By Kevin Urrutia

When social media first came into the scene, nobody expected the impact it would bring to society. Originally, it was developed as a tool for interaction among people. However, as it continued to grow, businesses began using it as well to advertise their products and services.

Given how social media took the world by storm, no businesses of varying size and scope could afford to turn a blind eye on it. But despite the benefits for businesses, there are still some negative effects that should be scrutinized. In this post, we’ll walk you through the pros and cons of social media marketing.

5 Benefits of Social Media Marketing

Here is a look at a few of the pros of using social media in your small business.

1. Cost-Effectiveness

One of the most obvious benefits of why you should set up an account on social media is that it’s free! Although most major platforms have monetized and let you pay when publishing content or posting ads, it isn’t necessarily required. You can even have the option to work with a professional digital marketing expert or a small team to manage your presence online.

However, if you have your own company and have a social media marketing team at your disposal, then it’s possible to manage your social media accounts a few hours per week. 

2. Brand Awareness

Another important benefit of social media marketing is that it builds your brand. When you connect with interested leads, then you’re exposing them consciously (or unconsciously) to your brand. Because you can post organic content for free, you’re able to create brand recognition consistently with your audience.

As people become exposed to your brand, they become more familiar with it. Increased familiarity helps you get more conversions in the long run because most consumers tend to buy brands from the brands that they know well enough.

Social media helps you build your brand through sharing. It’s possible to share, retweet, or repin your content on various social media platforms. Your followers will likely share your content with their own network, which in turn, exposes your brand to a wider audience.

Overall, it’s a great way for you to get more leads. You could get leads that you wouldn’t get from anywhere else. Over time, this helps you grow your following, and boost your sales. 

3. Direct Connection with Your Audience

Social media is just a few of those marketing strategies that allow you to connect directly with your audience. You’ll know who is interested in your brand because they would choose to follow your social media account.

Establishing a direct connection with your audience allows you to improve your overall marketing campaign. It’s easier to gain insight from your followers and adopt a social media strategy that’s tailored perfectly to their needs.

4. Increase Traffic to Your Website

The main reason social media is there in the first place is to bring more people to your business. It means bringing them to your site so that they can view and order your products and services, as well as learn more about them. So, if that is one of your goals, feature your website often on your social media pages.

Having those links on your social media pages will boost your ranking on search engines and improve your sales. The more people that will click on those links, the more successful your social media strategy will be.

The best way to get people clicking is to utilize social media to promote your content directly from your site, whether it’s through informative blogs, articles, company updates, and so on. 

5. Provides Marketplace Insight

Who are the people who interact with you? Who is your audience? What are they looking for when they come in contact with you? What are they saying about your business?

Although before, this takes a team of researchers and or an entire marketing department to answer, with social media and some helpful analytical tools, you can get all these answers with just a simple click of a button. In fact, a majority of marketers have used social media to get relevant insight on what the online community is saying about them, know more about the topics that interest their audience, and study their competitors.

By using social media, you can utilize all of these to widen your reach, as well as narrow your focus on your target audience.

4 Downsides of Social Media Marketing

Now it’s time to consider some of the cons associated with using social media in business.

1. Time Consuming

Some people will ignore your social media profile altogether because they might be interested in other accounts. Remember that almost everyone these days is on social media. With a crowd that large, it becomes harder to reach your target audience. Also, getting them to appreciate your content and your brand takes time. It isn’t an overnight success.

Marketing yourself to the right people with the right content needs a lot of dedication. It continuously needs a lot of time and effort on your part. That’s why you need to allocate your time, money, and resources to ensure that you’re always publishing high-quality posts. 

2. Risk of Negative Feedback

People use social media as a platform to share the things that they love. But also note that they can use it also to express dissatisfaction and share their own experiences of the things that they don’t love. If a person had a poor experience with your business, they might also share their poor experience with others.

Over time, too much negative feedback can seriously hurt your brand marketing efforts. Why? Because people tend to trust other people’s insights on your company, especially if it’s the first time that they heard about your business.

Negative feedback can affect your business from getting leads and conversions over time. That’s why if someone expresses their dissatisfaction with your business, it’s better that you respond to it. Don’t leave them unaddressed.

Although it’s expected that not everyone is going to have a positive experience with your business, properly addressing these issues speaks volumes on your company’s values. 

3. Tarnished Brand Image

Again, if ever negative information makes its way on social media, this can negatively impact your brand name. It can even prevent prospective customers from establishing relationships and doing business with you.

So, always keep an eye with the kind of content that you’re posting, as you could end up embarrassing your company and putting yourself and your business in an awkward situation.

4. You Have to Wait to See Results

A lot of marketers want to see immediate results. This lets them know if a particular project is worth their time or not. On the other hand, social media results aren’t always immediate. Meaning posting just a single piece of content doesn’t determine the overall success of your marketing campaign. You must have multiple pieces of content for an extended period to know whether your campaign is successful or not.

So always track your social media posts, and have them read for comparison once you have a campaign running for quite some time.

While there are pros and cons to social media marketing, the pros outweigh the cons. When used the right way, it can drive more leads that will help propel your business to success.

Featured photo credit: Depositphotos