There is no doubting that social media is here to stay and many businesses already leverage it to to full effect in order to promote their brand. However, understanding the real benefits of social media marketing also means that we have to understand the pitfalls associated with it as well.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using social media for marketing.
Social Media Marketing – Pros
It can help your ongoing SEO efforts
Marketing via social media is likely to support your SEO efforts whether you realise it or not. For example, if people are sharing content from your website by means of social sharing buttons regularly, then by it’s very nature, Google HAS to recognise this as quality content.
They say that the best way for a brand to be successful is to create and build relationships. This is something that (if carried out correctly) social media marketing does extremely well. In fact there is no better way to give your brand it’s own unique voice and to build a platform of followers than through regular marketing using social media channels.
Social content can be re-used
Content distribution via social media channels can be re-used on a variety of platforms providing you change the way you post about it. This means that your content has more legs than through other marketing efforts.
Laser targeted customers
Have you ever wished you could target only those customers who really ‘get’ your brand? This is what effective social media marketing can do. It allows you to filter out those that you know wouldn’t be interested in your brand and target those that do. Now that’s effective marketing!
Embraces user generated content
Social media platforms embrace user generated content and in many cases this is a much more powerful message for your brand. It could be said that a photo of a person using your product is far more powerful than a stock image with your added logo.
Social Media Marketing – Cons
As a tree needs nutrients to thrive and grow, so your brand needs content and lots of it. Without it you’ll simply have a branded empty shell, taking up cyber-space. In order to be really successful using social media marketing, you have to spend the time and effort generating quality content. This can be a big undertaking and one which many businesses might not have the time to do.
No overnight fix
Unfortunately social media marketing isn’t a quick fix solution. Instead you’ll have to establish a solid presence, build a community and hone your content strategy skills. This is done over time and time is something that has to be set aside.
Content ages very quickly
We’ve already said that quality content is king in social media circles. However it has a short shelf life. This means that you can’t adopt a ‘set it and forget it’ mentality. Instead you have to be prepared to constantly source quality content and this can be frustrating for brands, not to mention time consuming.
Be the listening ear
By the very nature of social media, there are millions of conversations happening every second of every day. This means that there’s a pretty good chance that someone somewhere is talking about your brand. As a result you have to be available to monitor conversations. This way you can be proactive in the case of simple customer service issues and be available to step in and pre-empt problems if larger issues arise.
As you can see social media marketing is a big undertaking and you have to be prepared to put in the time and be in it for the long haul. However if carried out correctly, it can show results far over and above any other form of marketing.
Donal O’Sullivan is a commercially focused Digital Marketer with 10+ years experience helping B2C & B2B clients. Donal has worked with many small to large enterprises locally and internationally and has a proven track record of driving revenue gains and brand awareness through integrated campaigns both Online & ATL.
In his previous role Donal worked for AXA Insurance, Ireland’s leading Insurance company. He was responsible for the strategic and day-to-day management of the AXA brand for business generation in their online channels.
Donal lives and breathes digital and will help you identify real opportunities by concentrating on data driven analysis to guide commercially focused marketing and optimisation decisions across: Acquisition, Conversion & Retention