Over the past ten years or so, we have seen social media moving from being an early adopter’s marketing experiment to a trusted channel for both B2C and B2B marketing. But that does not mean you should rush in and use it without a thought – like any communications medium we see various pros and cons of Social Media
Which means that you should not use social media into your marketing strategy without being aware of the pros and cons.
So here are 8 social media pros and cons which will remind you when and how to use social media as a marketing channel.
Its less Investment and more Effective
If you are running a basic social media campaign, then the software is free and there are no subscription costs. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and more are all free to join and use,which means running an ad campaign with social media will cost significantly less than almost any other marketing channel.
It is perfectly possible to run effective and successful social media campaigns with low budget.The bottom line is that social media is simply one of the best and most economic ways to market your business.
There is a chance to go viral and reach out to a huge audience
Social media platforms are now universal.Facebook has over 2.2 billion users worldwide for example. With such a huge reach you have the possibility of getting your message in front of the largest possible audience.
If you post something that captures your audience’s imagination, then it can be shared. It is also possible that it will go viral and increase its audience aggressively.
It’s not just marketing
Social media is not just for marketing – it’s a channel used for customer service, business intelligence, news, messaging, help and so much more.
It starts Communication
Social media is, by its very nature, social. It gives you a chance to communicate with your prospects and customers.
You have a completely different kind of relationship with your prospects and customers on social media than in any other marketing channel. It’s a two-way conversation that allows for a much deeper understanding of the requirements of your customer.
You get instant feedback
Because social media is a 24/7 communications channel you can get instant feedback on your marketing campaigns enabling you to update and fine-tune your marketing posts.It can also provide you with an immediate and honest assessment of your organisation, products, services or posts.
It helps in market research
There are many free or low-cost monitoring tools for social media that will allow you to learn basic information about the market you are in. You can gain knowledge about your competitors, prospects and clients, and get insights on your organisation, products and services.
It creates loyalty and help in getting reference
By interacting with your customer base you can create a group of loyal customers , and as long as your product or service quality is meeting their needs, you are likely to get not requested testimonials and references.
It helps to generate data
Because of the nature of social media, there is always plenty of data that can be collected and analysed. This should help you to track your progress and see how effective your posts are. It will also help you to track when your target audience is online and what kind of content they respond to.
It is time consuming
In order to successfully utilize social media in a marketing campaign, you need to invest a decent amount of time over a long period to see useful results.
It takes a high level of commitment, which ultimately costs significant amounts of money. But the more time you give to social media, the greater you get results.
You need to be dedicated and updated
You need to stick at it, you need to constantly feed it too. Most social media channels need constant attention to maintain momentum.
Like other forms of content creation, you need to make it part of your daily routine.
It’s not just marketing
Yes, this one is both an advantage and disadvantage as it’s not as neat and tidy as other channels which are generally just for marketing.You are going to get feedback on your products and services and you have to deal with customer service issues and queries from prospects.
Things change and update fast
With social media the rules are constantly changing – from the algorithm used by Facebook to pick which of your posts to display, to the length of tweets, to the user interface in LinkedIn.New social media platforms are launched and others die. This dramatically affects planning and strategy; so you have to keep reviewing and revising on an on-going basis in order to stay relevant and effective.
It’s out of your hands
Other marketing tools allow you to tightly control the message and its distribution, making sure that only that message is communicated and nothing else.
Social media, on the other hand, once you release your message you also surrender control as it is shared, commented upon and added to customers, prospects and the general public could be talking to each other about your product, service, brand or company and you wouldn’t even know.
You can make big time mistakes
Social media is more casual and more open. But with so many posts and constant conversation, it can be easy to take your eye off the ball and post something that is open to misinterpretation.
Some companies choose not to utilise social media for just this reason – they are too scared of making a mistake.
You have to have a good product or service
On social media every customer can share their experience whether good or bad and everyone can express an opinion and it gets shared on social media platforms and review sites. You have to be sure that your product or service is good and your company is ethical before you create content and market on social media.
You can get addictive
Using social media to promote a product or service takes time and commitment. But there is also a very real danger that you can becoming completely consumed by it. This isn’t really so surprising when you consider that social media platforms are deliberately designed to be addictive.
So these are some pros and cons of social media.Social media, when used correctly, is a powerful channel for marketing. It should be an essential part of your marketing strategy and a key element in your marketing plan.