Nearly every business is now using social media for marketing. We often exult the greatness of social media, but in our euphoria, we forget its dark sides. We put together a pros and cons list to recognize or remind yourself of when using social media. You can use the cons list as a guide what to manage and what to avoid when using social media, and the pros list as a justification to use it.
- LOW COST. Barriers to entry are low. The best part is that you can post from almost any device from anywhere. You can use software for free Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook and much more.
- HUGE POTENTIAL AUDIENCE. Compared to other communications channels, with the whole connected world of the Internet, social media can have impressive reach. If you post a good content at the right time, the chances that post to go viral are big.
- CLOSER CONNECTION WITH YOUR CLIENTS. Conversations in networks like Twitter or Facebook are more personal and offer a deeper level of engagement with your clients’ lives.
- PROVIDES LOTS OF DATA. Your activities on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other network will generate lots of data for your analytics app. This data will help you evaluate the impact your posts are having as well as help you track your progress. You can see what types of posts your target audience respond to and what times are best for them. You can also learn a lot about your existing and potential clients by looking at what they are interested in and what they value.
- GREAT MEDIUM TO PROMOTE YOUR CONTENT. You can create content to attract business to you, but you can’t rely only on a prospect’s organic search finding your posts and offers. Social media provides you a much wider audience than just search alone.
- NURTURES BRAND LOYALTY. The more you have healthy interactions with your audience, the more you will boost your online reputation and develop brand loyalty. If you have a more interactive relationship with your existing and potential clients, that means that you care for them – which in turn breeds loyalty and trust.
- FAST RESULTS. If you have new products to promote or fresh info to share, you can rely on social media for fast action and results. Think about synchronizing your site with your social network channels for automatic updates when you have something new available.
- TAKES TIME. The costs may be minimal, but successful implementation of social media requires a time commitment and ongoing sustained effort. And the more time you spend on it, the better the results will be.
- YOU ARE IN IT FOR THE LONG TERM. Any absence will definitely result in a major loss of traction, so be prepared for social media to become a fixture of your working week.
- CAN BE ADDICTIVE. You can easily start using social media to boost your business, and then find yourself sucked into the social aspects of the medium. Within a few days, you might find yourself watching funny videos, following links to news articles and chatting with friends – all the while neglecting your real work. It is of a great importance to set time limits and clear goals and stay professional too.
- OPEN AND PUBLIC. Conversation on Facebook or other social networks often is public, in front of an audience – which can make your clients feel uncomfortable and awkward. Some of them think that any error made will be jumped on by the crowd – which sometimes may be true. The same message may not be right for all recipients, which can also be difficult to manage.