According to Hootsuite, 4.66 billion people worldwide were using the internet in January 2021, up by 316 million since January 2020. The digital shift has drastically influenced how businesses interact with customers. In today’s dynamic marketing environment, you need to look beyond traditional offline marketing to find and connect with your target audience.
You should connect and interact with customers where they spend the most time—on social media. Social media marketing or SMM involves using social platforms to find and engage with your target audience. It’s a great tool to help you promote products, drive website traffic, and increase sales. Here we share the benefits and downsides of social media marketing.
Advantages of Social Media Marketing
- Relationship building: Social media allows you to engage in a one-on-one dialogue with your target user. It’s a powerful platform to reach a large base of potential customers and build a close professional relationship with them.
- Flexibility: Social media platforms offer you flexible options for targeted advertising. You can use them to determine buyer personas to share your products and services. SMM also lets you target customers based on demographics.
- Brand loyalty: Continuous and constructive interaction between your business and the customer will help you establish strong brand loyalty. A happy customer is more likely to promote your business.
- Instant feedback: You can ask questions and run polls to gain valuable insights on how you can improve your products and services.
- Economical: Social media is free. Interacting with customers on social media costs nothing. On platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook, the only cost you need to pay is for advertising. They offer a better return on investment (ROI) at a fraction of the expense incurred in traditional marketing.
- Customer service: According to Sprout Social, “40% of consumers expect brands to respond within the first hour, while 79% want a response in the first 24 hours.” Social media offers a fast and convenient way to resolve customer problems. You can use chatbots to provide instant answers to frequently asked questions.
Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing
- Time-consuming: You constantly have to generate fresh and relevant content to keep customers interested. Monitoring and responding to comments also requires a lot of time.
- Delayed ROI: Social media is a long-haul strategy. Therefore, the ROI depends on how clear you are about your marketing goals. It could be months or even years before you see significant results.
- Negative feedback: It’s easy to get bombarded by negative comments on social media. It can be overwhelming, but you can turn it into a strength by offering personalized responses and quick solutions to your customers.
- One size doesn’t fit all: On social media, each business needs a different approach to thrive. For example, a bridal salon is unlikely to have a regular subscriber base, as most of its customers will be new and looking to make a purchase and leave. Therefore, you need to be adaptable, as platforms like Instagram and Facebook also restrict posts based on their content.
On-Target! is celebrating its 20th year as an award-winning, top digital marketing firm for small businesses helping them thrive and grow. We offer web design, brand strategy, graphic design, social media, SEO, email marketing, PPC, AdWords, lead nurturing, content marketing, media buying, video production, sales, and marketing support. Call us at 281.444.4777 or book a meeting using this link.