Pros and Cons of Social Media Marketing for Businesses
Social media marketing is essentially the use of various social media sites and platforms to advertise a product or service directly to an audience. Although the terms digital media and e-commerce are generally recognised in academic circles, social media marketing has become increasingly popular for researchers and practitioners alike. The rise in social media marketing initiatives has come as a result of a number of factors. One being the general trend of people being connected to their computers for longer periods of time. In addition, many companies have recognised the importance of brands in raising awareness amongst consumers.
Social marketing through YouTube, Facebook and twitter is one way that online marketers are attempting to achieve brand visibility. Brand recognition is crucial in persuading customers to make a purchase. Therefore, online marketers are exploring the various ways they can increase their presence on these sites. This includes such activities as hiring people to create advertisements or videos relevant to the brand, creating live-streaming videos in order to attract potential customers and users and, more interestingly, video marketing – where a business will showcase videos related to its brand, product or service to its followers. There are pros and cons associated with each social strategy.
The first step in creating a social media campaign is to establish an identity for the brand, as well as an image, through different forms. YouTube, for example, allows people to make a video about any subject and include a caption or analysis of that subject. The most popular video on YouTube is the “make video” tool, which allows users to upload a short clip of their activity, whether it be videos or pictures and ask the question, “What would you do?” Through this tool, businesses can analyse their target market’s buying habits and find out what types of offers they are most likely to respond to. This, in turn, allows marketers to tailor their online promotions to more specifically reach a specific group of people.
On the other hand, one of the biggest pros of using social platforms like Instagram is that it gives the opportunity for users to show off their personal lives. Businesses can use Instagram to show off their fashion sense or showcase the goods they have purchased. There is also no limit to the number of photos a user can upload on Instagram, so if a business wants to get in on the trend, it should look into using Instagram’s photo-sharing features. The only con of this platform is that users can only see their Instagram posts from their personal account. This means that friends and family who are not users of Instagram will not be able to see any promotional content for a business.
Facebook is another one of the best social media platforms for reaching potential customers. In fact, research shows that Facebook is more effective in getting a person to buy a product than other online marketing methods, such as SEO or paid advertising. Businesses can use Facebook to give their customers the chance to become more involved in their community. For example, they can offer contests through Facebook or let their fans use Facebook’s fan page to promote their products.
Google+ has recently started offering its own applications for Facebook. As the name suggests, these applications integrate with Facebook’s existing tools. Although Google+ is not considered a ‘social networking’ tool, it does have its benefits. In fact, it has been cited as an influence for Facebook’s growth, since many Facebookers used the video sharing site to send invitations to guests.