The impact of social media is hard to ignore today. Whether you want to gather information, grow your interests, build your business, or entertain yourself, social media platforms have you covered. But there are downsides to using social media too.
According to the United Nations, global population will cross 8 billion by 2023. Smart Insights said the total number of social media users will cross 4.70 billion in 2023. Nearly more than half of the global population have been using it on a daily average of 2 hours 29 minutes.
Social media has significantly bridged the communication gap across cultures and geographical boundaries. Likewise, it provides a direct channel for personalized communication for marketers. All in all, it is addictive, adaptable, and caters to anyone’s needs.
But, what is the real impact of social media? Let’s find out.
- Impact of social media on businesses
- Impact of social media on mental health and society
- Impact of social media at work
Impact of Social Media on Businesses
Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of social media for businesses.
How Social Media Benefits Businesses
Everyone knows a social media presence for a business is more than necessary.
Social media marketing can improve brand perception through audience engagement. It can be a powerful tool for social listening and customer segmentation. And, it can preferably be the most convenient medium to reach a wider audience when the business focuses on digital marketing.
Further, the impact of social media on businesses can also be seen in how it humanizes the relationship between the brand and social media users. The bottom line is that it creates trust, as posts and comments are visible to all users. Through it, you can improve your organic traffic to your website as well, passively.
And, various tools measure social media engagement through comments, likes, shares, and brand mentions, among others. For instance, just use the free Google Analytics tool.
It is also relatively cost-effective to create a social media strategy. Businesses can quickly sign up for profiles on platforms without paying anything. This can be much beneficial even for those who are new to entrepreneurship.
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According to Brand Watch, there are 25 million brand accounts on Instagram alone. This figure only states the necessity of knowing how to increase Instagram followers.
Disadvantages of Social Media for Businesses
While there are many advantages of using social media for a business of any size, there are some challenges too.
One is the competition. As mentioned earlier, every business account on social media is for all to find out. One’s competitors can easily find the strategy and implement it on their channels.
In short, no matter how innovative your strategy is, your competitors can easily use the same and pull your social media followers by offering more than they like.
Another downside to using social media is the negative feedback from users and customers. They can easily comment on a post they find offensive or a customer service gone wrong. You may lose your followers if you are not ready to answer those comments.
For instance, you can have a look at Domino’s Twitter channel. It answers all comments humbly, no matter how negative they are.
Related: Domino’s digital marketing strategy
Impact of Social Media on Mental Health & Society
Here is how social media can affect a user’s mental health positively and negatively.
How Social Media Benefits Your Mental Health & Society
According to a Harvard study –
“Social media may provide individuals with a platform that overcomes barriers of distance and time, allowing them to connect and reconnect with others and thereby expand and strengthen their in-person networks and interactions.”
This study was based on how routine social media usage can benefit one’s well-being.
Another benefit of social media is that it raises awareness. There are many marketing campaigns on social media that are created to address challenges a group of individuals faces.
Further, social media is a great medium to meet like-minded people, which can be unlikely in an offline setting. The same people online who share the same views can help in removing stigmas associated with some views. This can help in removing the feeling of being ostracized from society.
Disadvantages of Social Media on Mental Health & Society
While social media can seem too easy to foster relationships with people sharing similar views, the same can also become victims of cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is one of the main reasons for anxiety among all ages.
But the negative impact of social media on youth is worse than that on adults.
According to Digital Trends, there was a 70% increase in bullying among teens when the pandemic just started. And Swansea University states adolescents and young adults below 25 years of age are twice as likely to show signs of suicidal behaviour.
Impact of Social Media at Work
Using social media at work can have a number of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s find them out.
Benefits of Using Social Media at Work
Nearly 77% of employees use social media at work (Zippia). A Harvard study pointed out that 82% of employees think social media improves work relationships. In the same study, about 60% of employees believe social media is vital for decision-making.
Workers who use social media as an interaction medium with co-workers show more signs of motivation. This further leads to improved team bonding.
Even when they are not bonding with co-workers, social media can be helpful in taking breaks.
Disadvantages of Using Social Media at Work
Social media can be the worst tool in the wrong hands. As social platforms are visible to all and posts can become quickly viral, a disgruntled employee may damage the company’s reputation.
There are some instances when some employees are wrongly accused of a tweet they had written but taken out of context. Suppose the accused was proved not wrong. It can instantly damage their reputation, or the worst-case scenario, they can be fired from the job before even investigating for proof.
Another downside to using social media at the workplace is that it can cause envy among employees when they post about their new purchases, emphasizing their social standing.
So these were some of the different areas facing the impact of social media. As you have observed, there are advantages as many as disadvantages. But if social media is used moderately, there can be more benefits to one’s mental health, work, and business than the cons mentioned today.
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