The Pros & Cons of Using Social Media Marketing
In the last few years, social media has grown from a minor digital channel, into one of the most influential digital marketing tools that have helped a lot of brands and businesses worldwide. With over billions of active users in social media, it is continuing to evolve as a viable marketing channel for startups, entrepreneurs to businesses of any size. Websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms have made it possible to connect with your customers. When used effectively, social media can provide tons of benefits for your business.
For the longest time, social media was a free place for businesses to connect with their audiences. But before you dive into the success of your business on social media, make sure that you consider the following social media marketing pros and cons.
Pros of Social Media Marketing
Relatively Low Cost
One of the main advantages of Social Media Marketing (SMM) over any traditional media advertising is the considerably low cost that makes it very appealing and essential for a lot of businesses. Most popular social media networks can let you join for free, and the tools that are used for interacting with other people are also available for free. You can pay a bit extra to increase your audience reach, but it’s possible to sustain a massive organic reach for free if you effectively use social media platforms. That means gaining a lot of money to spend on advertising. And it’s also great news for smaller businesses who don’t have a huge marketing budget in their hands.
Generates Social Interaction
One of the biggest problems that a lot of businesses have with traditional means of sales and marketing is maintaining a healthy, long-term relationship with their existing and new customers. The beauty of Social Media Marketing is that it is based and is powered by a lot of social interaction, which means that in the long run, the audience can develop trust in your particular brand or business. The more you nurture and spend a regular interaction with your audiences, the more you’ll generate a better and longer term of relationship. And in turn, would create profitable results for your business.
Caters to a Big Audience
Another advantage of social media marketing is that it has the potential of reaching out to a huge audience that is completely unlimited in scope and reaches from around the globe. On top of that, your SMM reach can go beyond your targeted demographic market. This means that it caters to any people, regardless of gender, race, age, nationality, etc. If people share your content on the different social media platforms, people’s friends, relatives, and followers go beyond their own demographic, reaching new audiences which can lead to generating more leads and sales.
Nurtures Brand Loyalty
Whenever you have good interactions with your target audience on social media, it can clearly boost your online reputation, and in the process, develops a strong brand identity and loyalty. When you create a more interactive relationship with the audience, this means that you actually care for them, which in turn generates trusts, and eventually creates loyalty. When the audience see your company continuously posting on social media, most especially replying to customer inquiries and posting original content, then it makes you appear and look more credible online.
Fast & Efficient
If you have products or services that you need to promote or have fresh information and news that you want to share with your target audience, then you can definitely rely on Social Media Marketing for a fast and efficient result. You can even connect your website with your social media networks so it can automatically publish and share new content or news that is available. This can be useful for your business as many of the adults online use social media channels where they can read blogs that can affect their purchasing decisions solely based on what they know.
Great for Customer Service
Many customers spend their time on social media channels, and if they have something to say to a particular company or brand, they will go to their social media page where they can voice out their inquiries, suggestions, and complaints through these channels. This provides you with a highly interactive and very personal means of creating excellent customer service by listening and responding to what your customers have to say. Your social media channels can also be used for customer service, market research, business intelligence, getting customer feedbacks and in general, build a much closer connection with your audience.
Cons of Social Media Marketing
Negative Feedback or Miscommunication
Most unhappy customers can be quick to post their negative comments on your public social channels. When managed effectively, the damage can be minimized. The important thing to remember is that you should always respond, take ownership of your mistakes and then try and take the conversation with your unhappy customers seriously. However, this can take a lot of time and effort, and there is still the risk of making a huge mistake. In the end, having plenty of complaints on your channels can make your brand suffer in the long-run. You need to decide on what you can do to remove those unwanted, and sometimes unfair negative feedback aired on your social media channel.
You Can Lose Control
What you post any content online, especially through social media channels, it can actually go viral and spread like crazy. If it generates positive results, then it can be beneficial for you. On the other hand, you certainly have no control over what people may see online, whether it’s good or bad. Remember that everything is available for anyone to see, including those individuals who want to bring you down. They can use any information to criticize you or spread the wrong news that will completely damage your online reputation. While earning great exposure to all of those potential clients can be a great thing, there is also the risk of getting harmful exposure.
Doesn’t Work for Every Business
While Social Media Marketing works to get a lot of audiences, it doesn’t however, work for some types of businesses. For example, if you’re a company who sells roofing services, not every person will likely follow you on your social media channels due to the nature of your business or your type of platform. It is quite essential that you need to decide which type of social media channels is essential to your business and your target audience before you begin posting content right away. If you haven’t decided yet, then you may spend little time and money creating compelling, shareable content and building followers.
Social Media Marketing is considerably time-consuming for a lot of business owners who want to get immediate results from their SMM efforts. However, if it’s not done correctly, all your SMM efforts and the time spent on these will deliver entirely useless results and traffic that will not convert into leads or sales. To utilize the full advantages of social media marketing, customer service, posting lots of content and responding to analytics, etc. then you’ve got to make a long-term commitment and put in a lot of hours. You need to plan and implement an effective social media marketing strategy to avoid getting hit. Smaller businesses need to consider whether they have enough resources, and which areas they should highly prioritize.
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