Really, it’s human nature to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of social media or anything, really.
I don’t know anyone who would invest time and money in anything unless they know the thing inside out – the same goes for social media.
For businesses and individuals alike, it’s important to know the pros and cons of social media, especially since social platforms keep getting bigger and bigger, by the day.
Approximately 231.47 million USA residents have an online profile in 2020, which is probably one reason businesses are leveraging social media marketing.
Have you ever noticed brand representatives handing out flyers in the mall or on the street to attract customers? That’s what social media means for businesses now.
The platform is like a vast mall that you can use to attract users to your online page, website, mobile app, or all of the above!
The social network has become a significant part of online marketing strategies, whether it’s Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, or Facebook marketing.
The benefits of social media are far more compelling than the disadvantages of social media, which means if you’re overlooking social media marketing – you’re missing out.
Social media is as important for small businesses as much as it is for large businesses. Most of the world depends on social media, and when you leverage the platform for marketing purposes, you’re using a medium that can help you generate more revenue.
Are you still confused if you should be investing in social media marketing?
Don’t worry; I’m sure if you keep reading, you’ll realize its importance.
To make you’re your life easier, here’s a detailed analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of social media.
Let’s look at the advantages of social media first.
The Pros Of Social Media
1. Boosts Your Brand’s Awareness
One of the major social media benefits has to be brand awareness.
There was a time when people were glued to their TV’s and enjoyed cable. The medium was the closest brands could get to customers by using TV advertisements. Of course, traditional methods still influence a customer’s buying intent; however, it’s definitely not as impactful as social media because social media ads are everywhere.
Social media has a significantly large impact on the purchases customers make, whether online or offline. I think the biggest reason for that is smartphones. As I write this blog, there are 3.80 billion smartphone users worldwide.
People prefer scrolling through their social media using their smartphones because it’s convenient and easier than turning on a PC.
This is where your benefit comes. When you start your social media strategy, your target audience is social media users, whether they own a smartphone or not.
How do you create awareness?
The trick is simple, really. Start by creating social media business profiles on famous platforms like Facebook or Twitter.
Then invite all your employees, shareholders, clients, friends, and family to like your page. The likes are very important for your business, especially if your page is new.
The likes will determine the authenticity of your page, create brand awareness, and increase your sales. It’s important to create positive awareness, which your audience remembers.
2. Helps You Build A Brand Reputation
Of course, with brand awareness comes brand reputation; they’re both directly proportional. Don’t understand it? Let me go into detail.
Brand awareness impacts the reputation you create of your brand for the audience; if you do it right, though.
Social media is a free-for-all platform that you can use to share your products, services, and business-related information with users.
Social media users keep a close eye on famous brands, which means they study all your moves.
How else can you improve your reputation?
By being honest and 100% transparent, tell your customers how it is. For example, the other day, I was expecting an order from a famous Facebook page. I was anticipating its arrival, but to my dismay, it didn’t arrive.
I contacted the page to inquire about my parcel, and they were kind enough to reply within the hour. There were two things that I really appreciated about the page; they were honest about why my parcel was delayed (their delivery guy was under the weather and I should expect a two-day delay), two, my order arrived with a complimentary gift.
The simple act of honesty and making up for their mistake turned me into one of their loyal fans. In turn, I recommended the page to my friends and family, which increased the brand’s reputation.
A good reputation goes a long way.
3. Helps Your Brand Attract More Customers
You can’t expect your brand to prosper if you don’t market it effectively.
Of course, there is a right or wrong way – it’s all about what works for your brand. Once a marketing strategy does work, it increases your chances of attracting more traffic to your website, app, or social media page.
The brands we are familiar with today had no social media presence up till the early 2000s. But now, social media awareness is on the rise, more people are comfortable buying online, and your brand needs to have an impactful online presence.
You can’t expect people to know about your website, and you need to market it so that you can attract more customers.
Now, customers search for keywords related to your brand to find your social media page or website, making social media profiles crucial.
Remember, your customer could be on any platform, which is why you should create profiles on multiple platforms. Every profile you add is a gateway for your customers to find you online.
Social media creates opportunities to attract new customers.
4. Access to A Wider Audience
Like I said earlier, the popularity of social media is on the rise. Did you know? On average, 49% of the world’s population are active social media users, without any concern of age. And yet, the platform still has the potential to grow bigger.
With that said, the number of users means there is a wide audience you can reach with your marketing efforts.
Think about it. Social media users are always checking their phones for messages and notifications, which is a chance for you to attract new customers.
Let’s look at some stats to back up my claims.
As per Statista, here are the numbers that were recorded in the third quarter of 2020.
Of course, Facebook has the greatest number of active users, and it’s the biggest social networking platform, after all. A user might not have a Twitter account (I don’t, LOL), but they will definitely have a Facebook account. You can find anyone on the social media platform.
However, the number also suggests that social media grants access to a wider audience to businesses. A wider audience also means greater opportunities to attract more buyers, increase your sales, and generate more profit. And who doesn’t want that?
5. Let’s You Build A Direct Connection With Potential Customers
Social media is a platform that possesses a big chunk of the buyers’ market.
If you think your store isn’t getting enough business to survive, chances are you can earn profits by marketing online. Additionally, this also means you can build a personal connection with your customers.
When a customer walks into your store, you don’t have much time to build a friendly and healthy relationship with them; however, things are different online.
Social media users jump from page to page to find a brand that offers them what they need. Some customers (like me) want to have a little chat about a certain product before purchasing. Of course, I need to know everything about a new product before I spend hard-earned money.
The right strategy is to try and be prompt when a buyer has a question about a product. To be honest, I get annoyed when I message a query and get an automated message instead of my answer. I can’t explain how annoying that is to me, and I can only imagine how it makes others feel.
Use your social media pages to reach out to customers and build a connection with them, making them feel heard, valued, and happy. If the customer is happy with your customer handling, they will make a purchase and return for more.
Customers are suckers for brands that hear them out and recommend what fits them best.
6. You Can Study Your Audience
Did you know Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other famous social media platforms offer you features that you can use to target certain ads to a specific audience? This also grants you access to study your target audience up close.
The cool feature saves you time and money. How? Well, social media platforms charge you per impression. For example, for every thousand impressions, the average cost is between $5 to $6.
You can use paid or organic social media ads to promote your best-selling products or services. Additionally, you can target them at the right audience to attract more buyers as well.
For example, social media ads about baby accessories should only be targeted to men and women who are likely to have children, which means choosing the right age range. In this case, we can expect adults aged between 26 and 40 to have babies, depending on their demographics.
Obviously, you won’t target baby-related teenagers, they have no use, and that’s also just money wasted.
Once you place your ads, you can closely study your audience. Notice how they react to certain products, what they say about your brand, and what they expect from you. All these insights will help you optimize your digital marketing strategy and place ads that yield fruitful results.
7. Improves Your Ranking On Search Engines
Another advantage of social media for your business is the improvement in your search engine ranking.
Regular posting on social media will increase your website’s traffic, and if you try a little more, you’re bound to land on the first page of a search engine, let’s say Google.
Search engine ranking is the spot your website’s URL takes on Google (or any other search engine). The ideal spot is on the first page, between positions one to ten (because people rarely ever go beyond page one or two).
Numerous factors determine your ranking, but I want to discuss the factors that play a role in social media.
Google bots are smart, so they only show relevant URLs, have great traffic, and amazing content.
Let’s look at this case. You’ve been using social media marketing for a while. The main purpose is to make an impression on your audience and attract traffic to your website.
Your efforts start paying off when your website starts to attract a lot of traffic. This is where Google recognizes or rather notices your website, and when it does, your search engine ranking improves.
Your traffic numbers indicate to Google that users love your website, which is why it boosts your ranking, and more users find out about your website. Besides social media posting, you can boost your search engine ranking by applying other techniques like organic marketing, PPC, blogging, guest posting, etc.
8. You Can Leverage Organic Marketing
Apart from paid marketing, another technique you can use is organic marketing as part of your social media strategy, also known as SEO marketing.
SEO is the marketing strategy of using free cost measures to leverage the pros of social media. Like I said, social media businesses profile can be created for free – literally 0 investment. All you need is a social account through which you will run your business page.
You can use your social media page to post organic content, meaning content that won’t require any social media platform payments. A bonus point is, if you manage to create content that goes viral, you can enjoy the boost in brand awareness and reputation for free.
Organic content can be limitless, and it can vary from photos, videos, gifs, and more, depending on which social media platform you’re using. For example, Facebook and Instagram also have 24-hour stories that you can post daily to promote your products and services.
9. Social Media Platforms Are Free
Another significant advantage of social media is that all the popular social media websites or mobile apps are free to join.
There is no joining fee requirement, which means you can start marketing your brand, products, and services right this second for free (unless you want to use social media ads, those aren’t for free).
10. You Can Evaluate Campaign Performance
Okay, the final advantage I want to discuss on social media is the ability to track your performance.
Every social media platform allows page owners to assess, evaluate, and study their campaign’s metrics in detail. The feature is very handy if you want to know how your ad campaign is performing, especially if it’s a paid ad. You can check individual ads to analyze if your marketing strategy is paying off.
Here’s what you can see and evaluate:
- The number of likes, comments, and shares your posts get.
- The number of impressions, clicks, and conversions your campaign yielded.
- A detailed report to see what’s working and what’s not working.
Once you analyze every aspect of your campaign, you can use the results to create a better campaign around those results to yield better results during the next campaign.
The Cons Of Social Media
Now that you’re aware of the advantages social media has to offer, let’s dive into the disadvantages. The following cons don’t mean you shouldn’t rely on social media to create brand awareness; however, you can create the right strategy if you have these in mind.
1. Negative Reviews Can Damage Your Reputation
One of the worst things that social media can do is damage your brand’s reputation. When that happens, you have to build your brand again, from scratch.
How does that happen?
Well, no business would want to hurt their brand’s image intentionally, so this happens due to overlooking some issues your customers might have.
For example, a customer will post a negative review immediately if they receive a damaged package from your brand. The right action would be to talk to them and try to resolve their issue.
However, if you overlook the problem, the negative review could easily go viral, damaging your brand’s image and decreasing your sales.
2. Anything Goes Once You’re Online
Social media is a wide platform where anything goes, especially if it’s interesting gossip.
Most social media users love spreading fake news or discredit a brand whenever they feel like it. The disadvantage here is that you can’t stop them from spreading fake news; because word goes around fast.
So, how do you overcome this hurdle?
The wise decision would be to ignore such conflicts and focus on your brand management. Yes, negative reviews and fake information might hurt the brand you’ve built, but it shouldn’t affect the opinion of your loyal customers.
A smart customer will be able to tell the difference between fake and real information. Additionally, they will also try to defend you, which will bode well for you and your brand.
3. Social Media Marketing Requires Time
It takes time to impact the vast world of social media; because there are already numerous famous brands.
This is especially difficult if you’re launching a new brand because the competition is fierce, and it needs time, effort, and patience to make your marketing strategy work.
The social media marketing strategy isn’t about posting one ad and sitting comfortably. Along with paid campaigns, you need to run organic marketing to yield positive results, making it time-consuming.
You need to find the correct balance for your brand between posting organic and paid content to make your strategy work, which can take months to understand. Alternatively, you can hire someone who knows their way around social media marketing like Cydomedia. A marketing agency will be able to help you better and advise you accordingly.
4. You Can’t Expect Instant Results
As humans, we’re always impatient, whether it’s waiting in line for our beef burger order or an online order. We want everything first and now! I can totally relate to that.
Business owners feel the same kind of impatience when they start working on their social media marketing strategies. They want to know what’s working and if the results justify the investment; however, alas! That’s never the case.
Having to wait patiently for social media marketing to work is another disadvantage. Business owners expect to see amazing results with a bare minimum effort, but sadly it doesn’t work that way.
Every marketer has to wait for a few weeks before they can start studying the outcome of their social media campaign.
How do you overcome this?
Well, the only way you can deal with this is by being patient. You have to accept that you can’t get instant results, and the campaign will take time to yield results.
5. Face To Face Interaction Drops Rapidly
Social media has become increasingly popular, as people of all ages, demographics, and walks of life join the “party.”
The increase in social media popularity means more people going online, which also means a drop in face-to-face interactions between brands and customers.
Now, doesn’t that sound a little weird?
I mean, sure, shopping online is far easier than shopping physically, but what about communication?
Brands can’t enjoy face-to-face time with their customers and build a foundation of trust due to the rising age of smartphones. And to be honest, I don’t see any visible solution to this problem, because smartphones offer a lot of ease.
6. The Never-Ending Need For Innovative Content
The last drawback of social media is the constant need for original and unique content.
I’ll just say this: Trends die quickly around here.
Social media is growing fast, which means people are moving on from the current content quicker than before.
Let me give you a famous example; remember the video of a man sprinkling salt on his steak from 2017? There were numerous jokes, funny videos, and mentions of the post that followed it, but eventually, the trend died.
That’s what most brands have to worry about when marketing on a social platform. Content gets old quickly, which is a disadvantage because there is only so much innovation you can use.
How do you overcome this hurdle? The simple answer to the question is to find your unique style and stick to it.
Associate your brand with a certain art or video style and work around it. This way, you can enjoy originality and ensure your content doesn’t become too boring or repetitive.
Social media is a hub that comes with numerous opportunities for small and large businesses. The social media pool is deep and wide, and it depends on how brands leverage it to get the most out of it.
It’s a great medium to connect with customers globally and boost your brand’s image, which results in more sales and higher conversions.
Do you think you’re ready to start your social media marketing campaign? Then Cydomedia is ready too! Talk to us today about your brand and give your brand a louder voice than your competitors. We promise you won’t regret working with us!