Why Social Networks

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Social networks have revolutionized the internet landscape. They have not only made companies notice them, but also users constantly interact and create profiles on social media.

In fact, if businesses have decided to open their own profiles on social networks, it's due to the massive increase in users that exists around the world. Your potential customers are on social media, and brands know it.

If before traditional media were used to advertise a company's services or products, now digital media come into play.

But first of all, do you know what social networks are? It's a social communication medium whose members are users who have common criteria, establish contact and communicate with each other. All this framed in the digital structure.

If there is something that has to be taken into account, it's knowing how they are used, and the correct way to do it. For this reason, social networks have great advantages, but also disadvantages that we will discuss in today's article.

Advantages of social networks

These are the most prominent:

- Communication: Something highly valued among users and the brands that inhabit them. It's a great possibility for companies to present their products or services and obtain an immediate assessment of them, as well as an excellent advertising opportunity. Communication is bidirectional since users can freely express what they think and a very fruitful dialogue can be created for both.
- Keep in touch: Social networks are an excellent way to reconnect with friends, or keep in touch when you live in different places. While until now the telephone, writing letters or at most email were the options, being connected on digital platforms, and being able to share images, experiences and moments instantly is the most used way.
- Leisure: Enjoy moments of recreation, belong to groups with the same interesting things, keep up to date with what your friends are doing, share your hobbies. Social media is an excellent playground where you can hang out. You can choose the brands you prefer, as well as public figures or influencers.
- Express opinions or complaints: One of the opportunities offered by social networks is that brands "listen" to everything that is published, and more if it's on their own company page. For this reason, if there are users or customers who are dissatisfied about some type of service or product, they express themselves by making their opinions clear. On the contrary, if they are satisfied they also do it. In fact, comments are highly taken into account by other users on social networks to buy online. A company must be vigilant to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.
- Brand image: Working on the brand image is important, and even more so if you want to find a job since companies are up to date with the profiles of the candidates. Therefore, if you are looking for a job in the digital area, it's usually an almost indispensable requirement that is very taken into account by the human resources department.
- Capture customers: Practically everyone has a profile on social networks, and this is why companies know that their potential customers are on the internet. They have become an excellent way to attract customers, and this must be an objective to take into account for brands and based on these they must plan their action plan.
- Networking: Working from home has become a widely used option, if before the professionals of a certain sector met or met in face-to-face events, or meetings, now you can create professional ties, links through social networks which can lead to collaboration of new projects.
- Dissemination of content: If you have a blog, or a website and you generate content, an ideal way to spread it's to do it through social networks. In this way you can make them known, and people will visit those links redirecting them to your own website or blog.
- Show products or services: Something fundamental for brands is to be able to publicize their products or services, for this reason, they use social networks to launch them and segment the audience they want.
- Customer service: If before, customer service was limited to the telephone, and later to email or in person, now social networks are an excellent way to provide quality service to all those users interested in a brand's products or services.
- Being able to keep an eye on the competition: Carrying out an initial business plan, or a Social Media Plan for your project is essential to prepare the most appropriate strategies in social media. A requirement to take into account is what the competition does, and the best way to find out is to be able to visit their websites, social networks or their online presence. This is much easier now thanks to the internet, since with just one click you can find out this type of information.

Disadvantages of social media

These are the most prominent:

- Scams: Something that is the order of the day are internet scams. It's important to be careful with the contacts that are added, not to leave the passwords recorded, much less if the connection is made from public computers. It's also important not to publish trips, or vacations, implying that the house is uninhabited on those days since many thieves are aware of this type of information, and take advantage of it.
- Maintain privacy: Taking into account that we are talking about social networks, it's somewhat complicated, but if there is that option on Facebook, for example, since you can choose whether to publish for everyone in general, or select friends or people when you share some type of content. You want to keep these options in mind when showing things that may not be suitable for everyone.
- Addictions: Using social networks can be something beneficial as has been proven in the previous section, but when obligations are set aside, it affects personal or work life, it may be that we are facing a case of addiction. This is a very serious problem that can occur specially among the very young.
- Harassment: On some occasions adolescents may suffer harassment from peers, humiliations, insults through social networks, there is even the circumstance that adults pose as young people to try to relate to somewhat dangerous objectives. It's something that must be watched by the elderly.
- Deal with bad reviews: Something that particularly worries companies. It's best to have a crisis plan in advance to be able to handle these situations as quickly as possible.
- Use a bad strategy: If it's published through a company, it's essential to choose the appropriate strategies for it. For this reason, a preliminary study of products, competition, potential customers, and brand value will be carried out. This will lead to a series of actions in the social network that will be aimed at achieving these initial objectives. It should also be noted that the personal profile should not be confused with the professional as it can lead to confusion for the users themselves.

These are the most prominent advantages and disadvantages of social networks. The most important thing is to choose those that you are going to use constantly if you are a brand, and discard those that don't contribute anything to your business, either because your ideal clients aren't there or because they are out of tune with your value. However, you must always be careful and use them profitably to avoid fatal outcomes such as scams or identity theft.

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