The Pros and Cons of Social Media

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Businesses know that social media provides free, interactive communication between the company and its public, but with that comes the possibility of risk. One way to avoid some of this risk is to be as transparent as possible with your fans.

According to Social Media Explorer,

“Trust is the foundation of all relationships and relationships are what fuel business growth and long term success. Transparency across digital channels is a great way for organizations to start connecting with their audiences and slowly building trust.”

Whether you’ve already started your social media journey or you’re in the works of developing a plan, keep the following advantages and disadvantages of social media in mind:

Pros: 

1. Create Relationships: Social media is a simple way to build up your brand’s identity, and by doing so, it creates a sense of trust with consumers. With this trust and familiarity comes the greater likelihood of a purchase occurring.

2. Free Business Promotion and Low Cost Advertising: Social media platforms provide excellent forums for companies to openly discuss their business, demonstrating their industry expertise.

Advertising can be conducted via social media for little cost.  Social media gives your business the ability to reach targeted consumers that make the most sense for the product or service at hand.

3. Build Credibility: Consistent, engaging material posted on your social media accounts leads to a feeling of trust and credibility for your audience, which, in return, can lead to more business.

4. Easy Communication: Social media provides you with quick access to free communication with both your current and potential customers. With the click of a button, you have the ability to reach your entire fan base and more when announcing sales, events, new products or offerings, promotions, etc.

5. User-Generated Content: Businesses love a good review; social media opens the door for are countless miniature reviews. Positive comments, feedback, likes, photographs, etc. offer genuine endorsements that act as “word-of-mouth” for the new era.

 Cons:

1. Results Take Time: Social media success won’t happen overnight. You need to be patient with the fact that establishing your presence, building a community and getting your posts down takes time.  It’s important that you don’t get discouraged and remain consistent in order to see a return on investment when it comes to social media.

2. Monitoring: While people enjoy positive user-generated content, social media also opens up the opportunity for negative posts from users. Good or bad, your brand must take the time to monitor engagement and mentions by users. By constantly monitoring your social media, you have the ability to handle undesirable situations in a timely manner to avoid any further trouble.

3. All Things Public: In the beginning of this article, we brought up the importance of transparency when it comes to social media. It’s important to be open and honest with your fans, but you should also be aware of accuracy and precision. Humans make mistakes, but the wrong mistake can lead to an unpleasant outcome. Stay on top of your game.

4. Negative Publicity: Good reviews are great, but bad reviews can cause serious harm. The same goes with negative posts by consumers on your company’s account. Use social media as a direct form of customer service to keep your fans happy and address any issues as soon as possible.

According to Social News Daily, “when it comes to social media customer service, more than 70% of queries went ignored. A third of companies went so far as to delete evidence of a customer interaction, and average waiting time in a medium marked by its urgency was a stunning two days.”

Don’t be one of those companies.

5. Time Consuming: One of the things businesses can benefit from with social media is its addictive nature. People can easily spend (or waste) hours of time browsing through different feeds online. However, when it comes to the business itself handling social media accounts, it can be hard to stay on the right track. Keep focused on what’s important and what can lead to your company’s success.

As always, we welcome your input and look forward to the conversation; click here to leave a comment. For an overview on the purpose of this blog, take a look at the initial post here.

This article was written by:
Bethany Richard, Sage Tree Trade Marketing Associate

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