Social media is possibly one of the most powerful tools of the 21st century. If executed properly, social media campaigns can become a brilliant digital marketing tool and can be used to catapult your brand to the success most will only ever dream of.
Social media advertising in particular is a hugely powerful tool which helps you reach many potential customers. There are many pros and cons to using social media and social media marketing for your business, so I am going to jump right into this. We could sit and talk for hours about how good social media is for businesses, but it is an obvious statement; you only need to look at a few large brands’ Facebook and Instagram pages to see that it is truly a revolutionary business tool.
How Does Social Media Help Business?
Social media marketing is one of the most used, most profitable and most modern forms of digital advertising. At the moment, more than 2.8 billion individuals are using it to some extent, which is well over 25% of the world’s population. It is, without a doubt, the best way you can increase your business exposure and increase your sales today.
From Instagram to Facebook, Twitter to Snapchat and every platform in between, social media networks are becoming more and more popular with each passing day; there are children as young as 10 using them. The popularity is crazy!
With this popularity comes the unique and unprecedented opportunity to build your brand and establish brand loyalty in ways never seen before. From clothing brands to professional services, businesses in every niche are getting in on the action and using social media for digital marketing purposes.
What Are the Advantages?
When you do it right, social media marketing can work wonders for your business. The benefits of utilizing social media marketing for your business far outweigh the drawbacks and potential risks. Here are some of the stand-out reasons –
As a population, we are now more familiar than ever with social networks. All generations are using them; they are not just websites for teenagers anymore. The best social media platforms which you can advertise on are where you will find your target market. For example, if you are a creative brand, you will find more success by advertising on Pintrest (a creative social media platform) than Twitter, which is better for other industries.
In comparison to traditional marketing methods, social media marketing is so much more cost-effective. With social media marketing, you pay per click, so your advertising only costs you money when people actually interact with your marketing and your brand. This is much better than paying thousands of dollars for a radio advert which many will pay no attention to.
It is Highly Targetable
With social media marketing, especially on Facebook, you can use clever targeting techniques and tools to control who will see your ads. This targeting is not something you will find in traditional marketing methods, because they are uncontrollable. If you are a brand which sells female jogging bottoms, then you can target your marketing so that only females will see your ads.
This is a basic explanation of targeting, it actually goes so much further than that and you have a massive amount of control over who sees your ads – it is not just based on age or gender.
It is Measurable
With social media marketing, you can measure the effectiveness of your ad in real-time. Engagements, such as likes, shares, comments and re-tweets are all updated in real time and are a good indicator of how people are engaging with your ad.
These are not the only metrics available, though. Facebook has many metrics by which you can measure your advertising campaign and track its progress in real-time. Plus, if it is not working, you can pull your ad whenever you want to and save money.
What Are the Disadvantages?
It is not all sparkles and rainbows, though. There are many challenges and downsides associated with social media marketing.
It is Risky
If you have untrained employees in control of your social media pages, this can be a recipe for disaster. If you have not provided social media training to these people, they could quite easily say the wrong thing unintentionally and cause a PR disaster which can seriously harm the reputation of your brand or business. This is why social media training is extremely important if you are going to be putting employees in charge of your social media pages.
There is Lots of Competition
Social media is very crowded when it comes to marketing; as a consumer, you have surely noticed the huge amount of advertising which gets shoved in your face as you browse through your social media feeds.
It is estimated that more than 88% of companies are using some form of social media marketing. This is hardly surprising; it is now in the mainstream and everybody wants to cash in on the benefits. This is why it is more important than ever to have a really great advertising campaign which is engaging and emotive.
It Must Be Monitored
When you have an active social media marketing campaign, you need to be constantly monitoring it. If you have a team of employees this is not going to be a problem but, if you are a small business, this is not going to be viable.
A successful social media marketing campaign engages your target market and provokes a response. As such, you need people to be constantly monitoring your page so that these people can be responded to and engaged with in real-time by brand representatives. Social media marketing is time consuming and you are likely to struggle if you go it alone.
Social media marketing is a powerful tool if you can get it right, but it requires a lot of planning, time and energy to be effective and worth investing in. When considering social media marketing, carefully weigh all of the above and decide if it is the best strategy for your business.