Social media sites are one of the latest tools used by businesses nowadays that enable’s social media marketing to raise visibility of their products or services through internet. Social media sites have proved to be valuable for building business networks and exchange of knowledge and ideas. ‘Web’ is the trend that has enabled social media networking in which software’s are developed by users to enhance knowledge exchanging and creativity in collaborative manner (Claywell, n.d.). Through open services and application, users are able to participate in more concerted way in which communication process is enabled. Sharing, repurposing and remixing of personal thoughts and ideas about contents helps the society gain an insight about latest trends and fashion along with making easier for companies to get knowledge about customers preferences. Moreover, social networking is available free of cost to everybody with accessibility of internet which is also one of the reasons for its growing popularity. Features like getting connected with large number of people at the same time along with getting quick brand recognition are some of the few reasons behind using social networking as a part of marketing strategy by many businesses (AdamsMott, 2018). Although it has got many pros, but it must be admitted that every advantage comes with additional disadvantages. Therefore getting complete knowledge about both pros and cons related to social media marketing becomes essential to gain utmost out of it.
The main objective of this report is to define the concept of social media marketing from marketer’s point of view. This report will find out pros and cons related to social media marketing along with finding its scope in future trading. By making analysis of reviews made by different authors, this study will help in getting a clear picture about ideas and knowledge about the social media marketing from different perspectives. By finding out different ways in which social media marketing is done, this study will also assist the readers (organisations) to get inclusive facts related to the topic.
With regards to the objectives of this research, this report will focus on investigation from business perspective with the aim in providing complete knowledge about social media marketing. Since the scope of social networking is a broader concept, focussing on one area will bring clarity in study and also help in determining the core objective of this report that is finding out pros and cons related to social media marketing.
Methods of social media marketing:
Online marketing is also called internet marketing which is used by businesses nowadays to promote sales and promotions. There are various ways through which such kind of marketing is enabled with accessibility of internet (Yurovskiy, n.d.).
Online advertisements: This is one of the most common techniques used by businesses to create awareness about their products among people. Earlier, people were depended on newspapers, radios and televisions for advertisements of latest products, but those have become secondary means nowadays. With the help of virtual methods and creative contents, advertisements in social sites have attracted consumers towards it. Although this is similar to offline marketing but, the interaction and comments made after viewing the content, makes it active all the time (Creative Commons, n.d.). Moreover, unlike television ads, social mefdia ads do not forces people to watch it. Consumers may or not desire to view ads which help in distorting consumers preferences through web traffic. With the development of social networking sites, media marketing advertisements have also become more attractive to gain customers feedbacks and suggestions. If any advertisement is liked by consumer, they may forward it to other groups. While other may believe that the products is liked by the sender and thus they also give it a preference by forwarding it further. And hence, a cycle is formed in which the ultimate benefiters are the advertisers’ (Blackhurst, 2015).
E-mail marketing: Many companies’ sends emails to their targeted and retargeted consumers to give them messages regarding their products and new brands. Any changes made in product or service is also conveyed to their customers through emailing. Email marketing has also brought success in many organisations, especially in service sectors where client maintenance is very important (Mutuku, 2017). Clients who are satisfied with any company look forward for another service from the same company. Making regular mails will keep their clients in contact along with making them aware of new products or services offered. Email marketing has few drawbacks also as regular mails may not be liked by customers and they can put them in spam folders without even checking it. Therefore email marketing requires other sources along with it to promote successful marketing strategy (DeMers, 2014).
Search engine optimisation: Businesses nowadays have their own websites which acts as a self introduction for them. Many companies even spends decent amount to website designers to create attractive web pages. But, creating web pages is not the ultimate solution for generating awareness. On order to generate more traffic, SEO techniques shall be utilised so that more people are bound to surf the website for making searches. This is also called as search engine marketing in which consumers in order to get required information visits any website and by looking upon advertisements; they get interested in it. The basic purpose behind SEO is to generate traffic so that list of users is enabled by the web site owners who further use those lists for making promotions. Therefore keeping an eye on users becomes important so that further marketing can be made systematically (Ahmad, 2016).
Affiliate marketing: This is also a new method of marketing in which website owner’s gets commission from companies for selling their products on behalf of them. Many website owners get collaborated with few others to make joint financial benefits. Therefore this can also be termed as an effective marketing policy in which the companies does not require giving much effort to create search engines or other requirements of social networking (AdamsMott, 2018).
Pros of social media marketing:
The advantages related to social media marketing can be measured precisely by looking into different aspects of it and the features it provides to the business. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. are few which have supported businesses by making marketing of products through advertisements.
Social media channels that promotes advertisements for marketing (Clutch, 2018)
In the above figure, the result in which share of social media sites in marketing strategy is depicted. Although traditional marketing cannot be avoided, but the progress in social media marketing has made it inevitable part of marketing strategy.
Cost effective: According to Yazdanifard (2013) , the main advantages related to social media marketing is cost related. As compared to all other mediums, social media marketing proves to be the cheapest and is one of the reasons behind accepting social media marketing even by small companies. Traditional marketing campaigns can cost millions of dollar and are even rigid to make any further changes in it. The advantage which social networking provides in reaching customers with little or no investment is a significant feature and even the audiences wait to get response from advertisers. Many social sites even pay the advertisers for creating more traffic and engaging more people in their website (Creative Commons, n.d.).
Communication: This is one phenomenon of social media that have increased social interaction irrespective of geographical barriers. People nowadays like to spend their leisurely time more on social sites and communication activities. This can be one of the reasons behind the growth of social networking. Social sites advertisements have become so persuasive that people cannot stop themselves from getting used to it (Popova, n.d.). Social sites not only demonstrate the amount of people that come online but also the frequency in which they repeats to one page. Studying consumer’s behaviour through reading frequencies can be evaluated by marketers to gain an insight about their preferences and choice of contents they desire to look at. Moreover researchers believe that increase in number of viewers automatically generates interest among others for looking into the advertising content and thus influence is created in their buying behaviour. Indeed, many websites reported that increase interaction among consumer related any web page has benefitted advertisers in enhancing sales (Dolan, 2014).
Motivation behind sharing social media content (Kanter, 2013)
Large audiences: Interactivity of new media lets visitors become more active than just recipient of stimulation. Interactivity can be described as extent in which consumers participates to modify the purpose of content in social environment. This automatically creates amassing large audiences via interactions and hence an entire gathering is created where making marketing by organisations becomes easy. This channel may depend on type of content the masses are engaged in. For example, a group of health conscious people may look upon health related supplements advertisements. On the other hand, fashion addicted people may demand more promotions in latest fashion products rather than health supplements. Therefore marketers have to rely on the group activities while targeting their customers so that their marketing strategy does not get worn out (WebpageFx, 2018).
Targeted and retargeted customers: With the availability of list of visitors through traffic generations, organisations get easy access to their customers. Whenever a visitor visits any web page, traffic is generated and information related to the visitor is saved by the website automatically. Many websites even makes visitors accept sharing their personal data during the times of logging in. This information is used by marketers to make further advertisements and promotions to those visitors. Here, visitors unknowingly provide their information to the companies and while they have logged once and even forgotten, regular advertisements and messages keep coming. This technique is also termed as ‘smart’ marketing by researchers as they can advertise further to their targeted customers. Targeted customers are the ones who look on particular web site in regular fashion, while retargeted ones are those who have visited once and forgotten. Regular mailing and sms’s service are also used by many companies to keep customers informed about their products (Ahmad, 2016).
Cons of social media marketing:
The online marketing not only provides with advantages but disadvantages of it are also researched by many authors. The challenges offered by social media marketing have made many organisations keep away from it. On the other hand, ones who have made social media marketing without knowing its bad affects have also suffered. Therefore gaining a complete knowledge about disadvantages of social media marketing becomes very significant.
Time intensive process: Since the base of social networking depends on interactions and communication between masses, it needs time investment. The two ways exchange process may take more time than anticipated. Therefore, it has to be accepted that considering time factor is also important as if more time is taken to reach the targeted audiences, change in trend is probable. While making social media marketing, somebody has to take responsibility towards actions performed in marketing process (Copp, 2016). Any bad comment needs to be treated and soon as possible so that it does not spread further. Socially connected people depends on others recommendations and experiences. Therefore making quick attempt through apologies or clarification shall be done to avoid bad effects. Merely putting contents does not mean it will generate sales, but active responding is also required so that customers treat marketers as a group of integrated people and not as a company. Therefore, time intensive quality of social media marketing can be said as one of its cons (Claywell, n.d.).
Trademark and copyright infringements: This is the biggest disadvantage of social media marketing where companies have to face copyrights and trademark issues. Generally fraud and malware sites utilises big brand names to sell their product. Customers remain unaware many times and have to face degraded service or products. Hence the name of the reputed company is violated. Company’s name and brands are equally important as products sold by them as it has the power to influence customers with name itself. This power is misused by fraudsters through social media sites where they can easily hack the brands sites information that are related to copyrights and policies. Therefore making agreements and endorsements at the times of joining networking sites must become mandatory so that their brand remains secure in their domain (Amedie, 2015).
Negative Feedbacks of customers: Users shared data are extensively utilised by marketers for which they remain active in social sites. Although there is a disadvantage related to it as every time getting good remarks is not possible. Few bad comments can destroy brands image and can spread even faster than good ones. If any customer is unsatisfied from any product, he/she may comment on it while suggesting others to not make purchases. These kinds of comments prove dangerous for marketers as they can affect their ultimate sales. Moreover, many consumers look forward for comments and suggestions before making purchases online. Any non constructive messages may affect their buying behaviour and hence responding to such harmful messages becomes essential for organisations (Hajli, 2013).
Trust and privacy issues: While promoting brands in social sites, organisations become prone to safety hazards as they get exposed in front of others who might misuse their data. Companies needs to be aware of such issues and must provide those information’s only that can remain unaffected. Credit card frauds are one of the examples which have made suffer many organisations. Earlier people used to make advance online payments through credit cards (Kumar, 2017). But, with the increase of hackings and fraudsters, they have stopped using their cards for online payments. Thus, companies have to offer COD facilities to their customers while taking risks of getting rejected at the time of delivery. Privacy and trust are closely related to each other and to maintain them in social media marketing becomes very significant. While making purchases online, virtual transactions are made without using other senses like touch or smell. To remain transparent in transaction while maintaining quality of product or services becomes more important so that trust is generated between organisation and customer (Yurovskiy, n.d.).
This research paper has identified various pros and cons related to social media marketing from business perspective. Making further research on social media marketing from customer’s perspective is recommended so that organisations can find out issues faced by consumers along with finding more enhanced way in reaching them. Moreover, further research can be made on social networking sites where marketers and consumers are more connected. This will assist managers making decisions regarding social networking sites in which they can rely upon for augmentation in their business.
Social media can be accessed anywhere with internet connection and must be considered by marketers and advertisers to reach customers in fast and cost effective manner. Social media marketing has become inevitable part of business which is the reason it has become integrated part of marketing strategy in many organisations (Yazdanifard, 2013). Consumers on the other hand have not limited their searches in their home country only but have adopted global trend and diversified culture. This also shows the significance of social networking era where organisations and retailers benefits out of it. Social media have changed the concept of marketing where traditional marketing strategy has become obsolete especially where latest trend and fashion is concerned. By making the process cost effective has also increased social engagement among people where they deliberately share their knowledge and experience. Many people who are situated in rural areas are highly depended on social networking sites to get informed about current trends. The above research in social media marketing has provided with valuable information’s as stated by researchers. The report has identified few commonalities in them regarding pros and cons of social media marketing that has been discussed in this report. Therefore this report can be used by its readers, organisations, to get assistance in making their decisions regarding social media marketing in their marketing strategy.
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