Issues and Challenges of Social Media

As you have read in the previous posts, it appears that Social Media undoubtedly has a huge influence in the day by day conduct of any society.


There are immense benefits with the use of Social Media in our personal lives and especially in the organisations. However this is not without its challenges.

When talking about businesses adopting social media we hear terms like social capital and trust. But what exactly are these terms? And why are they so important in social media use within organisations?

According to Harvard Kennedy School at Harvard University “ The term social capital emphasizes not just warm and cuddly feelings, but a wide variety of quite specific benefits that flow from the trust, reciprocity, information, and cooperation associated with social networks. Social capital creates value for the people who are connected and, at least sometimes, for spectators as well”

The central premise of social capital is that social networks have value. Social capital refers to the collective value of all “social networks” (who people know) and the inclinations that arise from these networks to do things for each other (norms of reciprocity).

  • Information flows (e.g. learning about jobs, learning about candidates running for office, exchanging ideas at college, etc.) depend on social capital.
  • Norms of reciprocity (mutual aid) rely on social networks. Bonding networks that connect folks who are similar sustain particularized (in-group) reciprocity. Bridging networks that connect individuals who are diverse sustain generalized reciprocity.

 What are the issues and challenges of social media? Why is it important to address them?

org issues-in

Studies shows that while every organization will face some challenges as changes in people, process and technology driven by social media begin to transform a business, the organisation need to be prepared and plan for these challenges. Some challenges are:

  • Integration- Becoming a social business can impact nearly every function of a business
  • Governance- Anything will be said about them on the internet. The good, the bad and the ugly. And this includes content produced not only from the general public, but also from the employees
  • Culture- the organisation need to be either more transparent with how to operate or reserved internally
  • Human Resources- Upgrade HR protocols In order to transform from a business to a social business
  • Measurement and ROI- organisation will continue to struggle with measuring results and reporting RO

communicationsceoview by ceoAlso in my point of view, the biggest concerns that business can face when allowing employees free control on the internet in the work place is that employee will have a free will to do whatever they want to. Some will do their normal tasks while having their Facebook, twitter opened.

The concern for employer is that employees who use the social applications are less productive than employees that do not use it; their staff will spend a lot of time checking their social media pages instead of working their full shifts.

We can therefore see a pattern of ‘time stealer’ in terms of the productive use of worker’s productive hours in the work place. To address this situation organisations should provide sufficient training upon employment in regards to using the technology in the workplace and understanding the organisation’s work ethics in terms of the use and limitations of the available technology for social interaction.  Possibly put some rules and regulations in place and also monitoring devices in the workplace, while also blocking any suspicious websites.


Armando, D. (2009). Five Challenges Social Media Will Bring to Business. Retrieved from

Harvard Kennedy School. (n.d.). About Social Capital. Retrieved from


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