Today, social media has set a baseline precedent on being one of the world's best marketing tools. As social media platforms continue to grow, we see more and more businesses profit from the advertisement their media use (Kaufman & Horton, 2015). Companies must keep a close eye on technology that is continually changing. Technology has been able to replicate itself in numerous forms, and if most organizations do not keep up with the times, it will be difficult for them to keep the customer's attention span (Miao, 2014). Companies use online tools such as online surveys, online reviews, and instant chats (to name a few) to engage their customers. Some of the social media platforms' keen benefits as marketing tools are increased brand recognition, increased customer interaction, easy tracking of the brand awareness, enabled viral campaigns, and effective and efficient promotions (Miao, 2014). Miao also suggested that even though social media provides a quick and easy way for companies to communicate with customers, there are also some drawbacks to using social media.
Some of the drawbacks of the use of social media as the marketing tools are:
Impact of Word of Mouth: Especially through social media sites, news can spread like wildfire, and if it is terrible news, the company can suffer the consequences (Benioff, 2012). For example, when Netflix announced it was changing its pricing structure, its customers revolted, posting 82,000 negative comments across its blogs and on Facebook and Twitter. Within months the company lost 800,000 customers and two-thirds of its market value (Benioff, 2012).
Cyber Security Risks: Social Media accounts can be prone to the security of client confidentiality, breaches, leaks of intellectual property, and violations of the firm policies or codes of conduct (Culan, McHugh, & Zubillaga, 2010). Breaches and leaks could have devastating impacts on a company's brand image, leaving customers and clients unlikely to invest in company products or services if the strike is potent enough (Culan et al., 2010).
Companies must understand their strategy explicitly and how it benefits the organization (Miao, 2014). As social media continues to grow and develop, we must be cautious about using it more as a tool; if not, we can almost expect social media to do more harm than good (Miao, 2014).
Benioff, M. (2012). Welcome to the social revolution. [online] BBC News. Retrieved November 14, 2020, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18013662
Culman, M., McHugh, P. and Zubillaga, J. (2010). How Large U.S. Companies Can Use Twitter and Other Social Media to Gain Business Value. Retrieved November 14, 2020, from
Kaufman, I., & Horton, C. (2015). Digital marketing: Integrating strategy and tactics with values
(15th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Miao, G. (2014). Relationship marketing in an online social media context: Newspaper versus television brand websites comparison. Journal of Media Business Studies, 11(4), 1–26.