Pros and cons of social media for promotion
Posted: November 14, 2020
The emergence of social media has led to its extensive utilization in marketing promotion as well as other areas. Consistent promotion is one of the crucial ways marketers use to appeal to the customers. Extensive communication makes customers aware of the new brands and, to a great extent, convinces them to try out the new or existing products based on the information given (Mahoney and Tang 36). Promotions can be done through Ambassador Programs, blogging, trade fairs, and social media. With the advancement in technology, social media can be a handy tool of doing promotions through platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tiktok, Instagram, LinkedIn among others. Every strategy has a both good and bad side and this paper seeks to show advantages and disadvantages of using social media to do promotions.
Pros of Using Social Media in Promotion
Interaction with a Large Audience
Social media allows marketers to reach a large audience, both locally and internationally. As a marketer, it is pivotal to understand the needs of the target audience and align these needs with the nature of products offered (Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwick 23). For example, communication with adults online is not the same as communicating with children hence the need to master the targeted audience. For instance, children may not understand the terms used in the sale of insurance hence making it important to understand the language of the customer. Moreover, it allows a marketer to establish their business as a thought leader, especially when using the LinkedIn platform.
The Use of Social Media for Promotion is fast and efficient
The use of social media is one of the quickest ways of reaching customers fast. It provides a platform where the marketer can create awareness of the brand, demonstrate expertise, and distinguish services offered from those of the competitors. For example, when firms like hair companies post new hairstyles on either Pinterest or Facebook, people will see and instantly some will like and give their comments about the brand (Mahoney and Tang 36). Interestingly, responding to the customers queries gives the marketer an opportunity to interact with the customers on a personal level. Most companies and businesses link their Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest with their website. This, therefore, means that the new posts are consequently published on their other social media platforms. This way, information moves faster to the target audience.
Diversity of Content
Social media gives marketers different options when evaluating the best channel to sell their brands. For example, Facebook allows users to post, like, and share content. If a marketer is promoting their favorite recipes, Facebook will be the best option. This way, marketers will have reached a considerable audience (Tuten and Solomon 84). Twitter is also a platform that gives the marketers an opportunity to sell their brands. Companies can tweet and retweet content, capturing the attention of their followers who may favor the content making it more public. Marketers can also use Pinterest to sell their new products. For example, videos on flattening the tummy may be pinned on many audience boards.
The Use of Social Media Is Cheap
Social media promotion is very cheap. Some platforms allow people to register even business accounts for free. For example, auto marketers do not require a couple of trucks to move around the country, showing the audience the new car models (Kim and Park 25). All you have to do is just create a profile and share their product by clicking the Facebook share button for all to see the brand. Social media is beneficial in promotion in that it not only creates a cheaper way to market products but also provides values such as confidence and high self-esteem. Promotion through social media platforms can be essential in building brand loyalty.
Easy to Monitor Progress
Social media allows marketers to take selfies, share images, and videos of their products. Consequently, their followers either like, comment, or share the posts. The data obtained from monitoring the progress of the businesses online help the marketers to reevaluate their business goals, whether they are attaining them or not. Marketers make informed decisions based on the content they find most engaging (Tuten and Solomon 84). If a company is selling both dresses and trench coats online, the product with many likes and requests will inform the company on what products to invest in heavily.
Cons of Social Media in Promotions
It is not Business-Oriented
This is the main limitation of using social media for promotion. The primary purpose of social media is connecting people from all walks of life in an informal way. Even though Instagram and Facebook support business promotions, this does not mean that number of likes and comments guarantees sales (Tuten and Solomon 84). Receiving positive comments from the customers may increase the motivation of the seller and even help businesses come with new products to address the existing niche.
Social media exposes marketers to all kinds of people. Some of the customers may not be genuine and may negatively comment on a brand to tarnish the brand name. This negative comment may go viral in social media hence stopping potential customers from buying the product.
Low Return Investment
Promotions on social media are a long-term investment hence require a long time to register positive results unless they are popular. Social media is not an excellent platform for small businesses (Mahoney and Tang 36). This is because big businesses make money through advertisements and keep on luring people to use them. This makes a small business register low return investments if they have invested in the use of social media for marketing.
Promotions through social media take much time. Even after inviting friends to like the promotion page on Facebook, it may take some time before they either like or share posts, and it is not guaranteed that the target customer will purchase the product. It also takes much time to study competitor’s strategies and customers to satisfy their needs (Mahoney and Tang 36). If a firm is selling mobile phones in the Instagram platform, it is supposed to keep on updating the followers every time on the new model in order to keep them engaged.
For a marketer to register their business online, they must share all their personal information to the public to boost their audience trust. This exposes the companies to unethical people who may hack their account (Mahoney and Tang 36). Many cases of leaked information have been reported, especially on Facebook, the theft of people’s personal information has been immense and that has significantly let to the ruining of the company’s reputation (Deshpande and Whiting 86). Most artists who market their songs online experience the same fate since instead audience subscribing, they pirate the song, from platforms such as the You Tube and piratesbay.org and sell it cheaply, leaving the artists with absolutely no proceeds. Social media strategy for marketing poses both privacy and a security threat.
The use of social media for promotional services is an innovative idea. However, there are benefits and limitations to the use of these strategies for marketing. It is imperative to do research on targeted audience and set smart goals before investing in social media marketing strategy. While the benefits of the used of social media are numerous, it is important to understand the purpose of social media, have a good strategy of monitoring progress, determining preferred social media platform in efforts to build a strong brand image.