In all the corners of the globe, critical players in the business industry are on the constant lookout of various ways that they can use to boost their business and increase the overall productivity of goods and services. This is done under the assumption that companies that are more exposed and those that able to reduce the costs of production as much as possible, eventually yield the highest profits. With the continuous development of technology and its adoption into most business models, it has become apparent that many more channels of increasing sales and exposure have been created and are being employed in boosting business. One of the ways with the highest impacts on business today has been identified as social media. Imagine a platform that has gained so much popularity over the past couple of years that most influential people and businesses have no choice but to engage it? This has been the global impact of social media, and in this article, we are in detail going to explore some of the most significant role of social media in the business industry.
What is social media?
In order to understand the impact of this tool and the various ways that it affects businesses, it is crucial that we understand what it is and what it does. Many of us are already social media users, and we do not even know it. This is a platform that has converted the world into a global village that can easily communicate and share information so fast, that information can travel all across the globe in a matter of seconds. By definition, we can say that social media is the different applications and websites that enable users to create and share content or to generally participate in social networking. Through social media, content can be shared in real-time, quickly, and efficiently. Some of the information that can be shared through social media includes photos, events, videos, opinions, and other things that people and businesses considered important to them. This has ultimately altered the way people live as well as the way that business is conducted. It is also important to note that most of the great businesses and enterprises have adopted this technology and most influential companies and business personalities are signed up on different social media platforms in a bid to conduct business.
Importance of social media
In the modern world, social media is considered as one of the most essential communication tools by both businesses and individuals. For individuals, it is employed as a tool that helps to keep in touch with friends and family. Individuals also apply this tool for networking purposes and for finding career opportunities through finding individuals from around the continent with similar interests or business opportunities. In recent times, social media has also been used for personal businesses where individuals who for example, sell different commodities, use the platforms like Facebook to advertise their products or even distribute pictures of the things that they sell.
For business, the uses of social media seem unlimited since the platforms offer so many great opportunities, that it is close to impossible to touch them all in great detail. Business owners and companies are able to reach out to their clients as well as potential customers through the use of this vital tool. They are also able to gain the attention of more people through some of the advertisements that they place on their pages. Social media is also considered as an essential piece of the business marketing strategy as it creates the much-needed link with clients, propels the level of brand awareness, and substantially boosts the business leads and sales. This is one tool that simplifies life from a business point of view, and the use of social media can have significant impacts on the way business is done. Currently, more than three billion people around the globe are connected, and your business can easily reach them through use of a different number of platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs as well as other sites that have a content based on User Generated Content (UGC) as well as user participation. Let us explore some of the most significant impacts of social media in business.
Impacts of Social Media on Business
Billions of individuals all over the world use social media for a wide range of reasons, including brand engagement. It is quite evident that more people follow brands and businesses on social media than those that follow celebrities, especially on platforms like Instagram. This is because of the fact that people are very interested in commodities and various lines of business in the industry. For businesses, failing to take advantage of this great tool is a lousy approach owing to the fact that it is considered as one of the most effective ways to reach almost half of the world’s population. Use of social media can have the following impacts in the business industry.
1. Brand loyalty
All marketers can testify that one of the most ideal customer traits is loyalty. Customer loyalty is the state where the consumers prefer to purchase the products of one brand over the other. Loyalty occurs when an enterprise develops a trusting and honest relationship with the consumers. Loyalty is essential to a business because it makes a significant contribution towards repeated buying by the clients, which in turn leads to more customer referrals and higher revenues. In essence, social media aids in the creation of a firm base of loyal customers as well as brand followers who will take the business to the next level.
Social media is modifying the nature of competition where through the use of social media marketing, businesses are able to compete with each other in real-time. Competition has driven most of the brands to perform effectively on social media. An enterprise can easily monitor the actions of the competitors, recently launched campaigns and the best performing posts of a business. When a business does not make use of social media platforms, they are automatically allowing the competitors to capture the attention and interest of all the consumers. Notably, stiff competition normally leads to the creation of quality products, which are sold at affordable prices.
3. Faster and easier communication
Social media has enabled consumers to contact the customer care representatives within a short duration as compared to how things were before. Business enterprises can also receive, review, and respond to the grievances of the consumers faster and easier. Depending on the grievances and the nature of the industry, challenges may still be present. However, one known fact is that the line of communication, which was once difficult to establish is no longer challenging. Currently, communication has become easier as people keep using social media platforms to maintain contact with the people that matter most to their business entities. Consumers can provide real-time feedback to businesses like never before, something which most corporates have endeavoured to achieve for the longest duration.
4. Timely customer feedback
In the world of business, regardless of the industry, which the business is marketing and selling to, all the focus is channelled to the consumers. Business success, both traditionally and digitally, is achieved through understanding and thereafter delivering the best services to ensure that the needs of the customers are met. Customer feedback is essential not only to the success of any type of business but also to its long-lasting reputation. Social media aids in maintaining a good reputation by providing platforms where enterprises can directly interact with consumers and obtain real-time feedback. Businesses should use social media platforms to build a good brand, which can be relied on for many years to come.
5. Difficult to erase mistakes
Social media is a platform where businesses make mistakes, either knowingly or unknowingly. These mistakes can turn out costly to a business. Most business owners do not have ways of censoring the information or rectifying their mistakes without suffering from a backlash. Unhappy employees, as well as dissatisfied clients, have the freedom to make negative comments about your enterprise, which thereafter puts your business in the spotlight. A mistake that you thought was small or redeemable may end up becoming the defining moment of your enterprise. Clients are always free to make any comments about the problems they encounter while shopping at your business and at times, these posts may go viral, hence destroying the image of the business.
6. Destroys the reputation of a business.
Social media allows an individual to build a good image for a brand. The business owner can communicate with a large audience within a short duration through the use of curated posts. Indeed, social media offers diverse platforms where a person can develop a strong social identity for their brand. However, poorly planned campaigns can destroy the reputation of your business within a very short duration. Hence, a person might end up losing old, and new potential clients and the enterprise may also appear synthetic. Most enterprises do not recover when their brand is destroyed.
7. Unintentional disclosure of sensitive information
Most businesses have competitive advantages, which are not only essential to the success of the business but also do not want the competitors to know. It is often challenging to safeguard the security of sensitive information in the current digitized generation. A business owner or even an employee may accidentally share sensitive information and realize their mistake when it is already late given the speed at which information moves from one person to another. It is also common for most workers to express their frustrations in social media platforms where they may end up disclosing sensitive information to the competitors.
8. Reduction in the face to face communication
Although social media has diverse advantages, it has created an atypical problem where there is a reduction in face to face communication. Employers, employees, family members, and friends maintain contact with each other through the use of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp. In most corporate environments, communication is an essential thing for smooth cooperation, mutual understanding, and the overall success of a business entity. However, when there is a reduction in physical contact, it becomes difficult for companies to not only hold meetings but also develop a personal relationship with the clients.
9. Increased consumer power
Thanks to social media platforms, the consumers are provided with greater power to publicly complain and show their frustrations by posting negative comments about the businesses they did not like. Apparently, it has become very difficult for most enterprises to control this negative publicity from the consumers. The leveraged consumer power could be used by the competitors to intentionally damage the good reputation of a business through writing blog posts, bad reviews, and spreading negative rumours. Businesses currently have an additional burden of tracking the online social conversations with the clients and ensuring all the suggestions and complaints are addressed in a timely manner.
Social media has been identified as a very powerful tool from a business point of view. As discussed above, this tool can have both positive and negative impacts in the business industry.
It is a tool that can either build or destroy a business in more than one way. Companies all over the world, as well as individuals in business, have adopted social media in their models in a bid to help them flourish and become more relevant in the business industry. Consumers, on the other hand, have adopted social media since it is a very convenient way of getting commodities as well as offering feedback and opinions on a given brand. This indicates that social media can be used in a variety of ways by either the companies or the consumers and is majorly an important tool in communication and advertising which are considered as very important aspects in the business industry.