The pro’s and con’s of Social Networking

18 11 2009

Social Networking has become more and more popular over the past few years. Many businesses have already discovered the potential these sites have to generate new business. Some businesses, however, are still unsure about if they should venture into the world of social networking, which is why I wrote this post! In this post, I will describe some pro’s and con’s that social networking offers. Read on!

The Pro’s

Always good to start on a positive note 🙂

  • Networking – Many people think of social networking sites as a virtual Speed Networking event. To a certain extent, I would agree. Although it is always better to actually attend a networking meeting, sometimes we are stretched for time; which is where social networking comes in!
  • Cheap as chips – It’s not really cheap as chips. It’s actually free most of the time, for example, Facebook, Twitter etc. Think of it like this; with huge marketing expenses, would you throw away a free marketing strategy?
  • Personal touch – Social networking is a way for a company to interact and build a relationship with their customers, and potential customers. I personally think it is great to have a face behind a brand; it helps customers trust you quicker.
  • HUGE reach – How many people do you think you can reach with an ad in your local newspaper? Maybe a few thousand. Now think of how many people you can reach on the internet. Billions.

The Con’s

  • Time – A fair bit of time is required to maintain a social networking site, to set it up, to constantly post on it, to interact with people, etc. This is why a lot of people aren’t using it for business purposes yet. I believe, however, that the return on your time is worth it. Maybe some of you think the opposite? Let me know in the comment section below.

  • Time II – This isn’t in relation to the amount of time inputting, it is about the amount of time it takes to achieve results. Getting new business from a social networking site usually takes a while, because the main purpose of these sites is to build relationships with prospective customers, and only some of those people will actually become customers.

  • 1 mistake – Yep. One mistake is all it takes to tarnish a reputation you have been steadily building for years. One spelling error, and people think you’re unprofessional. You need to make sure everything is right before sending an update or a tweet, or anything else.

  • Hackers – Don’t think it won’t happen to you. Many profiles for small businesses have been hacked, and the profiles destroyed, or obscene images posted, or foul language used. You can go a fair way towards stopping this happening to you, though, by maintaining your security settings, changing your password often, etc.

I hope that this post was helpful. If you have any more pro’s or con’s about social networking, then share your wisdom with the other readers!

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