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The Opportunities and Challenges of Social Media to Business Communication

Autor:   •  September 22, 2013  •  Research Paper  •  1,014 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,140 Views

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Social media is becoming an inevitable part in business communication. Nowadays, almost every company has a Facebook or Twitter account to promote its products, collect feedbacks, and build connections with customers. Although companies recognize the need to embrace social media, only a few truly understand how to do it efficiently. Many businesses even failed as a result of improper use. Social media is like a two-edge sword, and this review will focus on the opportunities and challenges of using social media in business communication. What is social media? And how to take advantage of it in business communication?

Defining the Concepts and the Current Environment

In 2011, Kietzmann, Hermkens, McCarthy, and Silvestre concluded, “Social media employ mobile and web-based technologies to create highly interactive platforms via which individuals and communities share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated content” (p. 241). The emergence of social media deeply changed the world, especially in the way we communicate. Singh, Jackson, and Cullinane (2008) suggested that this phenomenon, “not only transformed business, but also altered the relationship between businesses and the customer” (p. 281). Many traditional business communication strategies lost efficacy under this change, yet many got enhanced and improved because of social media. As Mangold, and Faulds (2009) suggested, “in a traditional sense it enables companies to talk to their customers, while in a nontraditional sense it enables customers to talk directly to one another” (p. 357). As a result, social media significantly influences the image and prestige of a company and its products. In this case, business communication has become far more important than ever before. What are the opportunities and challenges when business communication embracing social media? How to efficiently utilize social media and avoid potential failure?

The Opportunities

Social Media has become an important customer relation’s channel. According to a 2012 survey, about 61% of U.S. companies collect information from customer conversations on social media. Among them 83% give feedbacks to the complaints and questions observed (business.time.com, 2012). Companies like McDonald’s, AT&T, and Bank of America all have customer service accounts (e.g. Twitter) to hear from their customers and give personalized solutions. Companies can quickly response to any problem and eliminate the chance that it develops into a crisis. For example, McDonald posted several evidences about their food safety when concerns aroused. Social media also makes customer service more efficient as people can easily share solutions to their friends and families. AT&T often posts solutions to frequently asked questions on Twitter and enjoys customers forwarding these feeds.

Social media also helps business

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