People nowadays see social media as a quick and easy way to connect with people around them. Whether you want to connect with friends, family or people around the globe, social media platforms have made connecting with people super easy.
Due to mobile technologies and cheap internet accessibility for masses, active social media users now stand at 3.499 Billion. 3.429 billion people use mobile phones to interact on social media platforms. The major share of social media users is owned by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. These are the most widely used but induction of new apps like Snapchat and Tiktok has seen a great spike in the increase in their usage.
Along with these social networking sites, Youtube stands at second position with 1.9 billion users. The average session lasts for 40 minutes a day for each of these users.
With such brilliant stats for Social Media Usage, it does reap benefits but comes against a price for each one of us. We have outlined certain advantages and disadvantages of using Social Media for your awareness.
Advantages of Social Media
Social Media platforms allow you to increase your reachability to a massive audience. If you are interacting with people on a consistent basis, you can build a great number of followers for yourself. Kylie Jenner has currently reached 145 million followers on Instagram
Politicians around the world are able to convey their messages to their voters through Twitter with ease. You can see how Donald Trump uses his Twitter account to announce and explain the decisions he makes. Most institutions release press releases through their social accounts to the concerned people. This makes it convenient for people to share news and updates.
Social media plays a great role in making people aware of current affairs. Breaking news gets viral in minutes. People who use social media regularly come across news and current affairs updates. So, they know what’s happening around the world.
Human Right Activists and NGOs pay special attention to social media when they want to make people aware of any current issues they want to highlight. If they are raising the voice for the right cause, they get great support from social media users. Even if you are not prone to watching the news, you still know about the hot issues discussed widely on the Internet
3. Like-Minded Communities and Groups
You can find groups and forums for almost any industry on social media where professional share industry-related experiences and insights. This is a significant knowledge that you can gain from these kinds of social communities. It provides you the opportunity for seeking out solutions to your problems directly from the experienced personals
Most people consider Reddit and Quora to ask questions about the problems they are facing. The top quality solution lies in niche groups that can be easily found and platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. People love to interact and provide answers to people as they realize it leads to better learning for themselves also
4. Free to Use
We’ll cover up later in the disadvantages what price we have to pay to use Social Media for Free. But, seeing things positively, we have access to amazing content for free on a daily basis. There are hundreds and thousands of content creators who create educational and entertaining videos regularly.
Youtube is a great platform for home-based learning without paying any fees. Content creators have also shifted their focus towards Facebook as videos can be monetized now. Tiktok recently has been a great source of entertainment for youngsters. All the entertainment content is available for free and we can access it whenever we feel like.
5. Helping Out People
Social Media Platforms allows us to help people in need. Any person in need of Blood Donations or requiring financial help, you can share them on social media with a personal reference. This increases the authenticity of the person who is in dire need of some sort of help.
So, you can contribute a great cause to society if you have influential people in your following list. Little contributions can sometimes make a great difference in the lives of people. Social platforms have been extremely useful in raising donations for these kinds of causes.
Along with these, Social Media brings advantages to Business owners looking to promote their products and services. Each business needs to have a social presence if they want to gain trust of their customers. Business owners need to decide which social platforms they should focus on to reach out to their targeted customers
Have a look at some of the advantages social media brings to the table for business owners.
6. Brand Exposure
Businesses have the opportunity to gain new customers through Social Media Platforms. Social Media Accounts add authenticity to any business. A business with more followings has greater exposure as compared to its competitors. You are able to spread the word about your offerings quite easily
7. Easily Reach Out to Target Audiences
Social platforms tend to know more about the demographics and interests of their users. If you are looking to reach out to highly targeted customers, then social media is a great option compared with traditional advertising.
Business owners need to create a buyer persona and so they can specifically reach out to only those people who fit in as their customers. This is super easy and you can manage all this through your Admin Dashboard while creating Ads.
8. Cost-Effective Advertising
In comparison with physical advertisement and Television Ads, Social Media have minimum costs for delivering your message across the targeted audience. This is the main reason why we see so many ads while scrolling down a news feed.
Ad Revenue is the main source of income for these social platforms. Both businesses and platforms are mutually providing benefits to each other. Whether you want to promote your business regionally or internationally, to sum it up we can say that social media is a better option for cost-effective advertising.
9. Personalized Communication
Customers can easily reach out to businesses regarding any queries they might have. It is a great opportunity to convert leads into customers as you are able to respond directly to the potential buyer. Chances are much higher to earn a sale when you are able to remove their concerns. This builds a lasting relationship if superior customer service is provided online.
10. Build Traffic to Website
With the help of social media, you can create awareness among the target audience about your business. Gradually, you can come into their consideration level when you repeatedly come under their notice for a specific offering of a product or service. Through social channels, you can drive leads to your website and finally convert them into your customers
11. Performance Evaluation
Social Media Analytics tools provide detailed reports of how well your advertisements are performing. It provides an answer to how many people you’ve reached through social media. It also gives insights on how users interacted.
These reports allow marketers to evaluate their marketing strategy and optimize future campaigns. If you are flexible enough in your approach, you can earn a great deal from social media making sure you keep trying for a considerable period of time.
Disadvantages of Social Media
Since Social Media brings us so many advantages, it is sad to see the dark side of social media platforms. Excessive and abusive use of anything leads to harm to society. The disadvantage is that we are more vulnerable and have become addicted to it in some sort.
1. Diverts Attention
The first thing you need to do is get rid of social apps if you want to pay full attention to something important. Whether there are exams coming ahead or some office tasks you got a deadline for. social media does not allow you to stay focused.
You might open up an app to check notifications, but there is a lot inside other than that. You keep scrolling and surfing which leads to wastage of precious time. Meeting goals timely should be the 1st preference for each one of us.
2. Fake News Campaigns
One of the major challenges social media platforms face today is to stop the spreading of fake news. News shared by non-confirmed resources and without any authenticity misguides people and it fulfills the agenda of lobbyists. There is a strong need to remove these kinds of social accounts that are involved in creating propaganda and spreading fake news.
The responsibility lies with us also to share news from verified resources. Any news or article from a reputable agency should be shared on your social accounts. Any videos or articles from unauthentic resources should be avoided if they can have a negative impact on society.
Social media profiles can be easily manipulated to show things which are not existing in reality. There is no specific mechanism to verify any generic profile or business promising to deliver something remotely. It is highly advisable not to deal with these kinds of profiles without any substantial evidence and security provided.
There are many relationship scams that have emerged due to couples interacted socially. People looking for companions on these platforms are potentially at serious risk of scams and frauds. No financial transactions should be made based on the communication carried out on social media
4. Privacy Issues
Your data is not safe with social media platforms. Their algorithms note each and every activity of our on different applications. Our social behaviors and preferences set the tone which advertisements we are going to see on these social apps. These apps tend to be free but we are the product that these platforms are selling.
You can try yourself. Search for a product or service on Google and next minute you are going to see similar ads on social media. This is the power of these apps, they know everything about our whereabouts. Even they can access our gallery, microphone and everything you consider as private data. So, we need to be extremely careful while allowing access to these kinds of apps to access the data we consider private.
5. Society Imbalance
We tend to idealize people who are doing well on social media. The race to getting more followers and friends is getting more challenging day by day. Young people do certain things to appease their social audience and idealize their life standards in front of them.
Society imbalance is created when you will try to achieve something that is not feasible for you right now. You cannot afford certain things but you will still wish to do it because someone has made an impact on your mind through social media. Our opinions regarding lifestyle are massively impacted by these kinds of influencers.
6. Offline Communications have declined
We have become so much addicted to social apps that most of us now do not consider meeting with friends and family offline. It is seen as a substitute for interacting with people physically. This is not the case as relationships are only strengthened when you communicate offline physically present.
Youngsters who are addicted to these apps don’t realize much of the importance of offline communication. Often, most of the couples tend to rely totally on social media for communication. Experiencing reality is a completely different thing and relationships break as expectation level does not match.
7. Impact on Health Levels
Extreme usage of mobile phones and social media has adverse effects on the human body’s health. The sleep cycle gets disrupted when you are attracted to other things too much. Your mind can become reluctant to sleep and this greatly reduces the healthiness of a body.
Our physical activities are now limited as most of us are spending hours on these social applications. It makes us lazy and leads to a stationary life routine. Social media usage needs to be seriously checked right away to prevent any adverse effects on the body’s healthiness level.
With regular updates on social media algorithms, businesses are also finding it hard to build their authority on social media. Below are some disadvantages of social media platforms that businesses are facing.
8. Organic Reach has reached a minimum level
Social media wants to consume more of the businesses advertising budget. It is extremely difficult to reach the audience organically. Businesses have to spend a few bucks to increase their brand reachability. This makes it difficult for startup businesses to gain customers initially without any sponsored content.
9. Regular Postings on Social Media is a hard thing to do
Business pages that have not posted anything new on social profiles seem irrelevant to the targeted audience. They may change their decision to buy if a business has not recently interacted with their social audience. Businesses need to remain active on their social accounts to remain relevant in the Online space.
For this purpose, you need new content or products, graphic designing work for attractive images to be shared on social media. These are not easy tasks and can only be created by professionals. Business owners need to hire an agency or social media expert to handle their social profiles and interact with queries on a daily basis. So, the costs of being active on social media are not low which most of us consider.
10. Positive reviews are the only way of survival
Social media reviews are considered by most of the buyers to decide about the company’s quality related to its products and services. Any negative review and comments can put social profile to a great risk of losing customers and leads.
This is a serious challenge for businesses to always provide super effective customer experience. Any negative review can hurt badly to the online business a company is aiming to build on. Obviously, the customers are at an advantage and this is one of the powers they have when it comes to interacting with businesses on social media.
11. Social Media as a way to earn money
Social media is now a great platform where some of the influencers are making a handsome amount of money. If you think people would love to listen and read what your thoughts are or you have an interesting lifestyle then you can make a living out of it.
Brand shoutouts are now very much common seen on social media these days. So, if you put in consistent hard work on your social profiles then it can be seen as a revenue potential for businesses around. You need to select the industry for which you can pass on the expert opinion and people would love to hear from you.
Social Media is all about giving free content to be consumed by the audience. Once people regularly start interacting on your posted content then there is a huge potential for creating revenue. If you are looking to build on this revenue model, then you should look to build social accounts that can be monetized once they are eligible.
From micro-influencers to macro ones and celebrities, all are making great deals due to their social followings. Social Media Influencers can make $30000-$100000 Annually so it is a quite decent opportunity to earn. Also, you build a repute and get massive recognition socially.
While you make space for yourself in the social world, you tend to learn a great set of skills. You are able to speak whatever you feel like and you become presentable to society. More and more people tend to give you the importance and want to know more about your work. But, you need to be always on your toes, one bad input can lead to a serious downfall. You need to put out content that is acceptable to the general norms of your society and culture.
How to use Social Media in a Positive Way
When we have some goals in our life to achieve, we need to avoid habits that are coming in our way. Social media can be a time-wasting activity but it is a great source of knowledge too. If you are not using it in a productive manner, then the right option should be to decline its usage.
Use social apps for a limited period of time. 10-15 minutes a day are enough to get to know what your friends and family are upto. You need to remove those people from your follower’s list who share meaningless content in great quantity. You don’t want to see those posts and removing them from your social feed is the way to go.
You need to be extremely careful against cyberbullying. Don’t connect with stranger accounts and even think to respond to their spam messages. Keep your friend’s list always filtered and allow only trusted contacts to see what you are doing on social media. Implement all the tight privacy controls in which social apps allow us to do so.
Our attitude sometimes prevents us from being productive and thinking about positive things. If someone tends to blame social media for his/her failures, the fault lines are inside that person. We should be motivated enough to put behind the social media addiction and work with a focused approach.
Although, there are some serious drawbacks to using social media platforms but it is the easiest mode of connecting with people. We need to use this to our advantage rather than going in a nutshell by only observing what others are doing socially. When you develop a reputed social profile, it can be called a social currency and the audience will value your opinions.
So, try to be productive and share only those things which can make a positive impact on other people’s lives. Don’t become part of any propaganda unintentionally and keep things simple for yourself. Also, you need to manage your time to interact with social apps for a limited period of time.
We hope, all the advantages and disadvantages of social media listed above will help you out in making your life even better. Rethink your attitude towards social media if you fall too much on negative aspects of using social media. Things can work out very soon if you make an effort on a consistent basis.