While many businesses view social media as an essential part of strategic marketing, there are still many who view the avenue with skepticism. There are indeed pros and cons to consider where social media marketing is concerned, and determining the degree of time, money, effort and other resources you invest in such ventures is a matter of your own business perspective. Here are a few of the consideration for making well informed business decisions.
Con – Time Investment
Establishing and maintaining a strong and positive presence in social media does take a significant amount of time and effort. For this reason, many who venture into social media marketing do not use it to its full advantages, choosing instead to invest only a predetermined amount of time in the process, resulting in a less robust and dynamic marketing strategy.
Pro – Strengthens Networks & Builds Customer Loyalty
You can communicate with large groups simultaneously through social media, but it also provides a more personalized feel to those communications. Members of your social network feel more strongly connected with your organization. It opens two-way communication doors with peers and business partners and can help build customer loyalty by making your customers feel more important, respected and involved.
Con – Unclear Return on Investment
It is extremely challenging to determine a clear, quantifiable and undeniable return on investment in social media marketing activities. The very nature of the social media platform and the activities a business undertakes with it result in what are considered soft performance metrics. Hard metrics are those in which a company can clearly draw a connection between marketing efforts and increased revenue. The lack of such quantifiable measures with social media causes many to shy away from it as a major strategic marketing initiative.
Pro – Ready Access to Your Target Demographics
Though there is some initial research required in order to find the right social media platforms for reaching your target demographics, once you’ve completed that step, you have ready and on-going access to those demographics each and every day. This allows you to promote your business through a very efficient means. After all, you know this is where your customers and potential customers spend their time.
Con – Tight Focus Required for Maintaining Branding
Many argue that it’s difficult to maintain a consistent brand image via social media platforms, particularly if several individuals are responsible for maintaining social media pages and producing content for those venues. Dedicated social media marketing staff and highly targeted procedures, policies and copy writing solutions are the answer that big businesses employ to counter potential branding issues with social media activities.
Weighing Your Decisions in Social Media Marketing
These are just a few of the pros and cons of integrating a social media marketing component into your overall strategic marketing efforts. Ultimately, the decision of which social media is right for your business, as well as the time, money and effort you invest in social media ventures, must be based on your unique business interests and makeup. Use this list as a starting point for your own analyzing and planning .