Marketing with Social Media: Is It Right for You?

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There are over 4 billion internet users across the planet, and 3.5 billion of them use social media. That equates to about 45% of the world’s population. Social media has become the go-to method for communicating with people you might otherwise not come into contact with. Yes, social media seems excellent for individuals, but what about businesses? Let’s take a look at a few pros and cons of marketing a business on social media to help you decide if it’s a right fit for your marketing mix.

The Pros

Did you know that 73% of marketers worldwide believe that social media marketing has either been somewhat or very useful for their business? People who hear about a company want to find out more, and they will most likely turn to social media or Google to do that. These are a few other benefits of marketing on social media:

  • Increased brand visibility

A business that puts up a sign outside their front door will get the attention of a few passers-by. A company that places a weekly advert in their local newspaper will get the attention of more. Like handing out flyers at robots, and forking out for a ten-second radio advert, social media is another channel you can get your brand in front of people.

  • Cheaper than traditional advertising

By spending a few hundred Rand on boosting a Facebook post, a business can get in front of hundreds of thousands of people. To achieve the same results with television, print or other traditional mediums would cost much more. In addition to the cost savings, social media advertising gives you data regarding the consumption of the campaign.

  • Better engagement potential

The most significant plus factor of social media marketing has to be the engagement potential. Where traditional advertising is a business talking to a customer, social media facilitates a two-way conversation. Customers who see a brand’s promotions can ask questions to find out more, which helps them to make more informed purchasing decisions.

The Cons

Here’s a statistic that might shock you: less than 10% of your Facebook followers, the people who have liked your page, will actually see the content you promote on your page. Other than this sad fact, there are a few different reasons why many businesses have started to lose their faith in social media marketing:

  • High resource requirement

Placing adverts and getting in front of an audience might not cost an arm and a leg, but social media marketing requires more than just monetary investment. Full-time attention must be given to monitoring campaigns, replying to interested potential customers, and optimising underperforming promotions.

  • Sparking engagement is tough

The engagement potential is there when it comes to marketing on social media, but just because the phone is ringing doesn’t mean someone will pick it up and start a conversation. Sparking engagement from your followers won’t happen overnight, and requires putting out quality content consistently.

  • Opens you up to criticism

We live in the age of transparency, where even the abattoirs might as well have glass walls. By marketing on social media, a business opens itself up to the eyes of the world. People will have open and honest conversations about you and what you do, and every misunderstanding has the potential to wreak havoc.

 Should you market on social media?

The answer to this question is heavily dependent on your business and what it hopes to achieve. If you are solely looking to increase your revenue in a short space of time, social media is not for you. If you just want to increase your brand awareness, and don’t mind if your efforts lead to nothing more than a few likes each month, give social media a try. Success on social media takes time, with many brands only reaping the rewards for their resource investments after a few years. However, once the snowball of social media success starts rolling, it can become one of the most critical elements of a business’s marketing mix.


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