According to the latest Statista figures, 49 percent of people around the world are on some form of social media platform, and this figure is expected to keep growing! This trend clearly explains why a lot of businesses continue to leverage people’s presence and interest in social media. In fact, a lot of SMEs and new businesses have found a great ally in social media as it enables them a cost-effective means to make their online presence known without the need to build a website right away.
Ever since Facebook and Twitter began offering business services in the last decade, the use of social media for business promotion rapidly increased. From then on, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social media sites jumped on the bandwagon, making it clear that social media can be a viable, lucrative vehicle for raising brand awareness, expanding one’s business network, finding suppliers, and online selling.
Although social media was not considered a major vehicle for promoting business initially, the years have shown us that the traditional way of spending thousands or even millions of dollars on television ad placements and advertising on print and billboards is no longer feasible. People not only spend a substantial amount of time on social media browsing through their friends’ profiles and updates; they also show their support and engagement to certain brands on these platforms.
This is why today, a lot of businesses wisely invest their advertising money in different mediums, combining the old with the new, including social media marketing. If you have a business and you’re planning on investing more in your social media marketing strategy, it would help to know the pros and cons of using social media for your business.
Pros of using social media for business
Social media allows businesses to get more mileage out of their marketing budget as advertising costs are typically much lower than with traditional above-the-line marketing mediums. Aside from this, it also provides the following advantages:
1. Market insights
Social media platforms provide businesses access to analytical tools, but you can also collect your own market data by conducting online polls, surveys, giving offers, discounts or promotions, and observing how your target market responds. You can also get a read on customer wants needs, and sentiments by interacting with them through comments and inquiries, and by encouraging suggestions.
Doing these things can help you gain valuable insights into what works and what might not, as well as help inform your future business decisions.
2. Immediate feedback and customer interactions
If you’re one to engage and converse constantly with your brand followers, you’ll find it easy to get honest feedback from your customers. Add to these customer reviews that you can also quickly respond to, especially when there are disgruntled customers who have expressed their dissatisfaction with a product or service.
Remember to not allow negative criticisms to affect how you deal with your customers online. If you get negative reviews, use these as an opportunity to appease your customers and make them feel special. Invite them to your establishment with the assurance of something better. This will show other customers that you are professional, honest, and gracious, and this can quickly earn the goodwill of even your dissatisfied customers.
3. Global reach
If you are expanding your business overseas, social media can make it easy and convenient for you to connect with a global audience and promote your business. And you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to accomplish this. All you need is the right marketing strategy that’ll get your message across to your target demographic.
Cons of using social media for business
Social media can do a lot of things to help grow your business. Conversely, it also has a few downsides that need to be efficiently addressed to ensure your business only benefits from it.
1. Security threats
LinkedIn was hacked in 2012 by Russian cybercriminals who stole the passwords of nearly 6.5 million user accounts. Back in 2018, Facebook was hacked, leading to the hijacking of 50 million accounts. Just this year, the social media giant’s Twitter and Instagram accounts were both hacked by the “OurMine” hacking group.
These cyber incidents clearly indicate that no one is safe on the Internet, including well-funded social media platforms. So, if you do your business on social media, you are also exposing yourself to the threats posed by cyberattacks.
2. Trolls and misinformation
The speed by which trolls can sway public opinion makes them a real threat to establishments and personalities. Although dirty tactics such as corporate espionage and stealing intellectual property have been employed in business, trolls who are activated to spread negative opinions on anyone, including businesses, can ruin even the most carefully built reputation online.
This is why it’s important to have a dedicated social media manager or staff to look after your business’s social media accounts. It also helps to provide good, timely customer service to ensure you have happy customers to back you up.
3. Slow results
Just as there are billions of people on Facebook and other social media platforms, there are also millions of businesses promoting themselves on the same media. This means you will be competing with thousands of others in the same business and vying for the attention of your target customers.
So, if it’s your first time venturing into social media advertising and promotions, make sure you have the patience to wait things out. This is especially true when you’ve just recently created your dedicated business page. Getting your brand out there can take time and would require some investment. You also need to have the right strategy to achieve your business objectives.
Disclaimer: This article is not a substitute for advice from a trained professional. By using this website, you agree that DesignFreeLogoOnline cannot and will not be held liable for any action taken as a result of using the information in this article.