Understand the pros and cons of social media for business, and get tips on how you can use it to your advantage here. Keep reading to find out more.
In this article:
Pros and Cons of Social Media Marketing
Advantages of Social Media
1. It’s Where You Can Reach Your Customers
These days, you’ll have a hard time finding someone who isn’t on social media. This is one of the benefits of social media — it gives marketers the opportunity to reach more customers — whether young or old.
Instead of waiting for people to come to you, you can actually meet them in the middle on social networking sites. In this way, you can interact with them where they already are, and that in itself makes your brand easier to relate with.
2. There’s Little Cost Involved
Most popular social media platforms won’t charge you anything to set up a brand profile. That’s what makes it so tempting to set up a presence in every platform available.
Take note, though, that quantity doesn’t always translate to quality. That’s why you need to know which social networking sites will help you reach your target market best.
For instance, if most of your prospects and customers are on Facebook and Instagram, then it’s best to concentrate on those two platforms.
Remember, it’s important to be consistent with your engagement, so you have to manage your platforms equally.
3. Allows You to Express Your Brand Personality
Establishing your presence on social media and building your own community is a great way to express your brand personality.
This should align with the way you want people to perceive your brand, both online and offline. Again, consistency is key.
Once you’ve decided on this, your brand personality should reflect in the content you publish and the way you communicate with your audience. Your brand’s writing style and tone should demonstrate the personality you want your audience to perceive.
This is also an opportunity for you to make your brand more human and relatable.
4. Helps You Build Customer Relationship
There are pros and cons of social media when it comes to building customer relationships. One of the good things about it is it allows you to interact with customers real-time.
You can have one-on-one conversations with them, or jump in on conversations on your page. This makes the platform a powerful way to cultivate brand loyalty and build strong relationships with customers.
Through social media listening and your interactions, you’ll get to know your customers on a more personal level. You’ll be able to determine their preferences, dislikes, concerns, and feedback when you pay close attention to what they say to you and about you online.
A good way to strengthen customer relationships is to add an in-person element on your social media efforts. For instance, you can do a social media promotion that requires participants to visit and purchase from your store.
This way, you drive both in-store traffic and sales with the help of social media. Merge your online and offline efforts to produce the results you’re aiming for.
5. You Can Market Through Word of Mouth
Social media channels allow you to market through word of mouth, or viral posts.
When you post your offers online, it can spread among thousands of people quickly. What’s great about this is that your fans are the ones spreading the news for you.
Organic social media marketing through word of mouth (shares) is free. If you want to take your marketing effort further, you can boost your offers through paid ads.
With social media, it’s easy to reach your existing followers and your target market outside of those followers.
6. Easier Access to Customer Feedback
Setting up a social media platform for your brand opens a door for customers to share feedback with you. These will come naturally, and they can be positive, negative, or simply constructive.
Welcoming customer feedback is a great way for you to gain insight into how people feel about your brand and offers. You’ll also be able to improve your services and products through this.
Some business owners want to assess the pros and cons of social media before taking a step towards it, possibly because they’re afraid of receiving negative feedback.
Always remember that receiving negative feedback about your brand is normal — you can’t please everyone. What’s important is you don’t resist them, and rather find ways to serve your customers better.
7. Convenient Way to Provide Excellent Customer Service
Along with the changes in business processes brought on by the rise of social media, customer service has also evolved.
Customers nowadays rely less and less on in-store visits, calls, and emails to get answers to their queries. They simply air out their concerns via social media to get the brand’s attention.
This prompted the customer service industry to adapt so they can serve customer needs better. Through social media, brands can now address customer inquiries and complaints real-time, even without seeing them in person.
This becomes effective when there’s clear, constant communication and good coordination between your social, marketing, and in-store teams.
When you’re able to properly address your customers’ concerns, you’ll be able to develop their loyalty to your brand.
8. Allows You to Address Brand Crises Immediately
Another reason why some business owners want to evaluate the pros and cons of social media is because of their fear of backlash.
To receive negative feedback is normal, but there are times when it could turn into a full-blown brand crisis. This is something that no brand wants to have to deal with.
Social media brand crisis is crucial because of its possibility to go viral. You’d want to keep any crisis as contained as possible, but it can sometimes be a challenge when social media is involved.
Yet, this is still something you can turn around to your favor — you can mitigate the problem by immediately addressing it as soon as you receive it. The rule of thumb is to not let 24 hours go by without taking action.
The way you handle a social media brand crisis is crucial, so you need to create a solid action plan to resolve it.
Disadvantages of Social Media
1. Requires a Long-Haul Marketing Strategy
It may take you months or even years to establish an organic following and an active online community. Commitment and consistency are essential to promote your business in social media.
You need to keep your followers interested in your content and engage with them through comments, messages, and reactions every day. This type of consistency can be difficult to maintain, especially if you don’t have a dedicated social team.
Keep in mind as well that it’s nearly impossible to achieve overnight success with social media marketing. If you’re aiming for customer loyalty and increased sales, you need to earn them.
2. Diluted Brand Personality and Voice
Having several people manage your social media assets can lead to confusion in brand personality and voice. When your internal team isn’t aligned, it can lead to conflicting outputs.
If the task of managing all your social media platforms is too much for one person, make sure that you align everyone in your social team on how to handle them.
All your collateral materials, responses, and initiatives should be cohesive and reflect who you are as a brand.
3. No Control over Brand Feedback
As far as the pros and cons of social media go, this may be the biggest concern. As mentioned earlier, social media opens the door for you to receive customer feedback.
This also means that misuse of your social media assets can trigger a backlash and damage your brand’s reputation. Anything you post online is fair game — it’s open to feedback and criticism.
Some business owners aren’t keen on this idea, and understandably so. However, remember that the point of using social media is to promote your business, so people will and should talk about you.
The good news is, you’re not completely powerless over this. Popular social media platforms now give you an option to hide, report, delete, and ban undesirable feedback.
You must use these wisely, as customers are also getting smarter and more vocal. Set guidelines for your social team to properly discern what kind of action each feedback deserves.
Now that you know the pros and cons of social media, you can make informed decisions for your business when it comes to setting up and managing brand pages.
Social media marketing requires commitment and consistency. When you apply these, you’ll eventually reap the benefits of managing your online assets.
How do you use social media to promote your business? Share your tips with us in the comments section below!