What are the 5 pros and cons of social media for business? Social media for business is all about connecting with customers and potential customers. The main advantages are that social media is free, easy to set up and accessible from anywhere in the world.
Social media can help businesses target potential customers by allowing them to connect with different groups of people who share their interests. It is also a great way to build your brand and reputation.
However, social media also has its disadvantages. First, getting started or finding an audience is not always easy. Second, building a community of like-minded people who will be interested in what you have to say takes time. And third, it can be difficult to measure your campaign’s success because so many factors impact how popular a post or post will be, including how engaged your followers are and whether it’s shared by influencers in your field.
Social media has become one of the most popular channels for digital marketing. However, many companies using social media marketing like Facebook ads for example, are frustrated with the low return on their investment. There are pros and cons for all digital marketing strategies, including our five advantages and disadvantages of social media marketing:
- Customer engagement
- Market insights
- Competitor copycat campaigns
- Slow ROI
- High maintenance
In this business blog, let’s also look at when social media started and how popular it is with users today.
Social Media Timeline
Social media started in 1997 with a site called Six Degrees.
Fast forward to the early 2000s, and famous sites, including Facebook, which started in 2004, Flickr, MySpace and YouTube, emerged in 2005, and Twitter in 2006. Where there are now hundreds of millions of users on social media sites. Where the people are, businesses are sure to follow. Using the platforms in much the same way as ordinary users, companies found a way to advertise their goods and services.
Fast forward to now, and there are many more social networking platforms that are favored by specific demographics. For example, 90% of users of Snapchat are aged 18 – 24, and two-thirds are female.
Plus, mergers and acquisitions of social media sites make sharing content across platforms and using the same login credentials; for example, Facebook owns Instagram and WhatsApp. Alphabet owns Google and YouTube. Sharing content and switching between the platforms using the same login credentials are more positive for your business.
Businesses want to market their goods and services on sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Linkedin to reach their intended audience. However, is SMM too expensive for many companies, especially startups and small businesses?
There are so many digital marketing strategies competing for a share of marketing budgets, including email marketing, that is easier to do and cheaper too but for how long?
Newer technologies including artifical intelligence, machine learning and other 4th and 5th industrial revolution software are improving ROI for marketers including social media marketing.
Therefore let’s look at some of the apparent advantages and disadvantages of social media for businesses.
The most obvious advantage for businesses using social media for marketing products and services is its size. For example Facebook has 2.7 billion monthly users according to Statista.
Both B2B and B2C companies get excited by the opportunities of reaching large audiences. You’d think it impossible to target your advert to your intended audience. Still, the tools provided by social media platforms and AI make it easier to hone adverts at the right eyeballs.
Increased brand awareness
By 2027 Statista predict 5.85 billion people will be using social media in one form or another. Therefore given that almost every person owns a smartphone, desktop, or laptop, and they spend a lot of time on social media sites, doing any sort of SMM, if implemented correctly, should, at worst, increase brand recognition for your business.
The key to successful social media marketing is executing a well-thought-out plan. Organic sharing of boosted posts, for example, can improve exposure, which can begin within the business with employees. Their Instagram, Twitter, followers, and friends like and share your posts and page.
Generating engagement is vital, and it’s in the true nature of social networking, so when people interact with your product and posts, greater awareness among other users o. From here, referrals and inquiries increase and then actual sales.
Better customer satisfaction
By and large, most humans seek to attract attention and acknowledgement, and networking sites encourage it. It’s standard practice to take selfies, including sharing images and videos of using products, etc.
Followers will like, comment, and share these posts, and before long, prospective customers will ask questions relating to your products and services and expect a quick reply. It’s this immediacy of contact that improves customer satisfaction. Ther, when you’re attentive, and you respond directly within your page to queries, your page attracts more views from your followers and your customers’ networks.
The perception is that your business genuinely cares and provides excellent service, which is an advantage for SMM, i.e. the immediacy of contact with prospective customers.
Social media marketing can be cost-effective when you know how to do it well. The initial creation of a new profile and signing in is free for almost every social media platform so getting set up is not a huge investment or risk. However, you can burn through your marketing budget quickly by attempting to do it yourself without support from an SMM expert.
Don’t do it yourself. Choose a marketing professional or agency with a history of proven SMM success. For example, ask to see the agency’s case studies on Facebook ads for business. Ask for assistance on an SMM strategy and the budget. Do it right the first time. This is the most cost-effective approach for your business.
Increased inbound traffic
Online marketing should increase inbound traffic to your website. With SMM, when the campaign is expertly crafted with a one-click action from the channel to your website and, ideally, the product page, visitors will come and stay on your site if they like what they see and read. Therefore make sure your advert has a call to action and on the landing page, avoid populating it with ‘noise,’ i.e. pop-up banners and unintuitive features.
Provide value with high-value content on all pages and particularly on your product pages. Hence, the increase in traffic to your site from social media channels not only likes what they see but also converts into a sale or, at minimum, signs up for your newsletter.
Gain market insight
For any business to succeed, it must know its customers really well. What are their needs, opinions and interests? This is called personalised data and we wrote a new article on how to acquire more insight into customer expectations and desires from current digital marketing initiatives.
With the high engagement among users on social media, the platforms provide a vehicle for businesses to gain market insight to improve their offerings and service.
Customer data analysis
Sites like Facebook have third-party providers specializing in software and services for data segmentation, and businesses using the data get the reward with their SMM adverts seen by their intended customers. This is an advantage for advertisers but for users it’s been a disadvantage as noted by the negative outcome of Cambridge Analytica use of Facebook user data in the US 2016 election. However, today consent is not implied. It’s sought by every user. Plus, privacy laws regulate what data can and can not be collected, used, and shared.
Personalization is a prerequisite for achieving a higher ROI with social media marketing. Customers expect to see adverts and marketing messages relevant to their needs. Businesses will get a higher conversion rate from marketing messages that resonate with their customers. Failure to invest in personalized SMM will result in a lower ROI.
Social media has been around for over 25 years, so we’re more comfortable with it now and trust it more. However, it’s not always been this way. Take Facebook, for example; using it was a steep learning curve, and too many software updates altered displays and usability. Then the default user privacy setting was set to ‘public’ which, after user backlash, still took Facebook five years to change to visible to friends.
Probably the biggest Facebook fail was the Cambridge Analytica debacle, and users’ trust in Facebook reached an all-time low. Privacy is important, and all sites must have privacy statements on managing customer data capture and what they do with it. For example, Europe has the GDPR for the European Union and businesses providing services to EU nations. However, for businesses using SMM, the negatives include cost, slow returns, complexity, and competitors.
Social media marketing enables you to study your competitors’ strategies. However, they too can analyze your business marketing, social media strategy, brand reputation, and so on through your social media platform. Marketers need to know what competitors are doing on social media. If there are copycat campaigns, you know what you’re doing is working. Staying ahead of competitors requires investment in innovation and crafting unique personalized campaigns.
Needs qualified personnel
You will have to employ qualified personnel to manage your account to focus on core business issues. For example, to get the most from a WhatsApp Business multiple users account starting with using the platform’s API for business. Attempting to do this yourself costs you more than investing in the skills of a social media developer or marketer.
Slow returns on investments
Tarnish brand name
If a piece of negative information finds its way onto a social media platform, the public will have the chance to express dissatisfaction. This will tarnish your product name and deter potential customers from establishing relationships and doing business with the brand.
People may deliberately ignore your page because they may be interested in other sites. Getting them to appreciate and share your posts may take time. For this reason, resources in terms of money and time must be allocated to ensure frequent publishing of aesthetic posts.
Social media allows you to reach a massive amount of people in an instant. It is also a great way to build brand awareness, engage with customers and share your products with the world. But it comes with its own set of challenges. Social media can be very time consuming and requires constant attention to keep up with the latest trends and updates. It can also be expensive to maintain.
Many businesses are still sceptical about the value of social media. They may view it as a luxury rather than a necessity, or they may be concerned about how it will impact their bottom line. However, if you take the time to understand your audience and adopt an authentic approach, social media is a powerful tool that can help your business grow.
Before you invest in a social media marketing strategy, engage an SMM agency to help you research and plan a workable approach to achieve your marketing and sales goals.
SMM is not a ‘one size fits all strategy. Therefore it’s easy to get it wrong and end up worse off with little new business to show for your investment. Therefore don’t be shy in engaging the experts to cut through the ‘noise’ to deliver a high conversion rate and ROI for your business.
Keen To Learn More?
Let’s look at content marketing and why it’s important to business.
Your Marketing Starts With Your Content
There are many reasons why content marketing is important to business – especially when your business is using social media.
First, content marketing is an effective way to promote your brand and increase sales. Second, content marketing is one of the most powerful tools available to businesses today as it. helps them connect with customers and build relationships. Third, most site visits come from Search and Google loves high-quality content so here’s your opportunity to win over Google and your customers with content that wows.
Business Blogs have many articles on the advantages and disadvantages of content marketing as a strategy to attract and engage customers. Plus, tips on how to create high-quality content and ensure it’s SEO ready. To read more business blogs articles on content – add the keyword ‘content’ to our search feature. 🙂