Social media is everywhere, especially for marketing. There has never been a more efficient way to promote products and services to your target audience. But if you use it, it’s important to keep its flaws in mind.
Pros of Social Media
Let’s start with the good news. Social media platforms have plenty of advantages for business and personal use.
Save Money on Advertising
Huge Potential Audience
The most popular social media channels open you up to a wide potential audience base. Here are the monthly active user counts for each of the big platforms:
- Facebook – 2.9 billion users
- YouTube – 2.1 billion users
- Instagram – 1.3 billion users
- TikTok – 1.2 billion users
- LinkedIn – 756 million users
- Pinterest – 431 million users
- Twitter – 330 million users
It's Not Just Marketing
The personal use aspects of social media can improve social media users’ lives and also enhance your social media marketing strategy.
Stay Connected with Loved Ones
Social media connections allow users to keep in touch without a lot of effort. When you see a friend or family member’s posts, you can keep up with their lives without directly contacting them. This is especially helpful for people with loved ones in other countries since other methods of communication are harder to use internationally.
Easy Access to Information
We’ve never had this much access to information on any topic right at our fingertips. Whether it’s intentionally educational content or exposure to perspectives that are different from your own, following people on social media sites can teach you new and exciting things.
LinkedIn and YouTube are especially great places for educational and professional development content. But even Facebook, Twitter, and other social groups can lead to new jobs and education opportunities.
Connections to New Friends
Real life can be isolating for many groups of people. Social media sites can be great places to bond with people from all over the world who share your interests and experiences. Even if it never leads to meeting face to face, these interactions can improve people’s well-being by making them feel less alone.
Start a Conversation
In the social media world, engagement is king. Whether it’s customers replying to your company tweets or getting advice from other entrepreneurs on LinkedIn these conversations can directly improve your business outcomes.
Learn About Your Audience
Social media is a great way to collect data on your audience without doing formal market research.
- See how customers use your products or services
- See real-time feedback
- Get insight into what customers expect from brands in the future
- See what trends customers are interested in
- See what kind of social content resonates with customers
Every good marketing strategy doesn’t end when the customer makes a purchase. The goal is to keep customers coming back for more. A solid social media presence makes customers feel like they have a relationship with your brand. Remarketing ads can also target people who have already made a purchase with suggestions of similar items.
Make Referrals Easy
Once someone has become a repeat customer, you want them to tell their friends about your business. Social media users have plenty of opportunities to casually refer their favorite brands to friends. Posting content that people want to share can encourage your followers to promote your brand to their followers without even thinking of it as doing marketing for you.
Cons of Social Media
Now let’s talk about the negative impacts of social media. The nature of social media brings a dark side to everything that makes it great, especially for young people.
Requires Time and Commitment
Social media success requires consistent posting and responding to your audience. Not everybody has that kind of time or the budget to hire someone for it. Using a social media schedule can help with that.
Online vs. Real Life
Who hasn’t felt like garbage after seeing how great their social media friends’ lives look? The illusions that social media creates can have effects on people’s mental health. Businesses should be aware of these because we’re in a position where we can take advantage of them.
On the one hand, Fear of Missing Out is often what drives people to buy stuff. If you feel like you’re missing out on something, you might buy something to fill the void. On the other hand, in large volumes the way certain products are promoted can lead to self-image issues, especially in younger users.
Spread of Disinformation
Easy access to information has a dark side. When left unchecked, it’s easy for lies, disinformation, and fake news to spread on social networking sites. This especially leads to problems with political topics. It’s a problem that needs to be addressed on a wider scale, but you can improve it in your own spheres by double checking claims before you post or share them.
Social Media Posts Can’t be Entirely Deleted
Posts can be deleted, but there’s no way to prevent people from taking screenshots and circulating them. Even if you’ve deleted a post, records of it could still exist.
Things Change Fast
Trends, features, and even popularity of platforms can change at any time. It can be hard to keep up even if your sales depend on it.
Data Collection and Privacy
It’s no secret that social media platforms collect a ton of data. We’ve all seen ads on our news feeds that are a little too relevant. As a marketer, this is a gold mine to take advantage of, but it does freak people out. Especially when ads are targeted based on very personal information.
A Big Audience Comes With a Price
Just like access to information leads to easier spreading of disinformation, building a large following leads to positive and negative interactions. The more people see your posts, the more statistically likely it is that some of them could engage in harassment, cyberbullying, and other similar behavior. You can curb the effects of this by changing your notification settings and moderating comments.
Is Social Media Good or Bad?
Well, it’s a little of both. Use of social media can be an advantage for your business as long as you don’t let it take over too much of your life or your marketing strategy and think carefully before you post.
How Sav Can Help
Despite its problems, a social media presence can be a game changer for small businesses. Those efforts have to lead back to somewhere. That’s where a beautiful, professional website comes in. From purchasing a domain to creating that website to promoting it, we make the process affordable and easy so you can focus on running your business. Get started today!