Over the past decade Social Media usage has grown exponentially, with over 2.3 billion active users and over 3.4 billion total internet users in the world. Social Media is growing rapidly and businesses have begun to catch on and utilize it as an effective marketing platform. Many companies are in the mindset that consumers will talk on the internet about their services and products, so why not join in and establish a strong brand reputation? Keeping your consumers informed and knowledgeable can increase your reputation and generate positive word of mouth for your business.
Social Media acts as a low-cost marketing tool that saves marketing departments a lot of money—while still effectively advertising and promoting their business. With this form of marketing you may not always be able to see an exact ROI (Return on Investment) or monetary value of your efforts, but establishing good brand culture and customer engagement is beneficial regardless. Although there are many benefits involved for businesses jumping on the social media bandwagon, some businesses fail to plan properly and use social media in an effective way. Looking at the pros and cons of Social Media Marketing (SMM) is important to understand how it could be used effectively to benefit your business.
Social Media Pros
Low Cost Marketing
Social Media is essentially a free marketing platform for your business. In some cases certain forms of social media, such as Facebook or Instagram, provide opportunities to pay a small amount to increase the amount of people your posts will reach. These costs are often only a few dollars, offering a great potential reach for a business while still remaining to be a cost effective way of promoting and advertising. This can give businesses’ more room in their marketing budget to invest more other forms of advertising while still maintaining a strong media and internet presence.
Social media pages increase your reach to potential customers. Using paid reach on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. can generate quite a bit of new business activity quickly.
Often businesses that effectively utilize social media see an increase in sales. Social Media promotions have become popular, as an easy way to draw more customers in quickly.
Increase Website Traffic
Social Media gives your company more opportunity to increase their SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The more content you have out there, the more likely you are to having a strong ranking on internet search engines.
Customer Engagement & Networking Opportunities
Not only do the consumers now have the ability to engage and respond to your posts, but there is now a potential to network with consumers or other businesses.
Can be ineffective if used incorrectly
In order to advertise effectively, a business must take into account their target market, the message they want to convey, and visual appeal. If there’s poor planning behind social media posts, they will be ineffective for business. Additionally, using social media alone is often not enough to successfully market your business. Marketing teams should still be utilizing other platforms to market their business, such as print ads, commercials, etc.
In order to have a successful presence on Social Media, accounts need to be monitored daily and updated often. You have to remain active if you want to see any benefits from your posts. Additionally, creating effective and appealing content can be time consuming, often taking up hours out of your day.
Risk of Miscommunication
With any visual marketing there is potential to have miscommunication. Developing posts that are informative have a clear message is an essential key to finding any success through Social Media Marketing, and if a message is unclear it can hurt a business’ sales or brand reputation.
Possibility of Negative Feedback
With increased reach and customer engagement comes opportunity for negative feedback. This is why monitoring pages daily is essential to avoid missing anything posted on your page that could hurt business. Businesses must be prepared for the potential of negative response on their social media accounts and have a plan to prevent this from having adverse effects on their business.
Should I Utilize Social Media to Market My Business?
Overall, a strong Social Media presence generates revenue, increases brand development, and allows businesses to connect with consumers in more ways than ever before. It gives you the opportunity to build a platform and make your business a next generation leader. Social Media Marketing can be used efficiently for businesses across many different industries. If you are willing to put in the time and effort, your business could benefit greatly.
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