What are the Impacts of Social Media Marketing?
By now, we have all become familiar with the powers of social media—the good and the bad. It has changed the way we connect with other people and proved to be a valuable tool to engage with your audiences, expanding your reach as a business.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok have become the go-to platforms for businesses to increase brand awareness, drive site traffic, and ultimately improve their bottom line. As social media marketing has proved in the past, it has the potential to reach further than traditional strategies.
The UK in Data: Social Media Usage
Social media is used by more than two-thirds of all internet users. There are over 53 million active social media users in the UK or 77.99% of its total population. While its social media penetration is slower than in other countries, the number of users continues to grow every year and is estimated to reach 64.75 million by 2026. Below are some other interesting figures about social media usage in the UK.
- The average user spends nearly 2 hours on social media per day
- 98% of users access social media on mobile
- Most of the social media users are on YouTube and Facebook, with more than 50 million (2021) and 48.5 million (2021) users, respectively.
Like most things, social media has the good, the bad, and the ugly. Its benefits in today’s age of connectivity are not without potential drawbacks. Continue reading as we break down the advantages and disadvantages of social media.
The Advantages of Social Media
Access to a Wider Audience
There are over 4.55 billion social media users worldwide. It means that just by being online, you can reach out to a wider, engaged audience that could be interested in your products or services. What’s more interesting is that users these days use social media to discover brands, which opens the door for you to find more leads.
Boost Brand Awareness and Brand Recognition
Social media has helped establish relationships between brands and customers which leads to increased brand visibility and awareness. These unlock various opportunities, but the most appealing is the potential to move your audience through the customer journey.
Drive Site Traffic
Social media, together with other digital channels, is the primary driver for generating website traffic ahead of traditional media like print, billboards, and TV. Most platforms allow you to include links to your content that will redirect readers to your site, where they can learn more about your business, its products and services. This increases the opportunity to convert them into leads and sales.
Social Media Platforms Can Provide Better Customer Service
Social media gives you access to potential customers and provides a way for your customers to reach out to you. This is essentially helpful when customers expect to hear from you immediately, if not within a short period. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram enable you to reply and acknowledge your customers, offer customer support and address their problems efficiently. Automated chatbots can help answer common questions instantly.
Opportunity to Create Organic Content
Posting on social media is free; plus, it doesn’t limit you to text-only content. You can also post images, videos, infographics, GIFs, and everything in between. This opens many opportunities, particularly for start-ups, to connect with your audience at no cost. This is the primary reason why businesses should not ignore the power of social media.
Access to Advertising Tools
If you want to go beyond organic content, there is always an option to run paid advertisements. It allows you to target specific users, introduce your brand to new users, and match your offers to their interests and behaviours. It helps you accomplish more of your goals and costs less than you would pay for most other advertising channels.
Track Your Performance
While every platform works differently, what they have in common is that they allow you to track your performance. Whenever you run a marketing campaign, you’ll know how it’s performing and whether it’s driving valuable results. They provide insightful data that allows you to fine-tune your strategies and make smarter business decisions. Information can include user demographics, interests, behaviour, and more.
Aside from the lower advertising costs and the fact that organic posting is free, we owe social media’s cost-efficiency to its targeted approach. It means you’re more likely to have the right potential customers or clients viewing your ads, and with these relevant users, you have more opportunities for conversion.
User Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) has revolutionised the landscape of social media platforms and marketing strategies. In an era where authenticity holds paramount importance, UGC shines as a powerful tool. It encapsulates content created by users themselves, ranging from reviews, images, and videos, to testimonials and discussions. UGC fosters a sense of community, engagement, and trust as it emerges from real experiences and opinions. This can help increase customer engagement and reach a broader audience. Savvy marketers have adeptly harnessed the potential of UGC by incorporating it into their strategies.
By encouraging users to share their own content related to a brand or product, companies can amplify their reach and credibility. UGC humanises marketing efforts, enabling brands to connect on a personal level with their audience. As social media continues to flourish, the symbiotic relationship between UGC and marketing strategies is destined to shape a more genuine and interactive digital landscape.
What are the Disadvantages of Social Media?
Tedious Work is Required
Social media isn’t a one-and-done kind of marketing. Instead, consistency and constant testing are required for you to achieve success. You will need to find the right balance in publishing content, monitoring insights, and responding to people. While this may sound time-consuming, it will allow you to understand your audience better and build meaningful relationships with them.
Social media trends change frequently. So you have to keep yourself updated to stay relevant. It can be an equally overwhelming task, but it can give you a better view of your target audience’s interest. It gives you an insight into topics and trends they are most likely to respond to, which you can definitely use in your next marketing campaign.
It’s an Open Forum
Being on social media exposes you to both the good and the bad. People can share their positive experiences with your brand but also the negative ones—and negative feedback can come in many forms such as a negative review on your Facebook page, a rant on Twitter, etc.
While some see this as a drawback that can damage one’s reputation, we see it as an opportunity to publicly prove that you take customer concerns seriously. By simply accommodating that you’ve read their complaint and are willing to take the conversation on a private phone call or direct message, it still shows that you listen to your customers.
It’s Not a Platform Where You can Please Everybody
Social media is a public platform. Therefore, you can expect to get different responses from your campaigns. There may be cases when your ads may be witty for a certain group of audiences but not all. This is where you may want to be wary about conflict and trip over “cancel culture”.
To ensure that you’re not stepping on any toes, make sure you’ve created an audience profile first before publishing any ads. This would allow you to run personalised and highly targeted campaigns that get you positive responses. This may not get you as many leads as targeting the general public, but it does give you higher quality.
Social media is a long-term investment. A single post will not determine the success of your social media strategy. It would take multiple posts over a period of time, adjustments to your content, and more, to measure your campaigns’ overall success. If you’re expecting to see immediate results, social media marketing may not be your cup of tea.
While there are potential drawbacks, far more benefits easily outweigh them. When done successfully, it is an investment worth your time.
Social media platforms are not immune to their own algorithm changes. Social media algorithms are constantly evolving, impacting how content is displayed in users’ feeds. These changes can affect your organic reach and require adjustments to your strategy. Platforms regularly fine-tune their algorithms, considering factors such as user preferences, post engagement, and even the authenticity of content.
Users, content creators, and marketers must adapt to these changes, understanding the evolving dynamics of visibility and engagement in the ever-changing landscape of social media.
Anyone can create a business profile on social media and benefit from it. But, if you want to maximise its potential, you have to put thought and effort into your social media marketing strategy. The only true downfall in social media is when you don’t know how to use it to your advantage.
Suppose you don’t have the resources to create a successful social media strategy. No worries, we are here to help! Distribute Digital, a leading Social Media Marketing Agency in Birmingham has the skills, tools, and expertise to drive your success on social media.
Our objective is simple: help your business grow through effective digital marketing. We can help you with your social media marketing—we put you in front of relevant customers and grow your business.
Establish your brand following through an effective social media marketing campaign with Distribute Digital! Book a FREE consultation.