According to Pew Research, nearly 70% of people in the U.S. use at least one social media site.
If your goal is to be where your customers are, this is it.
But social media can be a double-edged sword. There are some pros and cons using social media that can make it your company’s best friend or worst enemy.
Understanding and working its dual nature – the Pros and Cons of Social Media, will help. You reap all the rewards of social media while avoiding the pitfalls.
Among the pros and cons of social media, this is perhaps the most important. Social media can help take a company with no name and make it a household name in short order.
A data-driven strategy can get your brand and image in front of thousands (or millions!) of people.
But this requires consistent implementation, clear tracking, and tuning. Proper care and feeding of your social media sites is a must for your social media strategy.
Unlike traditional advertising, social media can provide brand recognition in a non-obtrusive way. Both B2B and B2C audiences love and can connect with well-designed content.
Generating Qualified Leads
Once your audience has put a face to a name, social media helps you begin building interest and trust. This is the “social” aspect of connecting with your potential customers.
As those metrics fill, awareness begins to turn into something more. A reader becomes a lead: someone who’s likely to buy your product or service and ultimately, a customer.
You do this by:
- Crafting content & strategy to “attract” the “right” audience
- Creating content that adds value to your potential buyer
- Sharing the content of others
- Inspiring and
- A little direct promoting
Keeping You Top of Mind
When you engage your audience through social media, they need to see you almost every time they log on.
The average person frequents 5 different social media sites and logs onto each one at least one time a day. They spend almost 2 hours/day on social media.
If they’re seeing you on multiple channels, through various media that’s even better.
You don’t have to run million dollar commercials to get that repetition. What you need is to be the first on their list when they’re ready to buy.
Among the pros and cons of social media, this is perhaps to most exciting for business owners.
Generating Promoter Activity
It’s not so easy to share a TV commercial or ad. Social media makes it easy for people in all stages of the buyer’s journey to engage.
People do this on social media through likes, shares, reviews, and recommendations.
It may be hard to directly relate some of these activities to revenues. But there are many good tools at your disposal that can help you determine your social media ROI.
But all of this promoter (advocate) activity helps you:
- Reach more customers
- Build trust and generate referrals
- Retain your loyal customers
- Increase CLV
- Maximize your marketing budget
If you’re not on social media today, you might be shocked by what people may be saying about you. Unhappy customers are more likely to leave reviews than satisfied ones.
When you look at the pros and cons of social media:
You should note that social media helps you connect with customers on a more meaningful and personal level. More than other media outlets.
Both good and bad reviews are a part of the game simply because of this connection.
Don’t sweat a bad review every once in a while they eventually happen – so don’t let that scare you.
But by responding to the bad reviews, you can mitigate them. Doing so can even encourage more good reviews in the social media sphere.
And now we get to the cons.
Staying Active is Time-Consuming
In order to effectively manage and benefit from a social media account, you have to be active. Your business depends on it. We’re not talking about spending all day on Facebook. But consistency is important.
As soon as you let social media shift to the back-burner, you lose your momentum. To customers, you look like you’re not engaged like you no longer care. You start missing opportunities to wow your customers.
Basically, if you don’t appear interested, they won’t be.
To remedy this, know that managing your social media account is more than posting an update every day.
Your post should be relevant and give value to your audience and must be consistent. Set a schedule and make it a priority.
If that’s not an option, hire someone who will do it for you.
It’s Easy to Get Distracted
Don’t we all know that this is the truth? There are a million ways to waste time on social media when you’re supposed to be managing your account.
To remedy this, write down your objectives for a given session. Begin marking things off your list.
Checklists, that you can follow daily or weekly are awesome! Give yourself a set amount of time to get everything done.
Resist the temptation to begin watching videos or reading comments on something unrelated to your business. Focus on your check list.
The great thing about social media is that you’re so visible. The bad thing about social media is that you’re so visible.
People are constantly seeing your posts even when you’re closed or on vacation. They may be expecting quick responses to messages.
They often expect you to be more “social” because you’re on social media. But you’re likely focused on running your business.
There’s not much you can do about your visibility. You need it to succeed as a business. Here again, a daily checklist will help.
To help you manage expectations and retain your sanity, use social media tools. These tools can be used to automate some tasks and responses.
This can reduce some of the menial tasks that you need to complete. Then you can focus more on the managing the customer relationship.
Mistakes Hurt More than Just Your Social Media Reputation
Finally, among our pros and cons of social media, we look at a sobering fact. Social media does put you “out there” in a way that you wouldn’t be otherwise.
Faux pas will follow you off the Internet and into your business and vice versa, so be aware of the details. They can take more work to remove than a careful review before you hit the “post” button.
To avoid mistakes, research your social media strategies and consult with a professional. They can guide you on how to connect with customers through social media. And, without the land-mines.
Don’t be afraid to have a little fun with social media. But always align your actions with your brand in a positive light.
The Pros and Cons of Social Media
Leverage the pros and cons of social media effectively to manage your campaigns. You do this by understanding what the strengths and weaknesses are. Use them to your advantage.
It’s great for building brand awareness and engaging your target audience. But it can be time-consuming and may increase customer expectations.
Designing and implementing your strategy always starts with understanding where you are now.
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About Gregory Falicia
I’m a writer, instructor, and a technically savvy marketer…
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