With the current globalization effect on companies, it is true that social networking sites are entrepreneurs’ best friend. Many things still need analysis if a company decides to use social networking sites as a source of communication. Using social networking sites as a form of communication for companies has its benefits and its downsides (Bidgoli 2010, p. 338). The positive aspects of social networks are something that we all have heard. They are able to fetch people with common interests and put them together, they are able to provide people with complete connectivity, and they bring forth a platform that enables companies to share their ideas with the rest of the world (Bidgoli 2010, p. 338). However, it is not guaranteed that everything will go as planned; if you get into the subject for a while, you will realize that some limitations of social networks are present. As seen earlier, many entrepreneurs in Singapore have embraced social networking and it is proper to discuss some of the risks associated with social networks that would hinder entrepreneurs in Singapore from achieving their goals.
This is very important, especially due to the increased awareness that entrepreneurs have to learn right now how to make use of social networks in business communications, business advertisements, and other things (Acs & Szerb 2010). This can be either internal or external, special focus on the negatives is crucial. For this reason, many entrepreneurs in Singapore who have anticipated the negatives that are associated with social networks have been successful. Others who have not really taken into consideration the impacts of the negatives associated with social networking are still struggling to reach their goals. Entrepreneurs around the globe are now focused on ensuring that social networks are integrated in their decision-making processes, and most of them have spend a good number of resources on them (Lyons 2012, p. 13). In Singapore, entrepreneurs have designated people and resources for ensuring that social networking structures are put in place and bring the extra oomph that is needed to ensure success. This new phenomenon of social networks across the web and all around the globe has its negative side as well. If these negatives are effectively dealt with, they might lead to losses among entrepreneurs in Singapore. Success of such companies can be measured by how these companies are utilizing the social networks and how capable are they in dealing with the limits, or better said, risks associated with social networking. Networking dangers are present in the world today, and there is a need to balance the good and the bad in order to maintain the benefits gotten from social networking. A medium such as the internet has far-reaching potential that would either be a success or lead to a potential social disaster (Klyver & Schøtt 2011, pp. 3-19).
Some potential disasters include hacking by professionals, and this can seriously mess a company. Social networking platforms raise potential risks of hacking, meaning that somebody who has a malicious agenda can attack an organization through its social sites. Such incidents of hacking other people’s profiles and accounts by anonymous individuals are nothing new, and measures should be put in place to reduce this risk (Guffey & Loewy 2010, p. 207). There are those professional hackers who attack a company’s profile on a large scale, which can cripple a company and lead to serious damages and lawsuits. Some people refer to hacking as social engineering because hackers use technical skills and knowledge to surpass company’s security settings (Guffey & Loewy 2010, p. 208). Requirement for more security emphasis of companies and organizations that deal with high security matters cannot be ignored. Entrepreneurs of such companies that cater for high security matters like defense services, nuclear scientists, and national project engineers cannot be reluctant because hackers can misuse classified information. If such information falls into wrong hands, serious ramifications could ensue. Therefore, entrepreneurs in Singapore should invest more time and resources in securing their company’s social accounts sites against hackers and unknown fraudsters.
Social sites are open to people everywhere, and everybody can see updates and posts that a company puts on its site. When a company puts online a wrong brand strategy, it could go viral and damage a company’s reputation more than when the same mistake is done offline (Guffey & Loewy 2010, p. 208). More people who are online will see the mistake at a shorter period than they would have if it were not online. This will have a viral effect and it will tend to spread very fast across all other social networks, thus capturing a wide audience. Entrepreneurs need to be very careful when dealing with social sites; before they post anything online, they should deliberate and make sure it is the right choice. The impact of negative publicity on social sites can destroy a company. Many competitors look for chances to finish their competition off; when a company makes such a mistake, they can pounce and distribute the mistakes through their proxies (Guffey & Loewy 2010, p. 208). Making a mistake online is equivalent to making a mistake in front of hundreds or thousands of people. A company’s online audience is huge, and preserving them is the main priority (Carroll 2013, p. 499).
Social networking sites are open to everybody, including the workers of a company. Nowadays, entrepreneurs have a hard time controlling their employees who tend to use a lot of working time on their personal social accounts (Burke, Martin & Cooper 2011, p. 23). Social network accounts are free for anybody to join; people join them from all parts of the world including workers of companies (Carroll 2013, p. 499). The overall workers’ productivity is affected (Thomas 2012, p. 227), and companies that pay their employees on an hourly basis do not get the value of their money. These firms that pay workers by the hour get huge losses because each hour of productivity is lost when workers update their Facebook profiles or add new tweets on their Twitter account (Burke, Martin & Cooper 2011, p. 23). Employees tend to waste valuable time if not supervised well by their bosses (Thomas 2012, p. 227). Therefore, entrepreneurs in Singapore need to look into this matter and establish a balance that is required (Meyerson 2010, p. 107). Entrepreneurs also need to allow employees to access their social network sites and at the same time put some restrictions (Bryer, Lebson & Asbe 2011, p. 257). If the entrepreneurs stifle employees’ freedom, it may lead to employees attacking the company’s profile through the same social network sites, which can spoil a company’s reputation (Quigley 2011, p. 33). Furthermore, company’s resources used in these activities are quite extensive, and they may lead to losses (Bryer, Lebson & Asbe 2011, p. 257). All the social networking sites require a large bandwidth because they involve a lot of downloading of pictures and music and streaming videos (Flynn 2012, p. 28). These expenses incurred by the company eat a sizeable amount of company resources (Matyka 2012, p. 32).
Another potential risk of social networking to a company is the serious threat posed by viruses and malware that people download as applications through these sites (Carroll 2013, p. 499). Entrepreneurs have to make sure that countermeasures are available because they pose a serious threat to the safety of the IT systems of the company. In Singapore, many companies keep their information without proper backups, and this would lead to problems if viruses and malwares attack their files. In addition, various social sites created by employees have an effect of overloading the system, which then slows other company processes. Therefore, entrepreneurs need to prevent employees from overloading the system.
A number of companies spend huge amount of resources on ensuring that employees are happy. They do this by introducing company retreats, so that they can be productive (Awe 2012, p. 12). These efforts by companies are being drowned by the extensive range of mental health problems observed among workers who spend too much time on social network sites. This has been experienced in Singapore and entrepreneurs have to deal with this problem. The mental stress leads to reduction of productivity of workers, which will then have a negative impact on an organization. Research shows that excessive time spent on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter causes some people to experience withdrawal symptoms, which affect an employees’ output. These symptoms are associated with addicts and the common signs are loneliness, anxiety, boredom, and distress. Entrepreneurs in Singapore face such kinds of problems and they need to ensure that their employees are not affected. They should ensure employees have regular recreational or social activities; they should encourage face-to-face interaction. Some of these employees even in extreme cases do not interact with their family and close friends, and they only do so through social sites or virtual communication (Matyka 2012, p. 31). There is a linkage between the lack of social interaction and people suffering fromstress-related diseases and disorders more than before. Employees who have reduced social human interaction time suffer from diseases like dementia, colds, blood pressure, stroke, and cognitive problems. Therefore, it is the responsibility of an entrepreneur to find ways of ensuring his/her employees do not suffer from the above problems. He/she should ensure correct and efficient usage of social networking sites and caution employees to be aware of the risks. It is up to everybody in a company to make sure that social networking sites do not turn into social dysfunction (Matyka 2012, p. 32).
Format for communicating through social sites is not uniform, so entrepreneurs need to make sure that people understand posts and updates on company social pages on sites such as Twitter or Facebook correctly (Awe 2012, p. 112). Just a simple misplacement of punctuation marks or emphasis on a specific word can change the entire meaning of what the company is trying to say. Entrepreneurs in Singapore need to make sure that the company’s wording is specific and the message is communicated clearly if the message can be interpreted negatively (Lyons 2012, p. 12). Entrepreneurs in Singapore also need to remember that anything nowadays said over social network sites can be used in prosecuting a company. Another aspect of being careful is with employees; some employees, especially new ones, can take advantage of the information and start tampering with what the company has created over the years. Therefore, entrepreneurs need to be strict and make sure that they do a background check of new employees just to review their previous internet behavior. Below are some of the limitations posed by the study.