With the continued growth of technology, and its use, social media has become a powerful tool in business. In fact, social media has become so prevalent in the professional world that it is now seen as being taboo if a company is not active on at least Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This increase in the professional use of social media has brought about great benefits for businesses. However, some of those benefits come with potentially negative consequences.
As a benefit to business, social media has become an additional platform for companies to advertise. Evidence of this are the ads, announcements, commercials, and links of numerous companies displayed on social media websites. In today’s society, this form of promotion keeps companies on the minds of consumers 24 hours a day and allows companies to receive perks such as: increased brand awareness and loyalty; valuable customer insight; and increased web traffic. However, while those perks are good for business, they all bring the potentially negative consequences associated with heightened visibility.
One of the most detrimental aspects of increased visibility, via social media, is accountability. Due to the level at which information is shared on social media, it has become more difficult for companies to conceal secrets that can damage their reputations. In today’s world, it is commonplace to see press conferences and apology statements from companies and organizations because of incriminating information displayed on social media.
A current example of a company in the negative spotlight of social media is Equifax. Without social media, the hacking of their system may not have been as publicly known. To the detriment of Equifax, and some of its employees, updates of the company’s business post hack may negatively affect its market share price.
Social media has been embraced as a staple in global communication for businesses. The benefits are huge, but so are the possible detriments. With the potential for an increase in revenue from advertising on social media, the benefits may outweigh the negative costs. That is, unless businesses develop the habit of allowing colossal mistakes. Since that is not likely to become the norm, social media is probably more beneficial than detrimental.
– Kamar Hamilton