Since the past few years, social media has grown tremendously as one of the most recommended channels for the marketing and business sector. The reason behind the growth of social media is the remarkable advantages it offers.
But just like the two sides of coins, social media also has its two sides; positive and negative. Every marketing strategy to be applied needs proper research and planning to make it effective and worthwhile in social media. Social media marketing has become a core element of success in marketing. It will only prove successful when used properly and efficiently.
Nowadays, innumerable people have started depending on social media as a tool for business marketing or for creating brand awareness and loyalty. Social media has served as an excellent platform for promoting goods and services without huge investments. At the same time, it is up to you how you use it properly to derive the benefits.
I am coming to the advantages and disadvantages of social media for business. I would first like to discuss the advantages of social media for marketing.
Advantages of Social Media
In the digital age, social media is not the way to communicate with others. It has become a platform where businesses gain profits. A social media user is spending approximately 3 hours per day on social networking sites and messaging.
What are the advantages of social media?
Some advantages of social media for marketing are as under:
1. Reach Your Target Audience
Many businesses are using social media as a marketing platform for their business to reach a large number of audiences to increase the demand for the products and expand the range of services.
According to the State of Social 2019 published by Buffer, 73% of marketers found that social media marketing has been “somewhat or very effective” for their business.
According to Pew Research Centre surveys, these YouTube and Facebook are most popular among U.S. adults, whether through the desktop computer or mobile apps.
These social media websites and apps are business platforms for many businesses to reach the audience. It serves as a great advantage of social media to reach out to many customers who demand their products and services.
Recently, Hootsuite published detailed social media statistics that matter to marketers in 2020. If you are a marketer, you shouldn’t miss it.
It does not matter own an apparel outlet of Zara, H&M, Dolce and Gabbana, Nike, Levi Strauss, or running a restaurant like McDonald, Dominos, Starbucks, etc. can use social media to reach out to local audiences.
Any tourist or local can step into your offline store. You can run online ad campaigns to target specific locations or write organic posts on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Google Marketplace, or similar platforms.
2. Directly Connect With Your Audience
A direct connection with your audience is possible with the help of social media. You can grow followers of your social media accounts, and finally, you can collect the data about user behavior, their likes, and dislikes, etc.
The collected data helps your business in many ways:
Understand your audience better
Once you know the interests of your target audience, you understand their requirements, and accordingly, you can deliver almost anything as per their needs and preferences. The more connection and engagement on your business page and business bring prosperity and success towards your business.
Provide quality customer service
As a result of the direct connection with your audience, it becomes easier for you to resolve their grievances and handle their complaints. It gives a real insight into your business because you address your customers personally and clearing their issues. It paves the way for the success of your business.
Collect insights of your clientele
The direct connection with the target audience is required to get proper insight about your customers. By keeping an eye on the engagement on the posts, customer reviews, and followers, you get a better idea about the customers. This way, you can adopt a different strategy to satisfy your customers and fulfill their requirements.
Boost brand loyalty
With the help of social media marketing, you get to know the perceptions of your audience about your business. It will throw light on the areas you need to improve and work on, which will help your business to expand and grow.
Building a direct connection with your audience is always beneficial. It helps to know about your customers so that you can provide them better services. After that, you can adapt those social media strategies which are helpful for your business.
3. Create Organic Content
One of the major advantages of social media is businesses can post organic content without paying a penny. It is very helpful for your company to build connections with people.
Posting content on social media not only helps in building connections but also helps to get leads and conversions. It directly leads your business to success.
Different social media allows posting different types of content, i.e., posts, photos, videos, links, etc. You can post content to put your brand forward in the eyes of audiences so that they start liking and knowing it.
- Facebook allows posts, images, videos, and links.
- Twitter allows short posts, images, videos, and links.
- Instagram allows only images and videos. You can add links only to your ad campaigns. Users are uploading 500 million daily active Instagram stories worldwide.
Around 54% of individuals use social media to research product purchases, which would be of great help to arouse interest in your business.
4. Paid Advertising Services
You can also opt for paid advertising campaigns instead of organic posting. Different social media platforms have paid advertising opportunities. This will help to reach out to the audience that is not familiar with your business.
Social media allows and helps to feature your ads to the target audiences and in the targeted locations. It helps you to create your brand and bringing your products and services to the market. You get more leads and sales through these ad campaigns.
It means you are expanding your business and leading its growth. It will also help in the creation of more loyal customers and followers, directly or indirectly. These endorse your products in their social circle.
Your ad campaigns should be mobile-friendly because 91% of social media users are using mobile devices. This data is excellent for all marketing campaigns’ success and growth.
5. Build Your Brand
No one can deny, social media helps in building a brand—one of the advantages of social media in the digital era. From making connections to building brands and exposing the customers to your brand, social media serves as a great platform.
When people start knowing your brand, it helps in the creation of brand loyalty and recognition. Social media helps in building brand loyalty, which in turn provokes customers to buy the brand which they are familiar with.
You can easily build your brand using social media. You can share on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc., while you can retweet on Twitter. It helps in putting posts repeatedly, sharing with your friends, communities, and increasing the number of followers that help in gaining brand recognition.
Once you build your brand, people do not hesitate to buy products or services from you. It means your leads and sales, and followers keep growing.
You can read social media marketing statistics 2020 on smallbizgenius.net.
6. Drive Traffic to Your Website
Social media serves as an excellent promoter for your business websites. You can post content with the link to your website on social media, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc.
First, create excellent content with catchy headlines. It will instigate the audience to click on the link through which they can directly connect to your website and get to know more about it. All you
They can come to know about your business and the products and services being offered.
Not only your business, but it also helps to book appointments or make payments of bills.
For instance, the right content marketing strategy can lead people to use your business website for booking appointments and getting attractive discounts.
You can lure a first-time customer by giving a big discount. So, in this way, social media helps in driving traffic to your website.
7. Evaluate Your Performance
Evaluation of marketing ad campaigns is required as it helps to reach more customers and get more business.
Social media platforms have an option to run ad campaigns and check how the campaign is performing. You can evaluate the performance of an ad campaign.
You can evaluate performance through post reach, likes, shares, comments, reviews, etc.
It is important to notice impression, clicks, conversions, through which you can work on the areas to improve and achieve better results for expansion and growth.
8. Social Media is Almost Free
One of the advantages of social media is that you can join or signup for free without any kind of charges or fees. Social media platforms are where you don’t have to spend any money. You need to invest your creativity, content, and valuable time for the growth of your marketing business. It should be clear that free means the limited scope of promotion.
As we discussed earlier, if you want to reach a target audience, then you may run paid ad campaigns to reach more customers, get more leads, and make a profit.
9. Create Viral Content
You can take the help of social media influencers or followers. It is a great advantage of social media. Nowadays, many people have started using social media, where they love to share and upload photos, videos, tempting recipes, lifetime deals, or anything they are interested in.
It is interesting 49% of consumers rely on influencer recommendations on social media.
When you share content on your social media account, your followers share it with their followers, and content goes viral. This way, it gets a wide reach and access. In this way, you get brand recognition and loyalty in the minds of users, and they start liking it.
71% of customers who are satisfied and have a positive experience with a brand on social media endorse a brand on social media, friends, and family, which will, in turn, boost brand visibility, recognition, and loyalty.
10. Unveil Valuable Insights
As told earlier, social media helps in gaining valuable insights by getting information about the likes, needs, tastes, and preferences of the consumers. This valuable information helps in the growth and expansion of your business by making worthy decisions.
Never ignore social listening. Always try to gain insights about your business and customer service. It helps you to know about what people are thinking about your brand, company, products, services and offers.
- Why people prefer your brand over others?
- How can you bring more brand loyalty or visibility?
- What are the areas of improvement you need to focus on?
Keeping in mind these questions, you can find the solutions and plan in a better way to strategize your business according to recent trends and the tastes and preferences of the audience.
Disadvantages of Social Media
Coming to the disadvantages of social media, I would like to state that the marketing strategy of a business has to suffer from both the rise and downfall. Keeping in mind that the disadvantages are just the ways to improve upon your marketing strategies to derive the maximum benefit the areas of business will lead no harm in the minds of digital marketers and business owners.
What are the disadvantages of social media?
Some disadvantages of social media for marketing are as under:
1. Negative Reviews
Social media is used as a platform to share the content and experience they have gone through, be it a positive experience or negative experience. If someone is not satisfied with your business, then it gives them a chance to share the negative experience with others, which can definitely become a hindrance in the path of success of your business.
On the Facebook business page, people can rate you 1 star, and give a negative review, and share their bad experiences publicly with others. You can not edit or delete these negative reviews.
Only, you can offer a better service to them and request to change the rating and review.
If your brand page is on Twitter, users can tag a brand or company and tweet their bad experiences. It can cut off several users and can adversely affect your brand image that can impact the growth of your business.
The only thing you can do is request to remove tweets and provide them quality service in return.
Tackle this social media disadvantage:
People take negative comments, reviews, and feedback very seriously. Never ignore negative reviews and identify the reasons for customer dissatisfaction, and rectify the errors to save your brand image. Don’t give a chance to others to ruin your brand image.
- Always positively respond to negative feedback, comments, or reviews, do not leave it unanswered.
- Make it a habit to address and resolve their issues if you want to built and regain their trust.
It would really help you to improve and work on the areas to turn a negative experience into positive. Consider their negative reinforcements into positive ones.
Social media is a medium where it takes only a few seconds for your posts to become viral. You should always be careful before posting your content on social media. Check many times before posting it so that you don’t have to face any sort of embarrassment.
Around 3.6 billion users use social media worldwide. So, be cautious before posting anything on social media, which can have a lasting impact on the users.
For instance, in 2016, Oscars, Total Beauty posted a photo of actress Whoopi Goldberg, with the text: “We had no idea @Oprah was #tatted, and we love it.” The unfortunate tweet was on the beauty feed for less than an hour, but it took no time for users to attack the careless error.
Adapt to this social media disadvantage:
I would suggest you to always research and plan first about what to post. Be it a photo, video, recipe, or hashtag, everything needs research so that you don’t have to face any embarrassment in the end.
3. Time Consuming Campaigns
Social media is one of the most exciting and interesting platforms to create and recreate the content, to post photos, videos, and to engage the audience with it. But, the main disadvantage is that creating and running social media campaigns is a time-consuming process.
The essential element you need to manage your business is the time element. Be it a marketing campaign or any other; everything needs time to be managed. You need to strike a balance between managing time for your accounts, for posting content, for updating resources, for handling customers, for resolving issues and managing grievances, and much more.
If you don’t spend enough time on this because you lack resources, capital, and people, then definitely, you will end up leading to a problem where your social media marketing campaign will suffer losses.
Tackle this social media disadvantage:
- You need to hire a social media marketing company to create a digital marketing strategy, and you need to have resources too.
- Partner with those who have prior experience in managing and running the profitable social media marketing campaigns.
It would surely open the doors for the success of your business, leading to its expansion, growth, and creating loyalty and goodwill.
4. Results Come Late
It is human nature that when you start something new, you want to see the desired results and you are anxiously waiting for it. You want to know that your business and marketing strategies are running smoothly and working effectively or not. But in the case of social media, it is not so that you will get immediate results. As said, good things take time, so you have to be patient enough to get the results.
You have to continuously post new content related to your campaign to achieve success. The result of social media marketing campaigns will take time to determine results. Never expect immediate results, and you have to wait for it patiently for a few weeks or even months to get success.
Adapt to this social media disadvantage:
- The only way to adapt to this social media disadvantage is that Be Patient. Good Things Take Time.
- You have to keep reminding yourself to wait as your campaign has just started, and you can also track the performance after running multiple campaigns for some time.
- After that, just to see the areas which need improvement for the growth of a business.
5. Need to Stay Engaged and Active
It is also one of the disadvantages of social media that you need to stay engaged and active every time you monitor your marketing campaign. Social media is constantly changing, so you need to be up-to-date else you will lack behind.
To succeed in any social media marketing, you need to spend enough time to attain the best out of it as people on social media are always looking for something new and updated instead of old and obsolete.
Adapt to this social media disadvantage:
- You need to be an active user, spending most of your time on social media for your marketing campaigns to lead to successful outcomes.
- Never give up, and keep trying new and creative campaigns.
- Learn from your competitors.
Coming to an end, I would like to say that social media has served as an excellent platform for businesses and marketing campaigns.
Images from Depositphotos.com
Editor and co-author: Er. Vinay Prajapati