Did you know the first social media platform called “Six Degrees” started in 1997?
In the early 20s, the more famous and well know social media platforms came like MySpace, YouTube, and Flickr. Following that, Facebook and Twitter came in 2005 and 2006. Hundreds of millions of users around the world use various social media platforms.
Not only people but businesses also use social media platforms. Businesses found that using these platforms like other users gives them a chance to build their brand and how it is also a way to advertise their products or services.
If we look at today, there are many social networking platforms and some favoured by specific demographics, like Snapchat, which has 90% users aged 18-24, and two-thirds of its users are female.
Moreover, mergers and acquisitions between social media sites have made it easy for users to share content through different platforms using the same login credentials. For example, Facebook now owns WhatsApp and Instagram, and Alphabet owns Google and YouTube. There are many advantages for businesses using such sites with sharing content and switching between various platforms using the same login details.
Businesses use various sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Linkedln to advertise their products and services and reach the audience they want. However, the question is: Is SMM really expensive?
Many experts claim Social Media Marketing, SMM to be expensive and do not deliver value for money, like Neil Patel. They claim there are many other digital marketing strategies they could use that are cheaper and easier to do, like email marketing. But for how long will such strategies stand?
The ROI for marketers is improving with modern technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other 4th or 5th industrial revolution software.
Nonetheless, in this article, we cover the advantages and disadvantages of the uses of Social Media Marketing for business to advertise their products or services.
The main advantage known by everyone is how businesses can brand and advertise their business on a larger user base. According to Statista, around 2.7 billion monthly users use social media sites. Technology has made it easy to target the audience you want. Let us look at the advantages of Social Media Marketing.
1. Increased Brand Awareness
According to Statista predication, more than 3 billion people use and will continue using social media platforms in one way or another.
The fact is everyone has some sort of device, whether its smartphone, desktop, or laptop, and uses it to spend time on social media platforms. Therefore, any SMM strategy implemented will help to increase your business by creating brand awareness.
One should have a well-thought-out SMM plan that can get executed, making a business successful. For example, if your Social Media Marketing strategy focuses on organic sharing of promoted posts can help a business get exposure, beginning with business employees. How? When one employee shares your business post, their followers, family, and friends will see and get interested and think to look further into your business.
For a business getting engagement from clients and customers is extremely important. It is a trait of the social networking world: people interact not only with each other but also with businesses, their products, and services, creating awareness and increasing referrals, which then increases sales.
2. Better Customer Satisfaction
By and large, most humans seek to attract attention and acknowledgement, and the networking sites encourage it. It’s standard practice to take selfies, and that includes sharing images and videos of using products etc.
Followers will like, comment and share these posts and before long prospective customers will ask questions relating to your products and services, and they expect a quick reply. It’s this immediacy of contact that improves customer satisfaction. Therefore when you’re attentive, and you respond directly within your page to queries, your page attracts more views from your followers and your customers’ networks.
The perception is your business genuinely cares and provides excellent service, and this is an advantage for SMM, i.e. the immediacy of contact with prospective customers.
Once you know the right way to do social media marketing, you will come to see how cost-effective it can be. The signing up process for every social media platform to create a new profile is free, meaning you do not have to invest a lot or risk anything. Nonetheless, if you try doing social media marketing without an SMM expert to guide you, you are most likely to burn through your marketing budget really fast.
Nonetheless, do not attempt to do it yourself. Pick a marketing expert or an agency with good reviews and a good history that will guarantee SMM success. To see the reviews and history of the expert, you should ask them to see their case studies on Facebook ads for business. Ask them to help you with an SMM strategy and the budget you need or how to do it within the budget you decide. Why risk anything? Do it right the first time, as this can be the most cost-effective marketing strategy a business can follow.
4. Increased inbound traffic
Online marketing helps to increase the traffic you receive on your website. Using SMM, you can start a campaign with the help of an expert, which will have a one-click action for users to click on and go to your website or ideally to the product page. If your website gets created excellently, it ensures the visitor will stay and view it. Therefore, ensure the advert you create has a call to the action landing page and avoid the page with any “noise” like pop-up adverts or unintuitive features.
Give visitors high-value content on every page of your site and most, especially, your product pages. This way, the visitors coming to your site through your social media account will not only stay but most likely make a purchase, or the least they might do is sign up for your newsletter.
5. Gain market insight
A business that knows its customers really well is the one that will become successful and thrive. You need to know what the needs, opinions, and interests of the customers are. It also gets known as personalized data.
Businesses can get information regarding their consumers with high engagement on social media platforms. The better the market insight a business has the more enhanced products and services they can provide.
Social media has been around for more than two decades, making most of us trust it and be comfortable with it. However, the fact is, it wasn’t always like this. Let us look at Facebook. It has been the most famous social media platform till now, but it went through a steep learning curve with many updates, altering displays and usability. At first, the default user privacy setting on Facebook got set to “Public”, but after five years and a lot of backlashes, it got changed to “visible to friends.”
The biggest fail Facebook had was the Cambridge Analytica debacle that left the user’s trust in that platform the all-time law. Whether a business is using it or an individual, the most important thing they want is privacy. All sites have to have privacy statements on how they should manage customer data capture and what they can do with it. Let us now look at the five disadvantages of SMM.
1. Exposure to competitors
The biggest advantage of social media marketing is how you can use it to study the strategy of your competitors. Nonetheless, the disadvantage is how they can study all your business methods and processes using social media platforms. It can put the risk of your business getting outdone.
2. Needs qualified personnel
To maintain focus on Business issues, it needs qualified personnel to manage your social media accounts and know how to get the most out of them. For example, you can use the most from a WhatsApp Business multiple users account by using the API platform for business. If you try to do it yourself, it will become too expensive, and doing it without the skills of a social media developer or marketer will put your business more loss than profit.
3. Slow returns on investments
A downfall is how SMM requires a long investment time with slow returns. For example, campaigns have to get run continuously.
4. Tarnish brand name
Any negative information regarding your business was to find its way onto any social media platform; the users get the chance to show their dissatisfaction. Ultimately tarnishing not only your business name but products and preventing potential customers from looking or buying from your brand.
It takes a lot of time to get users to become interested in your page and site from other sites. It requires a lot of posts and creativity to get customers to appreciate and share your posts. Time and money get required and used a lot to get the attention of customers as you have to publish a lot of aesthetic posts.
The first step before investing in a social media marketing strategy is to get the assistance of an SMM expert or agency. They can help you research and plan an approach to help you achieve your business marketing and sale goals.
Always remember, SMM is not a one size fits all strategy! That is the reason why you can do more wrong and get nothing to show for the investments you made. Never feel shy about getting an expert to guide you as it helps you in the long term and saves you the money you otherwise would waste.