The effect of social media as a marketing tool can not be overemphasized and it is important for small business owners not to joke with this social engaging tools that can be used to scale their business to get traffic and exposure, as i wrote about in the last article.
There i listed about seven(7) of these social media sites small business use to promote their business as well as the benefits of working with these sites.
Even though social media plays an important role in the marketing strategy of modern day business and anyone not implementing it into their business is missing out on the revolutionary marketing of our time, it is likewise necessary to acknowledge its pros and cons.
Just as there are positive reviews of this marketing tool there are also negatives reviews. Knowing them first hand is enough to get you to down play the negativity in time. In this post i will talking about the merits and demerits of social media as a marketing tool for small business owners.
Advantages Of Social Networking.
1. Targeted Advertising:
Facebook allows reaching your specific target audience by setting and optimizing directly to your market audience. Social media gives your business a bird’s eye view of the kind of people demanding for your products, then you can target directly to them.
Social media helps you gain information about your market and it serves as a tool to analyse the interest, demographics, of your potential customers so you can drive your products to them directly and gain conversion. Also it helps to re-target these customers with a tool.
2. Global Connectivity:
We have billions of users of the internet using social media to fraternize and socialize around the world. Small business owners could be a local brand or a household name but they have the reach of a global market with social media.
You could run a small brand targeting the international market and your immediate environs. With the 1.6 billion users on facebook daily, 313 million monthly active users on twitter, 110million on pinterest reaching a global audience is certain with social media.
3. Inbound Traffic:
Converting strangers into promoters and customers of your brand even before they are ready to buy in, by getting their attention through content creation is made possible with social media.
Pushing traffic with inbound marketing is a very effective marketing strategy utilized through social media.
4. Free And Cheap:
One of the biggest advantages of social media is the free to sign up policy, this is probably the reason most people do not see the gold mine behind it.
With a valid email address you can create a social networking site, set up a business page on facebook and reach out to a large audience with endless possible conversion.
However, there is an advertising option you can use to scale your business, get more traffic and conversion to your business.
5. Increases Brand loyalty:
The truth about your brand is that social media labels you an authority in your chosen field. Most people that follows your brand on social media are likely to become loyal to you and your brand. Building a meaningful relationship on social media helps to solidify your brand’s online presence.
Customers are more confident when dealing with you because they have a connection with you even though it is not more than you being friends with the person on facebook or you follow each other on twitter.
Disadvantages Of Social Networking.
1. It Can Damage Your Brand Image:
Putting yourself out there can be detrimental to yourself and your brand because of the number of trolls online with nothing but absolute negativity.
Jumping on sensitive hashtags or trends just to boost more awareness on a brand can damage yours and brand’s image. Users are quick to react with likes, shares, tweet when they sense a dent or mistake, which causes your brand to have a bad reception.
Social media allows reviews on your page or timeline so it is certain for an unfulfilled customer to drop a negative feedback.
2. Time Consuming:
Building a social media presence for your business requires a lot of time and effort especially when you have a small team running your business. It takes a lot of effort to be consistent as well.
After you must have built your social media following its important that you keep your page up to date with contents, respond to comments and feedbacks so as not to lose followers.
This can be time consuming and also affect your business because where one aspect of your business collects most of the time the other part of may elapse as a result of the lack of attention an therefore cause productivity to suffer.
3. Uneasy To Measure Return Of Investment:
As much as you can measure and quantify social media ROI on traffic, conversion clicks, impressions and so on it is difficult to measure accurately the full worth of the amount spent as suppose to the revenue generated with just comments, likes and tweets.
This is a major issue when it comes to accounting as over 60% find it uneasy to measure the ROI from their social media marketing. Marketers advertising on social media in the dark is not a good strategy when then can not measure the ROI.
4. Prone To Frauds And Scams:
Social media is the easiest tool for frauds and con artist to work with especially when you make it your business to put your business out there. Just as legitimate businesses use the internet to grow and make profits, organized crimes also use the internet to exploit innocent users.
5. Security Threat:
There is a big compromise on the privacy of business owners on social networks, as it is normal for businesses to make their contacts public but this could be a threat to the security and well being of the business.
Security agencies can gain access into people personal accounts. You may be visited by any investigation officer as regards to any issue that you unknowingly put out.
Cyber criminals can access the information about you and your company on your social media platforms and target attacks based on the interest and likes they see making security threats difficult to detect and recognize.
Facebook is one of the easiest social networking sites these criminals use as tools to intrude on small business privacy and use it against them.
Cyber criminals copy everything about a brand usually a celebrity on another account and use the account to extort money form their fans or spread false rumors that could destroy the images and brands.
6. Open To Competition:
One of the reasons you will find copycats in small business out there is social media.
Small business release contents on the internet regularly on social media to keep in touch with their esteemed customers(new and existing) and followers, giving room for competitors to know every move and possibly steal ideas.
7. Can’t Be Reliable:
Social media should not be used a permanent business place or office where you can always go to because, you have a following or a fan page that is loyal. Yes they could be loyal supporters and customers of your brand but know that the network can fold up at any time.
Networking companies like myspace, vines are either dead or not functioning like it used to hence, not depicting its social media advantages. Even recently, whatsapp the networking app owned by facebook is having issues.
Imagine the millions of business that leverage their activities on the sites, how they must have lost thousands of work hours and effort into building their brand on the network only to have it gone in an instant.
This is why i say social media can’t be reliable and should not be solely used to build your business.
The quickest way to let your work online be seen and attract traffic is social media but it could also be the quickest way to withdraw loyal customers from your business.
It is an important element in online marketing that should not be toiled with if you ever want growth in your business but using it effectively is equally paramount to your success.
The disadvantages explained above is not to deter you from using social media as a matter of fact it is to encourage you to take advantage and work on avoiding the barriers that could be damaging to your business image.
The first thing to do when you set up business online is to create a social media page and then keep it up to date by engaging your audience with contents consistently. The world already has people looking to work with you, make it your duty to be in position for an easy find.
That’s it on the merits and demerits of social media for small business owners. I hope you this helps you in making your small business stand out. Kindly, share with the social media icon below and help us flourish.
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