Social media began in 1997 with a site called Six Degrees. Today, there are hundreds of millions of users on social networking sites. Where the people are, companies are sure to follow. Using the platforms in the same way as normal users, companies found a way to advertise their products and services using social media marketing to increase sales.
Fast forward to now, and there are many more online platforms, many of which are favored by specific demographics. For example, 90% of Snapchat users are between the ages of 18 and 24, and two-thirds are women.
In addition, mergers and acquisitions of social media sites make it even easier to share content between platforms and use the same login credentials, for example, Facebook owns Instagram and WhatsApp. Alphabet owns Google and YouTube. There are more positives for your business when sharing content and switching between platforms using the same login credentials.
Companies want to market their products and services on sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn to reach their target audience, however, is SMM too expensive?
Some experts say that SMM (social media marketing) does not offer good value for money, for example, see Neil Patel’s video on Facebook Ads. There are so many digital marketing strategies, including email marketing, that are easier to do and cheaper, but for how long?
New technologies including artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other software from the fourth and fifth industrial revolutions that improve ROI for marketers, including the use of social media for businesses.
Therefore, in this article, we reveal our advantages and disadvantages for companies that advertise on social media, that is, social media marketing (SMM).
Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing
Advantages of Social Media Marketing
The most obvious advantage for companies using Facebook to promote their brand is the large user base. There are 2.7 billion monthly users according to Statista. You would think it would be impossible to target your ad to your target audience, but improvements in technology have been taken advantage of by advertisers.
Customer Data Analytics
Sites like Facebook have third-party vendors who specialize in data segmentation software and services, and the companies that use the data are rewarded with the SMM ads that their intended customers see. This is an advantage for advertisers, but for users, it has been a disadvantage, as pointed out by the negative outcome of Cambridge Analytica’s use of Facebook user data in the 2016 US elections.
Increased Brand Awareness
By 2021, Statista predicts that more than 3 billion people will use social media in one form or another. Therefore, since almost everyone owns a smartphone, desktop or laptop, and spends a lot of time on social media sites, doing any kind of SMM if implemented correctly should, in the worst case, increase brand recognition for your business.
Many people have good intentions with social media marketing, but without a plan or strategy, those efforts tend to be ineffective. The organic exchange of enhanced posts, for example, can improve exposure, and this can start within the company with employees. Your followers and friends on Instagram, Twitter, etc., like and share your posts and your page.
Generating engagement is vital, and it’s in the true nature of social media, so when people interact with your product posts, there is greater awareness among other users and, from here, referrals and queries increase and then actual sales.
Better Customer Satisfaction
In general, most human beings seek attention and recognition, and networking sites encourage this. Taking selfies is standard practice, and that includes sharing images and videos of product use, etc.
Followers will like, comment on and share these posts and in no time potential customers will be asking questions related to your products and services and expecting a quick response. It is this immediacy of contact that improves customer satisfaction. Therefore, when you are attentive and respond directly within your page to inquiries, your page attracts more visits from your followers and your customers’ networks.
The perception is that your business really cares and provides excellent service, and this is an advantage for SMM, that is, the immediacy of contact with potential customers.
Social media marketing can be profitable when you know how to do it right. The initial new profile creation and login are free for almost all social media platforms, so setup is not a huge investment or risk. However, you can quickly waste your marketing budget if you try to do it yourself without the support of an SMM expert.
Do not do it yourself. Choose a marketer or agency with a proven track record of success in SMM. For example, ask to see the agency’s case studies on Facebook Ads for Business. Request assistance on an SMM strategy and budget. Get it right the first time, this is the most profitable approach for your business.
Increase Inbound Traffic
If you want to increase the number of people visiting your website, you can try an online marketing campaign. With SMM, when the campaign is expertly designed with a one-click action from the channel to your website and ideally to the product page, visitors will come and stay on your site if they like what they see and read. So, make sure your ad has a call to action and on the landing page avoid populating it with “noise,” meaning pop-up banners and unintuitive features.
Deliver value with high-value content on every page and, in particular, on your product pages. Therefore, the increase in traffic to your site from social media channels not only likes what they see, but it also turns into a sale or at the very least subscribes to their newsletter.
Gain Insight Into The Market
For any business to be successful, you must know your customers very well. What are their needs, opinions, and interests? This is called personalized data and we wrote a new article on how to learn more about customer expectations and wants from current digital marketing initiatives.
With the high participation of users in social networks, the platforms provide a vehicle for companies to obtain information about the market to improve their offers and services.
Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing
Social media has been around for almost a couple of decades, so now we feel more comfortable with it and trust it more as well. However, this has not always been the case. Take Facebook, for example, using it was a steep learning curve, and there were too many software updates altering displays and usability. Then the default user privacy setting was set to ‘public’, which after user reaction it still took Facebook five years to change to visible to friends.
Probably Facebook’s biggest failure was the Cambridge Analytica debacle, with user trust in Facebook hitting an all-time low. Privacy is important and all sites should have privacy statements about how they handle the capture of customer data and what they do with it. For example, Europe has the GDPR for the European Union and companies that provide services to EU nations. However, for companies using SMM, the downsides include cost, slow returns, complexity, and competition.
Exposure To Competition
Social media marketing allows you to study your competitors’ strategies. However, they can still study your business methods through your social media platform. This puts your business at risk of being left behind.
You Need Qualified Personnel
To focus on core business issues, you will need to employ qualified personnel to manage your account. For example, to get the most out of a multi-user WhatsApp Business account, start with using the Business Platform API. Trying to do this yourself ends up costing more than investing in the skills of a social media developer or marketer.
Slow Returns On Investments
Social media marketing is a long-term investment, that is, a plan to run campaigns continuously.
Tarnishing The Brand Name
If negative information reaches a social media platform, the public will have the opportunity to express their dissatisfaction. This will tarnish your product name and discourage potential customers from establishing relationships and doing business with the brand.
Waste Of Time
People may deliberately ignore your page because they may be interested in other sites. Getting your posts appreciated and shared can take time. For this reason, resources must be allocated in terms of money and time to ensure frequent publication of aesthetic publications.
Before investing in a social media marketing strategy, hire an SMM agency to help you research and plan a viable approach to achieving your marketing and sales goals.
SMM is not a “one size fits all” strategy. So it’s easy to go wrong and end up worse with few new businesses to show for your investment. So, don’t be shy about hiring experts to eliminate the “noise” and deliver a high conversion rate and ROI for your business.