The rise of social media means it’s unusual to find an organization that does not reach its customers and prospects through one social media platform or another. Companies see the importance of using social media to connect with customers and build revenue.

Businesses have realized they can use social media to generate insights, stimulate demand, and create targeted product offerings. This is important in traditional brick-and-motor businesses, and, obviously, in the world of e-commerce.

Many studies suggest implementing social networks within the workplace can strengthen knowledge sharing. The result is to improve project management activities and enable the spread of specialized knowledge. Fully implementing social technologies in the workplace removes boundaries, eliminates silos, and can raise interaction and help create more highly skilled and knowledgeable workers.

The flip side: Low number of social ‘shares’ can lead to negative social proof and destroy business credibility.

Interestingly, although the use of social sharing has become the norm rather than the exception in business, some companies, after experiencing first-hand some negative effects of social media, have decided to go against the grain and remove the social sharing buttons from their websites.

A case study of Taloon.com, an e-commerce retailer from Finland, found that conversions rose by 11.9% when they removed share buttons from their product pages.

These results highlight the double-edged nature of the impact of social media. When products attract a lot of shares, it can reinforce sales. But when the reverse is true, customers begin to distrust the product and the company. This is what Dr. Paul Marsden, psychologist and author of ‘The Social Commerce Handbook’, referred to as ‘social proof’.