There has been the use of New Media for the marketing goals that have enabled the businesses to share extraordinary capacities of product information, facilitated extremely segmented target markets and customization of posts, and so on (Kelly et al., 2015). In contemporary times, every organization is trying hard to use social media channels effectively to get substantial information about clients and other companies. It can be said that the advent of new web 2.0 tools and social media has improved the marketing strategies of businesses. SMM (Social media marketing) has evolved from an ultimate add-on to a vital component of several marketing movements. It can be defined as the usage of social media networks for promoting the products and services of a company. Furthermore, it is true to say that social media marketers make use of podcasts, virtual videos, blogging, posts on social media networks to reach prospective clients for their organizations. There is no doubt that today social media marketers are attaining superior and more effectual insight via the advent of analytic applications by social networking platforms. This essay is going to critically discuss the advantages and disadvantages of social media marketing.
The first and foremost advantage of utilizing social media marketing is to reach the target audience more effectually. The study by Jones, Borgman, R & Ulusoy (2015) suggested that the businesses are successful in appealing client groups that they desire to target. Social media sites offer marketers the capability to target consumers based upon the personal interests of the users on such sites and the likeness of their friends (Nadaraja & Yazdanifard, 2013). Moreover, social media sites are based upon creating online communities that facilitate users to demonstrate their desires, and values virtually. SMM then connects these users and consumers to organizations that share identical values, and desires. Therefore, products of a company can reach to narrow target consumers by selecting whom to follow on such websites. Besides, these platforms also entail enough information regarding what goods and services potential consumers may be fascinated in. It can be said that marketers can perceive buying indications like the content posted by people and queries posted virtual, via the usage of novel semantic analysis techniques. The knowledge of purchasing signals can assist sales professionals to target appropriate clients, and marketers run a micro-targeted promotion (Bowden, 2014).
The second benefit of using social media marketing in business is that it enhances the brand equity of the company by increasing its brand awareness, customer equity, value equity, and brand image. A study conducted by Godey et al (2016) states that social media marketing efforts improve customer-oriented brand equity. Moreover, they suggest that both the traditional communication and social media communication have a positive impact on enhancing brand equity wherein the traditional methods have their robust influence on the brand awareness, and the later one strongly impacts the brand image. Their study also concludes that brand equity created by social media marketing activities is positively associated with the forthcoming buying behaviour of customers. It is noteworthy that attaining brand equity is the topmost motive for numerous companies as a brand is one of the most valued resources of any business. Social media advertising enables the dissemination of content on social media networks to persuade and increase awareness. Besides, an appealing social media advertisement can increase positive brand relationships that can lead to auspicious interactive reactions. Additionally, interactive marketing on social media plays an essential role in enhancing the brand equity using its attributes like personalization, traceability, sensible information, responsibility, and customization (Adetunji, Rashid & Ishak, 2018).
The third major advantage of Social media marketing is that it builds effective relationships. The individual associations established via SMM activities help build an improved, more trustworthy customer base for a business’s products and services than built by impersonal marketing movement. It further assists the company to better comprehend its clients and establish more useful services and products for clients to buy. It is the most essential thing in modern relationship-based society. It is true to say that diverse posts that a business makes on social media networks are a prospect to convert its clients. As an efficient utilization of assets and time, SMM offers businesses better communication platforms with the clients to create brand loyalty beyond outdated techniques. In modern times, companies are hiring social media specialists to decide on content and features of their actions in social media settings so that the minds of clients are captures and brand loyalty follows (Erdoğmuş & Cicek, 2012).
The first major downside or disadvantage of SMM is the issues related to privacy and security. It can be said that the confidentiality and safety of those who the business posts, tweets, or talks about or displays images of on the corporation’s profile may be at threat. Moreover, social media marketing campaigns can harm the client privacy by using their data accessible from their social profiles. Additionally, some wicked strangers may go on social networks and utilize the collected information for immoral or illegal actions. In this respect, businesses must be attentive to evade posting information that could threaten the client's security (Whiting & Deshpande, 2014). Besides, client concerns of data privacy and their capability to trust companies and networks are not novel. It has been analyzed that the consumers negatively perceive social media and brands with increasing privacy issues. Furthermore, this is an undesirable movement not just on such platforms but also for the promoters who have become reliant on these networks for reaching the clients (Appel et al., 2020).
The second limitation of social media marketing is its time-intensive nature. It can be said that marketing of business on social media can be time-consuming for the workforce as they have to manage each of their social media react to inquiries and feedback, post-worthy updates, that would surely create a lasting association with clients and hence make the business reliable and authentic. If not taken seriously, it can lead to making huge losses to the company. SMM inclines to make less of an influence for the client as it is restricted in its capability to be imaginative and isolated. It is noteworthy that preserving a collaborative social media existence is a scrupulous and time-consuming process. Indeed, posts on social media networks are often ignored due to abundant newsfeeds and the usual reckless paced environments of such channels. Thus, it is comparatively time-consuming for numerous companies who desire to get outcomes from their social media marketing efforts. The campaigns in social media marketing are not one-shot matters rather they must be cherished over time. Moreover, marketers need to constantly develop novel content, post it, and engage with the audience on such channels. Besides, it is a somewhat more overwhelming task for small businesses as they have limited resources. They have to find time to balance posting content, monitoring that, reacting to people and measuring the impact of content (Adilova, 2017, p. 67-74).
The third major disadvantage of SMM is negative WOM (word of mouth). Social channels transform users into promoters and marketers, and they can develop optimistic or undesirable pressure for business, its services, and its goods, reliant upon the aspects of quality of the goods and services, and online presentation of the business. It can be said that social media channels are damaging to marketing campaigns due to negative post replies. It means that the ungratified clients or the rivalries in the sector are capable to post withering or aggressive posts, videos, and pictures. It leads to create undesirable and non-constructive feedback that can’t be unnoticed by marketers. Therefore, in regards to this, social channels should be managed effectively to promptly react and neutralize destructive posts that will be time-taking (Azemi, Ozuem & Howell, 2020, p. 564-577). The negative SMM communication produced by consumers can be viral and disseminate promptly, detrimental to a company’s reputation in a short period. It is further because negative communication is speedily transmitted to broader communities of users, leveraging the channels and exponentially scattering the message (Thomas et al., 2012, p. 7).
This essay aimed to critically comprehend the benefits and disadvantages of social media marketing. From the above essay, it can be concluded that in contemporary times social media marketers are attaining superior and more effectual insight via the advent of analytic applications by social networking platforms. Furthermore, the advantages of social media marketing are found to be targeting in an effective manner; enhanced brand awareness, customer equity, value equity, and brand image; and effective relationships. Moreover, the downsides of SMM can be inferred as privacy and security issues; time-intensive; and negative WOM.
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