Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media at Work

Social media can connect businesses to millions of potential customers around the world. As a business owner, it’s important to consider how social media affects the workplace, both from a positive and negative standpoint. Learning about the advantages and disadvantages of using social media can help you make a more informed decision for when and how to use it. 

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What is social media?

Social media comprises websites and applications that allow users to create and share content. Both individuals and companies use social media to engage with others and reach a wider audience. It also allows you to network with other people, companies and brands. 

Related: Social Media Recruiting Tips and Strategies


Advantages of using social media 

Here are some main advantages of social media in the workplace:

Direct connection with your audience

When you set up social media accounts, it provides you with an outlet to speak with your target audience and customers. This allows you to gain valuable insight as to their needs and wants, lets you provide them with customer service and gives you an idea of how you’re perceived by your audience.


Helps evaluate company performance

Social media can analyze company performance and help you determine how to improve productivity. For example, when you track website analytics, you can determine which of your webpages isn’t getting as many views, meaning it might need improvement. You’re also able to set attainable goals such as increasing views for that content type by a certain percentage and a certain date.


Stronger communication

Social media has the potential to strengthen employee communication and engagement with upper management. Read reviews about your company from past and current employees to see how you’re perceived.

It can also help employees foster a relationship with users. Employees can interact with social media followers to build brand loyalty, trust and company authenticity. 


Outside recognition

Social media increases brand awareness and brings more to your website. For example, sharing tutorials, videos, blog posts or other mediums housed on your website helps these posts gain more exposure.

It also makes it easier for you to hire employees since you can share job postings with a wider audience. You will receive resumes from more qualified candidates if you post your jobs to different social media platforms. 


Online employee training

Social media provides you with the opportunity to teach your employees something new or advance their current skill set. By using it for training purposes, you’re also saving money that you would have otherwise used on other training software. 


Establishes company branding

Social media is a great way for your company to establish its own identity. To brand your company, it’s important to post on social media consistently. Create content on multiple platforms to reach a wider audience, but make sure your brand remains consistent.


Easier recruitment process

Social media lets you advertise the position on platforms outside of your company website. This gives the job posting a wider reach. It also makes the hiring process easier as some social media platforms often provide you information regarding the best candidate.



Social media is a cheap investment that can help lessen or eliminate the cost of advertising. Whether you’re recruiting new employees, increasing employee engagement or spreading company awareness, social media provides you with the opportunity to do so with a smaller budget.


Option for paid advertising

Depending on the social media platforms you use, your company can run a paid advertisement that targets a certain demographic. These ads target people who are looking for your products or services and can potentially increase your sales.


Viral content 

Social media provides your company with added exposure. Viral content spreads rapidly when many social media users share the post with their friends and followers. Some viral content can reach millions of users in a span of a day or week. 


Disadvantages of using social media

Here are some main disadvantages of social media in the workplace:


Employee distraction

When employees have access to social media, it has the potential to distract them from their job’s responsibilities. Social media can allure them to play games or view social media platforms for personal reasons.


Increases cybersecurity need

Social media in the workplace can increase the number of hackers trying to access your business’ confidential information. You need cybersecurity to prevent phishing attacks, which is an added cost for your business. 


Increases need for employee guidelines

If social media is prevalent in the workplace, you may need to implement guidelines for usage. These rules let employees know when and how they’re allowed to use social media and eliminate the distractions it may cause.


Exploitation risk

When companies use social media, it opens them up to the risk of exploitation. Competitors or those with adverse opinions about your company could leave false negative reviews or attempt to hack your account to spread inaccurate information. 


Misuse and mistakes

Mistakes while posting on company social media accounts can affect your company’s reputation. It’s important to outline uses for your business’s social media platforms so employees with access know how to manage them. 


Technical risk

When employees use office computers or devices for social media, they increase the risk of viruses. If any of your equipment gets a virus, you may need to pay a professional to remove it or hard reset the device, resulting in lost data. 


FAQs about social media at work

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding social media in the workplace:


Who uses social media for business?

Companies, both large and small, use social media for business purposes. Larger companies may have a team of marketing professionals who handle social media accounts while small business owners could handle these duties themselves.


How should a company decide whether to use social media?

To decide whether to use social media, companies should determine if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. If social media will provide more benefits, it can be a useful tool to implement.


What type of companies should use social media?

Companies that want to grow their audience and reach, establish their brand, improve their reputation or ease communication with customers and employees should use social media. 


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