27 advantages and disadvantages of social networks

The emergence of social networks brought with it new communication, entertainment and business dynamics that changed the way we interact today.

The immediacy that the internet offers, added to the format possibilities offered by social networks, have influenced people, organizations and brands in a positive and negative way in the last decade.

Therefore, while it is not possible to stop the evolution of the digital world, taking into account the advantages and disadvantages of social networks in the educational, organizational and personal framework can help us make better decisions regarding its use.

In education
  • Access to knowledge in new formats.
  • Creation of interest groups.
  • Improper use of the tool.
  • Possible source of exclusion.
In organizations
  • They contribute to promoting the communication strategy of the company.
  • Tools for customer loyalty.
  • They help drive sales.
  • Results measurement.
  • Segmentation.
  • Feedback.
  • Customer Support.
  • Competitor analysis.
  • Internal interaction.
  • Fluid communication.
  • Influence on the reputation of the company.
  • They require investment.
  • Inappropriate use of networks in the workplace.
  • Privacy policies and use of personal data.
In daily life
  • New form of entertainment.
  • Simplification of communications.
  • Professional projection.
  • Possibility of registering recommendations and criticisms.
  • They are not “free”.
  • Digital scams.
  • Identity fraud.
  • Digital harassment.

Advantages of social networks in education

Access to content of academic interest has been enhanced with the expansion of the digital world. These are the advantages of social networks in education:

1. Access to knowledge in new formats

Although access to various content is not new (it could already be done on the web since the emergence of blogging platforms), social networks contribute to the transmission of knowledge in formats that a few years ago were non-existent.

Today it is possible to see a class on an Instagram live , follow a live event on that same platform, on Twitter or Facebook, have access to a tutorial in the form of a post, stories or image gallery, etc.

Even the direct message option allows remote contact with professors or specialists to ask questions, suggestions or research collaborations.

2. Creation of interest groups

Social media makes it easy to create groups of people who are brought together virtually to share a common interest. A group of students can create a closed group in a social network to exchange content, a teacher can decide to do the same to share study material, etc.

Disadvantages of social networks in education

While social media can be a useful tool for education, its use can be disadvantageous if not done properly.

1. Improper use of the tool

Access to social networks in the study area implies the use of mobile phones, tablets or personal computers. If this dynamic is not handled correctly by the teaching staff, the use of these devices can become a distracting element.

2. Possible source of exclusion

Even today there are people who due to financial limitations do not have access to updated digital devices. If you create a dynamic in which social networks become an indispensable educational tool, you run the risk of excluding those who do not have access to them.

Advantages of social networks in organizations

Networks have also transformed the way organizations are managed. From becoming a marketing tool, to an ally of internal communications. Here are some advantages:

1. They contribute to promoting the communication strategy of the company

When an organization has a well-managed social media presence with clear objectives, it can positively boost its image with its customers, suppliers, and competitors.

2. Tools for customer loyalty

With social networks, strategies such as content marketing can be put into practice, which helps to establish loyalty relationships with potential customers without resorting to direct sales.

3. They help drive sales

A professional digital marketing strategy should result in the acquisition of new clients and translate actions into conversion (sales).

4. Measurement of results

The strategies carried out using social networks can be measured in real time, since currently the most important platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) have analytical tools that allow to closely monitor the evolution and effectiveness of the digital campaigns.

5. Segmentation

Social networks also have tools that allow you to segment your target audience, which allows you to create strategies that directly target the type of customer you want to retain.

7. Feedback

The use of networks in organizations not only allows knowing what customers think about the products and services offered, but also it is possible to establish a much more direct, close and effective communication than in the past.

8. Customer service

Now social networks are an essential tool for customers and consumers who want to recommend or, failing that, make a claim about a product or service. This turns the platforms into new customer service channels that, well managed, can affect the customer experience and the reputation of the company.

9. Competitor analysis

Just as it is possible to make measurements and analyze metrics of the organization, it is also possible to obtain data of interest about the competition in social networks. That information is vital to developing an effective strategy.

10. Internal interaction

Social media can be a powerful indoor organizational tool to bring employees together, generating interactions that might not be possible otherwise.

An example of the above are the working groups organized around management platforms that function as social networks or the networks themselves. This increases interaction, collaboration, and a sense of belonging among team members.

11. Fluent communication

The instantaneous nature of social networks can help improve internal communication processes and promote immediate response actions.

Disadvantages of social networks in organizations

The use of social networks in the organization, whether for commercial or internal purposes, must follow clear objectives and actions based on what it is desired to achieve. Otherwise, its use will not be in the best interest of the company. These are the downsides:

1. Influence on the reputation of the company

If social networks are poorly managed, they can affect the digital reputation of the company.

The networks, together with the website of the organization, function as a cover letter in the 3.0 world. A bad customer experience in the digital realm can be transferred to an experience with the brand in the offline world .

2. They require investment

In many cases, it is assumed that the use of the networks is free and, therefore, does not require major financial care. However, although opening a social media account does not actually cost money, having a digital presence encompasses much more than that.

Creating an effective strategy, generating valuable content and analyzing the results requires time, effort and money to be managed by professionals in the field.

4. Inappropriate use of networks in the workplace.

If an organization decides to adopt a social network as an internal tool for its communication processes, it should establish guidelines that make clear the rules regarding its use.

The foregoing may include communicational tone, schedules or any other rule that the organization considers necessary so that the use of the chosen tools does not become an inconvenience outside the work environment.

Advantages of social networks in everyday life

In principle, social networks were created for personal use and enjoyment. Its multiple benefits were the ones that paved the way for other uses, so we are going to list some of the most important advantages:

1. New form of entertainment

The networks integrate multiple resources that have become new forms of entertainment. Videos, memes, chats, video chats, gifs, live broadcasts, short videos are just some of the tools that networks use to provide the possibility of entertaining at an apparently free cost and without the need for many technical resources , beyond a smartphone with an internet connection.

2. Simplification of communications

Networks allow communication through traditional text, chats, private messages, and video chats. This multiplies the options to communicate, while creating new dynamics based on each resource.

For example, a group of people in different parts of the world can get in touch through a Facebook chat, send videos to each other on Instagram, or make a live broadcast through the aforementioned platforms, to show something relevant in real time. Therefore, it could be said that networks shorten physical distances and facilitate communication.

2. Support for own projects

Social media can help generate greater impact and reach in projects related to personal branding. In this way, those who want their idea, venture, product or service to be known by a greater number of people, can rely on social networks and the resources they offer to achieve it.

Nowadays, it is very common to see on the networks people who are specialists in a particular area providing advice, practical tools, tutorials, conferences or other types of content in different formats (post with text and images, infographics, videos, etc. .).

3. Professional projection

Social networks can help improve and spread the professional profile, opening the possibility of finding work online. Networks such as LinkedIn, created exclusively for professionals, allow not only to show a curriculum summary or resume, but also to connect with other colleagues, generate content of interest to the community, participate in groups and, of course, apply for offers of work.

4. Recommendations and criticisms

The user of social networks has the possibility to make recommendations about places, events, products and services that he has used, helping to generate data of interest to other users. In the same way, the networks have become a communication channel to formulate complaints, complaints or criticisms, in such a way that other users can be aware of the negative experiences of others and form a more objective judgment about the place they are going to. visit or the product you hope to consume.

Disadvantages of social media in everyday life

Although they can be very useful, the use of social networks also has certain disadvantages:

1. They are not “free”

Although creating an account in any of the best-known social networks does not imply an investment (none of them charges for the creation or maintenance of the accounts), the reality is that the business model is based on advertising, and for this to be Effectively and generate results, the data provided by users is used to create much more efficient campaigns.

So the user is not paying with money, but with their data.

2. Privacy policies and use of personal data

Linked to the previous point, there is some controversy about the privacy policies existing in social networks, and the use that these companies make of their users’ data.

Social networks usually ask for permissions to access the data of users’ phones, and with this information a huge database is generated that is used for advertising purposes. Although each network or application can request different permissions, almost all agree in requesting access to the image gallery, location information, phone data, list of telephone contacts, among others.

In recent years, Facebook has been involved in a series of events related to the use of its users’ data and privacy policies. What has become clear is that there is no certainty that such data is handled with confidentiality, and that other companies that act as Facebook collaborators also have access to them, so users do not have real control over their data.

3. Digital scams

Social networks are being used by criminals to scam or steal users. There are multiple techniques to achieve this, but in general it can be the sale of products or services that do not exist (the user pays and the product never arrives), requesting money in exchange for a product test, requesting collaborations or donations for foundations that do not exist or whose identity has been cloned, etc.

4. Impersonation

Many cases have been reported of people creating profiles identical to existing ones, in order to impersonate them to get something in return, from money to sensitive information.

This not only endangers the victim, but also their entire network of contacts, which does not realize that they are interacting with an impostor account and can provide the victim’s personal data.

5. Digital harassment

Digital bullying has become an extension of a problem that already existed in the offline world : school and professional bullying. With this practice, it is sought to humiliate and expose a person to public derision, either through insulting messages or the publication of private content of the user to whom they want to expose.

Although today many platforms have tools to avoid or reduce the impact of cyberbullying, it is a problem that is increasing.

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