What is social networking? What are its merits and demerits?

What is social networking? – Social networking is an online platform which people use to build social networks or social relationships with other people who share similar personal or career interests, backgrounds, activities or real life connections. It is the use of Internet-based social media sites to stay connected with friends, family, colleagues, customers, or clients. Social networking can have a social purpose, a business purpose, or both, through sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. It has become a significant base for marketers seeking to engage customers. Facebook is the largest and most popular social network, with 2.8 billion people using the platform on a monthly basis, as of Dec. 31, 2020. It was followed, in order of popularity, by Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Twitter and Pinterest.

Some main things regarding social networking are as under:

  1. Social networking is the use of Internet-based social media platforms to stay connected with friends, family members etc.
  2. The most popular social networking sites are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
  3. Firms use social networking for increasing brand recongnition and encouraging sales.
  4. Social media can help connect people and businesses and help promote brand awareness.
  5. There are some drawbacks related to social media, including the spread of misinformation and the high cost of using and maintaining social network profiles.

Social networking involves the development and maintenance of personal and business relationships using technology. This is done through the use of social networking sites, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter These sites allow people and organisations to connect with one another so they can develop relationships and so they can share information and ideas.

Merits of Social Networking

Social networking provides ability to affect with people and organisations. Its merits can be understood as under:

1.Allowing Individuals to Keep in Contact

Social networking allows individuals to keep in contact with family and friends, they would otherwise not be able to connect with because of distance or because they simply lost touch. Family members who are far apart may remain connected through personal social networking sites like Facebook. They can share photos and updates on things that are going on in their lives. People can also connect with other individuals who share the same interests and develop new relationships.

People can also connect with others (notably, strangers) who share thesame interests. Individuals can find each other through groups, lists and the use of hashtags.

2. Allowing Firms to connect with Customers

Social networking allows business concerns to connect with new and existing clients. They can also use social media to create, promote and increase brand awareness. They also rely on reviews and comments made by their clientele. This leads to more sales. Social networking can, therefore, help establish a brand as legitimate, credible, and trustworthy. It is commonly used by marketers so they can increase brand recognition and encouraging brand loyalty. Since it makes a marketer more accessible to new customers and more recognizable for existing customers, social media marketing helps promote a brand’s voice and content.

Suggest measures to remove miscommunication.

Marketers use social networking as a way to improve conversion rates. Building a following provides access to and interaction with new, recent and old customers. Sharing blog posts, images, videos or comments on social media allows followers to react, visit the marketer’s website, and become customers, A marketer may use social networking to demonstrate its customer service level and enrich its relationships with consumers. When a customer complains about a product or service on Twitter, the company may address the issue immediately, apologize, and take action.

Drawbacks of Social Networking

These are as under:

  1. Social networking can have a big impact on the spread of misinformation. And it can spread like wildfire.
  2. Social networking can have a detrimental impact of business firms. Criticism of a brand can spread very quickly on social media. This can create a headache for a firm’s public relations department.
  3. Advertising and maintaining a corporate profile on social media can be costly.

Although social networking itself is free, building and maintaining a company profile takes hours each week. Costs for those hours add up quickly.

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