20 years back when the internet was at natal stage people used to gather socially and from there people used to get information about the happening in and around town as people talk about the new movies or new shop or a new restaurant in the town. In present age social media does that task and that is the reason why social media marketing has gained tremendous importance over the past few years due to the arrival of various popular social networks like Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and twitter. Social media marketing refers to that strategy in which the company uses the social media platforms to market their product or service, in order to understand this concept better let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of social media marketing –
Advantages of Social Media Marketing
- The first and foremost advantage of social media marketing is the cost factor because traditional methods of advertising like newspaper, television, hoardings etc…., are expensive whereas social media marketing is less expensive as compared to traditional methods of advertising.
- Another advantage of social media marketing is that it enables the companies to reach the wider range of customers for their products because these social media platforms are not confined to particular area or city rather its reach is worldwide. Hence even a local manufacturer of developing country like India can markets its product through social media to customers of developed nations like USA and UK.
- Another advantage of social media marketing is that company gets the feedback of customers instantly and company can resolve the complaints of the customer quickly and effectively as compared to other mediums of advertising where there is only one way communication and there is no scope of two way communication which is possible in case of social media marketing.
- Social media marketing gives the company another option of advertising their product or service, hence the company can use it along with other forms of advertising so that company’s product or service visibility among consumers is maximum which in turn will lead to more sales and profits for the company.
Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing
- There is thin line between promoting a product through social media and overdoing or spamming the customers and the moment that line is crossed then it can lead to big setback for the company because once the image of the company turns out to be of spammer or of false advertiser in the minds of customers then it is very difficult to change the image because negative feedback or image travels very fast in case of social media.
- Another disadvantage of social media marketing is that chances of false feedback on social media platforms are much higher than other forms of advertising and we all know that if 10 people say something false then it will look true which in turn will result in company getting negative publicity and ultimately it will affect the brand image of the company.
- Another limitation of social media marketing is that it a continuous process and company cannot expect to see immediate results from advertising which is the case with other forms of advertising. Hence companies which are looking for a quick response for the product or service advertised will be disappointed as social media marketing requires patience as well as long term focus.
- Social media marketing may not be universal in nature as social media is not used by everyone and if the target market of the company is old or rural population than social media marketing may not be the right option for such companies.
As one can see from the above that social media marketing has advantages as well as disadvantages and company looking for marketing their product or service should careful analyze the pros and cons of social media marketing and then decide whether to go for it or not.