12 Negative Impacts of Social Media on Small Businesses

12 Negative Impacts of Social Media on Small Businesses - sociallybuzz
  • Andre Kay
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Negative impacts of social media on small businesses are detrimental but that doesn’t mean social media is not helpful. It all depends on how you utilize it for your business. 

Social media has helped so many small businesses to grow. Numerous small businesses have been able to connect to large audiences and promote their businesses through social media. Social media has modernized how business operations are carried out in the present era. 

Instead of doing business the usual traditional or local way, small businesses have leveraged the power of social media, and most have been successful. Social media is an excellent way to market your business and create lasting customer relationships if done correctly. 

It is a well-known fact that social media has helped many small businesses. Still, we need to be aware that it has, at the same time, marred many small businesses too. 

Social media can have many negative consequences for small businesses online if not correctly used. On this note, social media positively and negatively affects small businesses. We will be discussing some of the adverse effects of social media on small businesses in this article.

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Sociallybuzz is a digital and social media advertising company in the US. Since 2009 we have been helping small businesses grow online, leveraging reputation management, social media advertising and digital marketing. Contact us for online advertising for your small business. We have helped many small business owners like you thrive online by leveraging the power of social media marketing.

Let’s help you grow your business by overcoming your barriers to success. Get in touch for a free social media marketing strategy consultation now.

If you are looking for an experienced social media marketing agency to help your company avoid these negative effects of social media on your business, please get in touch. We offer reputation management services to build your business reputation across the internet. Reputation management ensures your businesses reputation is healthy, strong, and influential.

When you build loyal fans, they tend to attract and refer friends, family members, and connections to your business. Reverse is the case if your business doesn’t have a good reputation online.

Reputation Management service convert unsatisfied customers into raving fans and protect relationships with your customers. Learn More >>

Negative Effects of Social Media on Small Businesses

1. Spreading False Information

The rate of fake and misleading news on social media is alarming. Since social media platforms disseminate information effectively, rumors and fake news can go viral. As a small business owner using social media platforms, you are prone to get defamed or false rumors being peddled against you.

And, of course, false or misleading information about your business can harm your brand’s reputation, change customers’ perceptions of you, and discourage people from patronizing your business.

Also, if this misinformation is not stopped early enough, it can destroy your business. When people stop patronizing your business due to the rumors they heard and nothing is corrected about the rumor, the business may fold or die.

Another problem with misinformation is that this misleading information is often hard to track. And other times, when the false information is tracked and tackled, it might be late already, and it would have caused much damage. Sometimes, the misinformation may not be intentional. It might be due to the public misinterpreting the information you gave about your business.

3. Undiplomatic posts

When advertising your business as a small business owner, you may drop posts considered undiplomatic or insensitive by your audience. Those posts seem right to you, but the posts are wrong to others.

That is why you should consider your audience before making any post. It is also advisable to have a professional or professionals check out all your business posts before they are released to the public. 

These professionals are knowledgeable about the internet and how people react to situations, hence will know how to construct posts that will bring positive results. You must post with diplomacy as a small business owner. A little mistake can cause an uproar, and you will be shocked at how your business falls.

Also, employees’ behaviors on social media could pose a problem. They could make posts with the aim of promoting the business but might end up damaging the company’s reputation. There have been many cases of employees giving out untrue information about some small businesses, which turned out poorly.

3. Lack of Privacy

Bringing your business to social media can make you divulge more information than average. You might mistakenly, ignorantly, and sometimes intentionally post confidential information about yourself or your family, which may cause problems. 

Before the advent of social media, posted letters could still be kept confidential when retrieved. Now, information released on social media, even when deleted, might have gone viral or have been screenshotted by many. Once a piece of information is out on social media, it is out. 

Some people might capitalize on this information to damage your business image. Competing businesses can also use this opportunity to make sure you lose your customers or leave the business for good.

Also, individuals that know you well can decide to reveal specific information about you that should not come out to the public. Business owners most times have to deal with utter encroachment on their privacy.

4. Could Affect Mental Health

It is a well-known fact that as a business owner using social media platforms, all your audience cannot like you. There will be bad reviews and sometimes insults. These insults, backlashes, and bad reviews could affect your mental health.

The stress and distraction of managing your social media account can also affect your mental health. When this happens, there is a reduction in productivity. You need to be in the right state of mind in order to concentrate. 

When your mental health is affected, you will start losing focus, and even your enthusiasm for your business is affected. In a situation where you have employees, ensure they are always in the right state of mind for the job. 

Ensure also that they are not overly stressed. Employees who are overly stressed can break down physically and mentally. Still, when they are in the right state of mind, they work better and be more productive.


5. Unfavorable Feedback can Tarnish Business Reputation

Unfavorable feedback from customers made public can tarnish the reputation of your business. When prospective customers see these bad reviews about your products or services, they may decide not to patronize you. 

If these bad reviews are not brought to social media, it would have been easier to handle. Social media has both positive and negative impacts on small businesses, and this is one of the negative impacts. Being on social media means making yourself public; not everyone will like you or your business.

With millions of people using the internet, there are a lot of rotten eggs that derive joy in tarnishing people’s reputations. Many times, at the starting point of your business, many attacks will come to make you give up. 

Still, your approach to those attacks will determine whether you stay or leave. Some people manage to pull through, and others give up. 

These bad reviews are sometimes false too. It is geared towards making your business or the owner look bad. Unfavorable feedback, which can tarnish your business image, is one of the negative impacts of social media on small businesses.

6. Cyber Bullying

Another significant adverse effect of social media on small businesses is cyberbullying. The scariest part is that many cyberbullies are on different social media platforms. Some bullies could make terrible comments about your business or even send you direct messages. 

Some can send threatening emails to you; others can even post your business flyers or pictures with degrading or criticizing captions to make you feel bad. One would think only young people are into cyberbullying, but that is not always true. 

Adults are cyberbullies too. As a small business owner, cyberbullying can dampen your spirit. It can also lead to depression and a closedown of the business. Online bullying does not only affect the business owner but the employees as well if any. 

When employees are bullied online, they go through a lot of mental stress, affecting their productivity.

7. Not Being Able to Live Your Authentic Life

As a small business owner using social media platforms for business promotion, it is almost impossible to be your true self. You may have to live your life to please your audience. You can’t respond to posts or comments the way you want.

You have to be extra careful with anything you do; you must always be meticulous, patient, and gracious. And even when you are angry, you can’t show it else people will criticize you. When you show your anger, you will have to come back and apologize to your audience, not minding that you are right or you might lose customers. 

Your life revolves around your business and how to make it grow hence you are always trying to be careful with everything you do so as to keep your business reputation. Most small business owners are forced to live fake lives to grow their businesses, which can be frustrating.

8. Reduction in Productivity

Social media can be distracting. You could come online to make business posts and get carried away with other people’s posts and videos, reducing productivity. As a small business owner, it takes a lot of self-discipline and control to use social media. You have to be focused and Keen on achieving your aim. 

Your employees could also get distracted and waste their time on unnecessary things rather than focusing on their work. Some will go online only to start chatting and forget their job. This act makes them lose focus, and the work still needs to be done at the end of the day.

All these could stall the success of your business because they could lead to setbacks, thereby stopping your business from meeting its target at the set time. Some employees might also wait to reply to customers’ messages or order on time, making the customer look for an alternative. Reduction in productivity is another harmful effect of social media on small businesses.

9. Security Issues

Another adverse effect of social media is the need for more security. As a small business owner, you are prone to both cyber and physical attacks. To effectively use social media for your business promotion, you must divulge personal information about yourself to the public which can be detrimental to your safety. 

Social media is used by the good, the bad, and the ugly. There are good people on social media and bad people too. Some armed robbers, assassins, and kidnappers come online to monitor people. With your personal information being available, you might get attacked by any of these evil people. 

They might think you are making good money and then decide to rob or kidnap you. Also, some people who dislike you or are unhappy with your business could gang up against you and hurt you. Competitors are included; they can use your personal information to track and deal with you.

 10. Might Not Work For You

Social media is only for some. Yes, many small business owners are growing their businesses through social media, but something else might work better for you. That every tom, dick, and harry is doing it and succeeding does not mean you will do it and succeed. 

That is why it is advised that you find what works for you. You might thrive more by promoting your business the local way. Some small business owners have invested their resources and time in social media advertisement yet, they have nothing to show.

Also, you might need help to meet your target audience or get them to see your products. Your audience might be offline, so you waste your time and money doing adverts on social media platforms. Do your research well and determine whether your target audience is online or offline. Social media does not guarantee good business growth.

11. Reduces Business Value

Unplanned and irrelevant posts make the business look like child’s play. Suppose you keep making posts that need to be better constructed and unrelated to your business. In that case, your business might lose its value in the eyes of your audience. 

They might start seeing you as an unserious person they should not take seriously. Some of your employees might take advantage of the data and freedom given to them to use social media websites recklessly. 

Social media has a lot of methodologies attached to it, unlike traditional marketing methods. A little mistake can affect your business significantly and lead to regrets.

12. Cyber Threat

Your social media page is at risk of being hacked. Cyber hackers can decide to hack your social media account or page and cause harm. Cyber hackers frequently delete previous small business owners’ posts when they hack their pages or start making horrible posts. 

When this happens, the business is affected. Imagine growing your business page for months, waking up one day to find out it has been hacked. I’m sure you will be devastated. That is how dire the cyber threat is, and it is one of the significant adverse impacts of social media on small businesses.

 Reputation Management service converts unsatisfied customers into raving fans and protects relationships with your customers on social media. Learn More >>

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, the adverse effects of social media mentioned above should encourage you to use social media platforms to boost your business. We wrote this article to inform you about social media’s terrible aspects and not scare you. You need to play your cards well, be careful, and everything will fall in place.

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