What is Social Media Marketing?
Believe it or not, social networking platforms have been around for nearly three decades now! The introduction of MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in the 00ʼs to Instagram this past decade, has helped people all over the world keep in touch with their friends and family.
Now, with digital advancements in online marketing and advertisement, many of these social media platforms have grown into full-blown marketing tools, providing options that allow businesses to advertise and sell their product or service to an audience. With this, however, businesses looking to promote themselves on social platforms may find that there can be both pros and cons to this practice.
Pros and Cons of Social Media Marketing
Now, you might be thinking, “how could there be any cons to marketing my business on social media?”. Well in this blog, Imagefix highlights and looks into the main pros and cons of social media marketing.
1. Connect With Your Audience Directly
Using social media platforms allows you to connect directly and build relationships with your customers at a more personal level. Here you can easily respond to messages and comments on your posts, and people can share the content you create with their contacts. The main benefits of communicating with your audience directly include:
- Understanding your customer base, and how they perceive your business.
- Respond to queries and resolve problems quickly.
- Deliver and share personalised and relatable content with your audience.
2. Cost Effective Strategy
The great thing about marketing on social media, is that for the most part itʼs free to use. As a business you can post content just like a regular user, to help push recognition for your brand, making it a much cheaper alternative to traditional advertising. Some platforms provide the option to upgrade to a business account at no extra cost, which allow users access to real-time data and in-depth analytics about their audience.
3. Increase Brand Recognition and Traffic
It has been predicted that by 2023 over 4 billion people will be using social media platforms. Now thatʼs a lot of people who could potentially see your brand! Having a well thought-out plan to get users engaging with your content, and checking out your brand is key to increasing awareness and ultimately online traffic for your business.
Whatʼs more, posting content that is rich in SEO will help increase your domain authority, and it has been reported that over 58% of marketers who have used social media for over a year, see their search engine rankings improve.
Interacting regularly with your followers, using the right tone of voice (witty? serious? corporate? funny?), and generating the content your customers want to see will help to define your brand and understand your demographic.
4. Provides Competitor Analysis
Social media offers a great opportunity to learn from your competitors and see what content they have which is garnering the likes, comments, shares and follows. Allow some time in your social media strategy to research the companies within your sector, analyse the content they are posting and how it relates to and connects with their target audience. Some ideas to consider might be:
- What demographic is this business talking to?
- Is their audience engaging with their posts?
- How often are they posting?
- What are they posting?
1. Possibility of negative feedback
No business is perfect, and itʼs almost impossible to satisfy every customer you have. There is always going to be someone who isnʼt happy with a service you have provided, and they may leave some negative feedback for you which may take the form of a review or a comment on your social media page or post. Whatʼs important in the end is how you deal with customer feedback.
Itʼs possible to turn a negative into a positive by responding to these comments in a professional, personal, timely manner, and offering a real solution to their issue. In turn this will help strengthen your integrity and reputation as a company to your followers. As an example, see how well a company like Sky respond to negative feedback they receive from their customers:
2. Itʼs a Time Consuming Process
Posting to social media can take time, especially if you have to create the graphics, and consistently think of new content to write. Make sure you have the resources in place to be able to undertake a social media strategy.
- Plan out what it is you are going to post on what days and find out a time when you will get the most interactions from your followers. Creating a social media calendar can be a great way to gather ideas and have a set guide to what posts will be going out when.
- Consider using Facebook’s post scheduling option, or if your budget allows, a social media scheduler such as Hootsuite or Buffer. This allow you to stay ahead of the game by planning your posts to be sent to your multiple accounts for the days that you need.
3. Itʼs Difficult to Estimate the ROI
Employing a social media campaign should be considered a long-term strategy. It could take weeks, months or a year and above before you see any worthy results. Itʼs key to not let this dishearten you from trying it out though. Here are some tips for optimising your social media posts:
- All social platforms allow for #hashtags to be used, which helps people interested in the topic to find your content. Instagram allows up to thirty to be used, so go crazy!
- Post a variety of content to your pages, whether itʼs a video, news article, a fun image, a link to blog youʼve written, or a celebration. This means you have something that appeals to everybody, and your content will avoid coming across as too “corporate” or “sales-y”.
- Engage with your audience by responding to them, having a laugh with them and helping resolve any issues they have. This shows that there are humans behind the company – building relationships, generating a sense of trust, and keeping the engagement flowing.
Want to get into social media marketing?
The Imagefix team have been helping businesses market on social media for nearly two decades now. Whether you’re looking for a social media strategy tailored to your business, or regular posting, we can help. We hope this blog has helped you to weigh the pros and cons of using social media for marketing, and see first-hand how a well implemented strategy helps businesses improve their overall presence and increase their website traffic.
Call Imagefix to discuss with us how our expert social media campaigns can get you noticed online on 01525 715608.