Social media has become an integral part of business and consumer life. For businesses, social media has opened new avenues for marketing, awareness, education, and relationship-building with customers. Let’s talk about a few pros and cons of using social media for your business that apply whether you’re a solopreneur or an enterprise organization.

Pros (Positives)

Brand Awareness – Social media meets your customers where they already are engaging
online. Through targeted ads and organic posts, followers and non-followers alike can find your
brand on various social media platforms. This can help them discover your brand for the first
time or help keep you at the top of their minds.

Engagement – Developing an active social media presence allows your customers to engage
with you more often. These engagements can take more varied and interactive forms, as well.
Videos, stories, images, surveys, and even humor can engage your audience. This can help
build a stronger sense of relationship with them over a variety of interactions.

Cost Effective – When compared to more traditional marketing tactics like TV ads, magazine
ads, or billboards, social media is an affordable avenue to market your brand. Social media
takes time and some investment of cash for content development and ads, but it can be far
more effective at lower budget levels than many traditional marketing channels.

Reviews & Feedback – Social media channels give users options for reviewing, rating, and
messaging businesses that are virtually instant. This gives you a chance to answer questions,
thank customers, and address any service delivery issues that arise quickly. Strong customer
service ratings are always helpful to businesses.

Cons (Negatives)

Public Feedback – While social media gives people a space to connect with your company, it
also creates a space for people to leave negative reviews and complaints about your business
in a public forum. It may sting, but remember as a business to respond calmly and redirect the
conversation, if you can. It’s ok to have a few negative reviews in the mix, but aim for a higher
percentage of positive reviews.

Time & Productivity – Even when it’s for business purposes, it’s really easy for an employee to
get sucked into browsing social channels and lose track of the time they have used online. It’s
said that every time your concentration is interrupted, it can take up to 20 minutes to get that
level of focus back. Imagine the interruptions social notifications and posts can bring to an
employee’s workday. One of the best ways to prevent excess loss of time is to hire a marketing
team to help manage your channels. If you need to handle social internally, plan a blocked time
schedule where certain hours are dedicated to social media efforts rather than working in a
random, reactive manner.

Malware – Social media platforms can distribute malware via fake or spam accounts and
phishing links. Without proper cyber security training for your team, your company information
may be at risk when using social media on company devices, even if it’s for company purposes.
Ensure your team is familiar with tactics cybercriminals use and are trained in best practices to
avoid downloading malware.

Hijacking – Another account on the internet can be another target for hackers. It’s important to
enforce good password practices and not to store important company information in your social
media accounts. A hacked account is a risk for a data breach, as well as spreading malware
between employees of your company, vendors, and possibly even customers.

Sure, there are risks to engaging on social platforms as a business, but so long as customers
are there… businesses will be, too. Minimize the risks to your company with solid policies and
cybersecurity awareness training from JFG. We’re here to help you safeguard your business
and be successful.