As we become more entwined with technology, business have capitalised on this trend by using social media for publicity and popularity. Although it has proven to be extremely successful, social media marketing will always be a double-edged sword. Customers now have more power than ever before, and this realization not only evens the playing field, but makes the game more interesting. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of this new form of marketing:
Word of mouth advertising
This is by far the most powerful way to reach customers, and businesses can have an extremely broad reach, especially using platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Compared to paid media, social media marketing has a sort of snowball effect if done right – it becomes bigger and bigger as more people hear about a product or service. Viral advertisements are an example of this.
Can target particular groups
Social media means you can target a particular demographic, age or geographic location. Its fast, easy, and businesses can not only get a large number of responses, but also track what kind of buyers they are attracting and change their products and services to fit their needs.
More power for customers
Knowing what the customer wants is the goal of every business, and with social media marketing you don’t need to ask people what they want, they will tell you. Blogs and reviews from everyday people have become more influential, and businesses must do a lot more research now.
Can be a waste of time/money for little return
Social media does require more time and effort as you want to constantly be visible to your market. If there is no return (which is is rare but possible) then it can make businesses stagnant.
Inability to control bad publicity
If something goes wrong, it can spread like wildfire to customers, suppliers and the general public. The fact that we are so connected when it comes to this form of marketing means that much of the time, if something goes wrong, countless people will know about it before you have a chance to respond.
Factors like privacy and security are a lot more shaky in the age of the internet, and businesses must combat this by building trust with their customers. This means being completely transparent with whatever they do, even if it requires more effort.