Social marketing’s great, but there are still serious disadvantages

Social Media iPhone

Social Media iPhone

In today’s digital business landscape with the ability to be social across multiple digital platforms, country borders and language barriers, social media has introduced a new method to marketing.

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 in the past few years. It’s also created serious opportunities for businesses around the world, but there are certain aspects you have to be aware of when you make use of social media marketing for business.

Social media is the fastest (real-time) advertising and tracking marketing mediums there is available. Just as there are advantages for marketing on this medium, there are disadvantages that you as the business owner and you as the marketer (or maybe you are running a small business and are both) should be aware of and not only take notice, but know and understand how it can influence your business in all aspects positively and or negatively.

The analysis

One of the problems with writing and or explaining some of the overall or general advantages and disadvantages of social media marketing is that most of it is different dependent 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 sharing, the world of social media marketing can have a lot of advantages and opportunities to and 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 non explored communities and target markets
  • Demographically targeted exposure in new and existing target markets.
  • Compliment your traditional marketing efforts with your digital
  • Compliment your digital marketing efforts with your traditional
  • Broadening of overall business potential and increase in exposure
  • Better PR and business 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 and for your business you need to be aware of the disadvantages, as these are most likely the facts that will influence your decision the most when it comes to starting with social media marketing, increasing your social media campaign/s and efforts and or to stop with 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 – Turn to negative online reputation
  • Negative employee influence – internally and externally to 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 options, and your strategy might not be set in stone (permanent) for a long time, and some of the best social media marketing strategies are the ones that can and are monitored and constantly adapting to market changes and trends. The more you can monitor your campaign, the more adaptable your campaign is to trends in your chosen target market and targeted social media channels.

Anton Koekemoer
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