Social media has taken the world by storm, providing many new marketing opportunities. As with all things, social media offers both advantages and disadvantages to businesses looking to market on social media platforms. Understanding them can help determine if a social media marketing strategy is suitable for your business.
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing aims to generate leads and sales by creating content for social media platforms. Social media strategies can help you engage with your audience, improve brand loyalty, and ultimately lead to conversions. Your marketing strategy can be short-term or long-term, depending on your needs.
Advantages of Social Media
Many consumers spend several hours daily on social media, making it a great place to grab their attention and grow your business. Below are a few of the benefits of social media marketing.
Free to Join
Social media platforms are entirely free to join. There are no signup fees — time is your initial investment. Some platforms offer premium or paid strategy options, but you can start small and gradually increase your spending. Generally, social media helps boost conversion rates and achieve higher returns on investment than print or search advertising.
Reach Large Audiences
Millions of people are on at least one social media platform, so it’s an excellent opportunity to reach many people interested in your offerings. Joining multiple social media platforms helps you expand your reach even further with more diverse opportunities to find and interact with leads.
Not only can you target large audiences, but you can narrow your efforts to those specific people who are actively interested in your products or services. Many print ads are designed to reach as many people as possible, regardless of their interests. Social media helps you save your marketing budget by allowing you to target only those who want your offerings and bring in the more qualified leads with better chances of conversion.
You can also use social media to target specific parameters unique to an audience, such as their location. For example, if you’re a small coffee shop looking to attract locals to your business, you can use certain hashtags and location services that social platforms provide.
Social media can increase brand awareness. It amplifies your brand visibility by grabbing the attention of consumers who haven’t heard of your business yet. The more engaging content you create and post, the more awareness you can establish for yourself.
Connect With Your Audience
One of the most significant advantages of social media is connection. People all over the world connect through social media. It allows information to be shared worldwide and provides people with a sense of closeness.
Unlike most other marketing strategies, a social media campaign can provide a direct line of communication between you and your audience. Through customer interaction, you’re able to gain a better understanding of what your audience is seeking from your business. There are several ways social media helps you connect with your audience.
Understand Your Audience
Understanding your target customers allows you to provide them with more valuable content. It lets you tailor your content to their interests, which increases engagement on your business page. You can see who’s interacting with your posts and whether it’s positive or negative engagement. You can then adapt your marketing strategy to provide a better experience for your audience.
See Your Business From the Customer’s Perspective
Interacting with your customers on social media can give you feedback on how they perceive your brand. Knowing how customers view your brand can help you make better marketing decisions. You can use this information to profit from the features people like and correct the ones they don’t.
Improve Customer Service
Direct contact with your audience makes it easier to resolve issues. You can speak to them directly and work with them individually to solve their problems. Customers are more likely to trust a brand when their customer service needs are handled in a prompt and personal manner.
Direct Website Traffic
Social media is excellent for driving traffic to your website, as social platforms often let you post content with a website link. Creating captivating content may persuade people to click your link. Once on your website, they can learn more about and gain familiarity with your brand. Social media traffic can then bolster your other marketing strategies by creating relevant traction on your page.
Create Organic Content
Social media allows companies to publish organic content for free, opening many opportunities to find low-cost leads. You can also publish content whenever and however often as you want. You can create videos, text, or photos depending on the platform. It’s a great way to introduce people to your brand and help them become more familiar with it.
Stay Up to Date on Relevant Topics
Social media contains valuable data, including important information about your customers. Tools like social listening can help you discover what people are saying about your brand and competitors. Discover what people like about your business or what improvements you can make to better meet their needs.
Through social media, you can also keep up with current industry trends. You can see what your competitors are doing and how you can improve your offerings to attract more customers.
Easy Access to Paid Advertising
If you’re looking to create something beyond organic content, social media platforms provide options for paid advertising. Social media capabilities vary from platform to platform because each one offers different paid advertising options. Paid ads get your brand in front of interested leads who haven’t heard of you yet, and these ads can be customized to appear in the feeds of people searching for products and services like yours.
Disadvantages of Social Media
Like every other marketing strategy, social media campaigns have disadvantages. Disadvantages don’t mean your campaign won’t succeed, but they present potential obstacles you may run into. Here are some disadvantages to be aware of.
People use social media to share their experiences, both good and bad. If customers have had a negative experience with your company, they may turn to social media to share this experience with others.
Negative feedback can come in different forms depending on the social media platform. Facebook lets customers leave negative reviews on your business page. People who look up your company on Facebook can then access these reviews.
On platforms like Twitter or Instagram, people can tag companies in their posts with negative feedback. Multiple people can then share these posts and spread the negative word. It’s especially problematic if influencers post negative feedback about your brand. Their followers, some of whom may be your customers, may stop buying your goods. It may also prevent new leads from shopping with you.
Complaints and negative feedback are common on social media platforms. When people have a negative experience with a company, they may feel obligated to share to prevent others from having the same bad experience.
Social media platforms are often filled with misleading information. People create posts with inaccuracies that others share without verifying their legitimacy. Someone can make up false rumors about your company which can quickly spread over social media. This can cause customers to cease business with your company or prevent future leads.
Social media marketing campaigns require a lot of time and attention. A successful campaign involves creating and posting daily content. It requires consistent monitoring and frequent interaction with your audience. All of this can be challenging without the right resources. Small businesses or companies with small marketing teams may find social media marketing to be challenging.
If you want to run a social media campaign but don’t have the time or resources, consider working with a marketing agency. They can do all of the posting and monitoring for you, so you have time to focus on other business matters.
Lack of Immediate Results
Companies expect to see immediate results when they invest in a marketing strategy. However, social media marketing doesn’t often produce quick results. Your campaign’s success cannot be determined by posting one piece of content; you need to post multiple pieces of content over time.
Constant Need for New Content
As content consumption on social networks grows, users become tired and bored quickly and are always looking for new content. Many companies see a drop in social media followers after just a couple of weeks of not posting. People expect new content from the businesses they follow. You’ll need to post content daily to keep your current users engaged and attract new followers.
Vulnerability to Competition
It’s hard to hide your marketing strategies on social media. Your competitors are likely watching you and can efficiently study your strategy for their gain. They may copy them for their benefit and take you out of the market. Despite your creative campaign, you risk others using your ideas to benefit their business.
Whether or not you implement a marketing strategy should depend on your specific business goals and resources. Every marketing strategy will have disadvantages, so don’t let them be the only determining factor when choosing a marketing strategy. Consider them obstacles and determine if you have the resources to overcome them.
If you’re interested in diving into social media marketing and are unsure where to start, Avalaunch Media® is here for you! We can help you determine which platforms are best for your company and create ads that will entice your audience. Learn more about how we can launch your brand on social media!