In today’s digital business landscape, the ability to be social across multiple digital platforms, country borders and language barriers has introduced a new method to marketing previously not known.
Social media marketing is one of the fastest changing areas of marketing the world has ever seen. The methods used and developed within social media marketing have come a very long way since the birth of digital social media and the opportunities it has created for businesses around the world, but there are certain aspects of social media you have to be aware of when making use of social media marketing for business.
Social media is the fastest (real-time) advertising and tracking marketing medium available. Just as there are advantages for marketing on this medium, there are disadvantages that you should be aware of, and understand how they can influence your business in all aspects.
One of the problems with explaining some of the general advantages and disadvantages of social media marketing is that most of what is said is different depending on your business. Some of the key differentials you need to be aware of that will influence the advantages and the disadvantages are:
Your type of business and or service
Your marketing niche and specialization
The social media channels used for your marketing and engagement
Your target market — type, age, demographic, etc.
Demographic and economic in differences in consumers
And the list continues…
What are some of the advantages of social media marketing?
With real-time communication and social sharing, the world of social media marketing can have a lot of advantages and opportunities for your business that previously could not have been viable or even possible. Some of these advantages are:
Real-time customer advertising and feedback
Real-time social sharing and exposing of promotional or other media content
Complimenting existing digital infrastructure like websites etc. through social media
Targeted exposure in the networks you choose
Increased likelihood of free advertising (word of mouth, verbally and digitally)
Increased traffic to a targeted page by easy navigation and sharing of the link to said page
More accurate tracking and monitoring of your efforts and campaigns
Potential for business in previously unexplored communities and target markets
Demographically targeted exposure in new and existing target markets
The ability to compliment your traditional marketing efforts with your digital
The ability to compliment your digital marketing efforts with your traditional
Broadening of overall business potential and increase in exposure
Better PR and cusiness relations
Better market research and analysis
What are some of the disadvantages of social media marketing?
As with all the advantages that social media marketing can bring to your business, you need to be aware of the disadvantages. These are most likely to influence your decision when it comes to starting with social media marketing, increasing your social media campaigns or stopping your existing social media efforts. Here are some of the biggest disadvantages when it comes to social media marketing:
Real-time customer complaints and feedback
Customer complaints and feedback visible and open for scrutiny from the public
Increased usage of business and personal resources to manage and control your social media campaign
Training and expertise necessary to manage social media to the optimum
Your digital footprint becomes too much to handle – and can turn into a negative online reputation
Negative employee influence – internally and externally – for your business
Not enough ROI for the amount of risk and effort
Not enough knowledge to take the right steps and follow an optimised process
What else do I need to be aware of?
Social media and the world of search engines continues to change and evolve to offer the consumer the best service possible, so your strategy cannot be set in stone. Some of the best social media marketing strategies are the ones that are monitored and constantly adapted to market changes and trends. The more you can monitor and adapt your campaign to trends in your chosen target market and targeted social media channels, the better.
Author | Anton Koekemoer
I'm your friendly neighbourhood digital marketing specialist. I specialise in helping brands connect with targeted customers by enhancing their online presence through emerging web-based communication channels. I translate business objectives into comprehensive initiatives that focus on humanising brand identity while maximising measurable business results. More