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With 4.5 billion social users globally, you can’t escape the likes of Facebook & co. But is social media really worth it? In this blog, we assess the advantages and disadvantages of social media marketing.

What was once only seen as a medium for people to socialise online has become an enormous marketing and promotion platform for businesses worldwide.

With the increasing popularity of social media over the past decade, it was only a matter of time before businesses took advantage. After all, when has anything in history offered the world of business such irresistible potential?

But with everything, there are always pros and cons. The question is, is social media really worth it for your business? Let’s explore.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of social media marketing?

The potential is huge, the promise unreliable. Some brands have thrived through social media marketing whereas others have dwindled. Before embarking on the social media marketing mission, it’s important to get a grasp of the situation. First thing’s first, let’s weigh up the pros and cons.

Advantages of social media

Vast reach

There is no doubt about it. One of the biggest advantages of social media for businesses is the potential reach. According to Statista, 77.9% of the population are active on social media in the UK, while further reports indicate that 1 in 3 people globally uses social media platforms to find out more about a brand or a product.

There’s also the positive impact it can have on brand awareness.

Oberlo reports that 71% of consumers are likely to recommend a brand to someone else when they have a positive experience with them on social media.

Cost-friendly

Social media marketing is a very low-cost way of connecting with potential customers at a basic level. Considering it costs nothing to use all major social media platforms, and it’s free to connect and communicate with people, it’s worth experimenting.

When it comes to CPM (Cost per thousand impressions) figures, social media dominates other traditional marketing forms.

Instant interaction

Social media was built on interaction. People freely communicate with each other anywhere in the world at any time. Take this into a business perspective, and you can utilise the medium to improve your relations with customers and other businesses.

No other form of marketing allows businesses to instantly interact with customers like social media. This level of interaction can go a long way in building excellent relationships and improving loyalty to your brand, especially in the local area.

Increase brand awareness

Due to the vast number of people using social media alongside the low costs, businesses can promote themselves cheaply and to a larger audience.

Getting your business page or posts ‘liked’ or ‘shared’ goes a long way to enhancing your online reputation. In fact, 91% of marketers claim that their social marketing activities greatly increased their exposure.

Disadvantages of social media

Time-consuming

If you’re running a small business, social media marketing can eat away at your valuable time frame. The likelihood of you having spare time on your hands to think up fresh posts and trendy new hooks is minimal.

Keeping on top of your social media campaigns is difficult. It requires research, creativity, content creation and organisation. Although you can obtain instant connections and communications, it can take away the time you would rather spend running your business.

Negative publicity

For the reward of instant interaction with your customers, comes the risk of negative publicity. There’s no denying that social media leaves you exposed. Unhappy customers can puncture an impact on your brand’s reputation like no other medium.

Sometimes an unhappy customer or former employee can go viral with their complaints, potentially tarnishing your business. It is an unwanted possibility which just comes with the territory of social media. All your business can do is the very best it can and hope it doesn’t encounter any unwanted press. Alternatively, you can use an established creative agency to handle the pressures of social media.

Low ROI

Return on investment is notoriously low on social media. For it to work, you need to invest time, effort, and money with a calculated social marketing strategy.

Two proven ways to improve your social media ROI is through investing in paid advertisements or influencer marketing. If you don’t have the funds, then it’s going to take a whole lot of activity and creativity.

If you’re not active, then you’ll soon see your following decrease. It’s difficult enough to build a good following but even harder to keep them interested. Regular interaction and activity are crucial to maintaining your following and increasing brand awareness.

Is social media advertising worth it?

Whether you run a big or small business, the advantages of social media are endless. With the right strategy, social media is a terrific marketing tool. Like anything, the more you invest the more you get out of it.

Social media marketing can be done on a shoestring budget, but at the expense of time and effort. The more money you can spend, the more return you will see. It’s that simple. After all, social media was not designed for marketing purposes. It’s a social site. To make it work, you need to work your marketing hard.

Paid advertising on social media

If you want assurances for your social media marketing, then you’re going to have to pay for it. By paying for advertisements on social media channels, you can display ads and sponsored content specifically targeted at your audience.

In-app tools included in the platforms allow you to create, schedule and post your ads. Before you start paying, you need to research your target audience and personalise your ads accordingly.

Hootsuite reports the average organic reach for a Facebook post is 5.17% of a Page’s likes, while the average paid reach is 28.1% of total reach. The benefits of paid advertisements also include improved brand awareness, cost-effectiveness, and retargeting.

Mediakix reports:

·      80% of marketers find influencer marketing works.

·      71% of marketers rate the quality of traffic from influencer marketing as better than other marketing sources.

• 89% of marketers say influencer marketing ROI is as good or better than other marketing channels.

Finding the right influencer to market your brand will also drive conversions, generate leads, and create better partnerships to enhance the reputation of your business.

Making social media marketing work for your business

Whether you don’t have enough time on your hands or enough money in your pockets, social media marketing offers more potential to businesses than any other medium. However, succeeding with a social media campaign takes a specialist strategy and management.

If you require any advice for your social marketing needs, please feel free to contact us at Design in the Shires. We boast an expert team of social media specialists who know how to make your brand stand out from the crowd.

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