When the first social media networks were launched, no one knew the impact it would end up having on society. The origins of social networks date back over 20 years to sites like Six Degrees, FaceTheJury, Fubar, and TheDilly. Similar to how social network sites are today, these other websites allowed users to create a profile and share information.
Fast forward to the new Millennium and we saw networks like Flickr, MySpace and YouTube launch around 2005 with Facebook and Twitter following about one year later. Suddenly there were millions of users on social media sites, and wherever people are businesses are sure to follow. Using the platforms in similar ways to ordinary users, businesses began to find unique new ways to advertise their goods and services.
Today there’s a variety of platforms you can join and use to interact, share content and market your business. In fact, several of these big social media sites are now owned by the same company. For instance, Facebook owns Instagram. Google owns YouTube, and Microsoft owns LinkedIn. These websites all benefit from sharing content and allowing users to switch between them using the same login credentials. With that in mind, it’s no surprise businesses want to market their brands through services offered by social networks. Still, some experts believe SMM (Social Media Marketing) isn’t for every business out there. Neil Patel created this video about Facebook Ads returning a low ROI and encouraging people to proceed with caution. But keep in mind, you should proceed with caution with any online marketing strategy. Below I am going to highlight some of the advantages and disadvantages that come with social media marketing (smm).
Social Media Marketing Advantages
Some statistics companies believe there will be over 3 BILLION people using social media by the year 2021. Given that almost every person who owns a smartphone, desktop or laptop, and enjoys spending time on social media sites, doing SMM of any kind should at least guarantee some increased brand recognition for your business. But along with that, social media marketing is still more cost effective than other forms of advertising like billboards or news media (magazines..etc.). It also doesn’t require the expertise that something like SEO would. Another advantage to social media marketing would be the increased inbound traffic. I mean, who doesn’t want more traffic to their website? If you’re marketing strategy is good, social media marketing could lead to lots of additional traffic which means more people reading your content and potentially buying your products. Finally, social media lets your business gain market insight. At this day in age it’s more important than ever to really know and understand your audience. Social networks allow us to learn more about our customers and get their opinions or ideas.
Social Media Marketing Disadvantages
One of the biggest disadvantages with social media in general these days is privacy. Don’t believe privacy is a big issue for people today? Just look how Europe recently released the GDPR for the European Union and businesses providing services to EU nations. Along with privacy concerns, social media marketing also gives your business some exposure to competitors. This works both ways, really. You can go to a competitors Facebook page and study their strategy. But, they can also do the same to you! Another disadvantage would be the SMM is time consuming. With so much different content being shared on a per-minute basis, standing out from the competition is hard on social media. You need to create great images, titles, and content to grab and keep attention. That’s hard and takes additional time. Finally, social media marketing offers slow returns on investments. Social media marketing is a long term investment and one cannot expect returns in an overnight. For companies looking for quick results, implementing traditional methods like word of mouth would be appropriate.