrollable. The brand may take a huge dent. This can in extreme cases destroy a company forever.
Social media allows sharing of content such as pictures, graphics and others. If a business wants to keep a developing product under wraps until it is ready, one person with malice can bring this plan to its knees. Content shared online is in the public domain from then forthwith. Once a secret is out, it is done. If the leak is juicy, it might go viral and even get featured in the mainstream media.
Staff members can conspire to bring a business down. They can go on social media and post demeaning content. This then gets spun in so many ways that a business is hurt deeply. Care should be taken so as not to attract such malice, especially from within.
A business intending to run an efficient social media campaign will have to allocate resources for this. This may be expensive particularly for startups. Due to the hype surrounding social media, a business may fall under the temptation to overspend on it. This may affect other key areas of the business causing it to fail.
Social media is a vital resource for starting up, marketing and expanding your business. It however has the power to destroy the business completely. With caution and the right advisors, these pits can be avoided. The business will need to critically monitor the effect of its social media presence to determine its viability.