Social media platforms are a great way to reach customers. On Facebook, you may have found ads inserted for local businesses or different products you previously searched on the internet?
In the recent years, social media platforms have moved towards becoming platforms for businesses through hosted web pages, ads, and more.
Pros of Social Media
Low starting cost
Social media platforms are virtually free to join and you get to avoid the hard costs of traditional advertising like printing, ink, stamps, etc. If you want to display advertisements, you can for an additional cost.
Many social media platforms also offer analytics and data on how many people visit your profiles, how many clicks you get, and more.
A wider variety of users create their own profiles for personal use which allows you to target your audience within this large population. Furthermore, with reblogging features on almost all social media platforms, if your customers share your content, they can pave the way to more customers, like their friends and family, from their social networks at no cost to you.
Since social media platforms are a digital channel, you can instantly publish and distribute content.
People can give you immediate feedback in the form of likes, comments, reblogs, etc, as quickly as you can publish the content.
Nurtures Brand Loyalty
You can boost your reputation online by being useful. Being useful means giving value to prospects through publishing relatable content, useful deals, providing customer service, and responding to customer inquiries and comments. Doing these builds a strong relationship with prospects and customers.
Increase brand awareness
Like all marketing campaigns, staying top of mind is essential. Constant presence and visibility online keep your brand in prospects’ minds when they need your service.
Cons of Social Media
Some cons include:
According to industry reports, 64% of digital marketers spend at least 6 hours on social media marketing, while 36% spend more than 11 hours. If your business does not have a lot of human resources, social media marketing may not be the best way to spend hours on.
ROI hard to define
According to Social Media Examiner, only 37% of digital marketers can measure the results of their social media efforts. Meanwhile, 35% are unsure of if they are properly measuring their ROI, and 28% do not know how to measure their ROI at all. Finding the right metrics for you to measure your success will be crucial.
Everything you say is subject to scrutiny
Due to the public nature of social media platforms, one misstep can be a PR disaster. You need to be careful of what you post and that is always in line with your company’s core values. Do not post personal opinions or potentially offensive things on social media because these will come back to hurt your business.
Customers are more likely to leave negative reviews
When behind a computer screen, instead of interacting in person, people can easily dehumanize companies and are more likely to give negative comments. You are vulnerable also to people who may have never done business with your company, but are just “trolling”. These negative reviews are also publicly available, which could dissuade others from doing business with your company.
Social media marketing can offer great results when done right. You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of each against the goals that you have for your business to determine if it is the best channel for you. While it does have its costs, it can be a powerful channel for expanding your business.