16 Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing

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Jun 13, 2024

By Two minute reports

10 min read

Social Media Marketing has evolved. 

Social Media Marketing has evolved beyond the general “Posters and Trailers” approach. Today, it is a much more complex process involving social media strategy. 

Social media marketers work with so much precision and data. Many prominent companies like Royal Enfield or Nike market a lot on social media. 

Despite the proven effectiveness of Social Media Marketing, many companies still shy away. This avoidance is generally present because of a few disadvantages to social media marketing. 

Should your business consider social media marketing? Let’s find out! What’s in this blog: Advantages of Social Media Marketing 

  1. Social Media Branding
  2. Social Media Community Building
  3. Social Media Customer Service
  4. Social Media Thought-Leadership
  5. Social Audience Research
  6. Competitor Analysis
  7. Presenting New Products/Services
  8. Attracting Talent and Employees
  9. Paid Social Media Marketing

Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing

  1. Time-Consuming
  2. Reputation Management Difficulties
  3. Changing Algorithms
  4. Not Tailor-Made for Business
  5. No direct ROI measurement
  6. Need for Constant Analytics
  7. Need for Constant Reporting

Advantages/Benefits of Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing has proven its effectiveness time and time again. Several success stories of social media marketing exist today. And it’s all for good reason. 

Here are some of the top benefits of Social Media Marketing! 

#1 Social Media Branding

Social Media is a goldmine for growing brands. Every post, comment, reshare, or story has the potential to increase brand awareness.

Social Media tells your brand’s story. With a consistent posting schedule, your brand slowly becomes part of the user’s lives. They have seen your content before (they have probably felt it was okay too!). They know what you do. And the next time they need something that your brand does, they’ll think of you! 

This is the type of brand awareness that helps businesses thrive. 

With a social media presence, your brand speaks directly to its customers. So, you can consistently engage them. You can tell your audience what your brand could do for them. You can consistently take a stand for your brand’s unique values. 

With social media content creation, we can also appeal to our targeted audience. Youngsters, Sports Fans, or Crossword Geeks. We can choose to appeal to the particular groups that resonate with our brand. 

Speaking your brand’s vision, mission, and ideology consistently creates a strong Brand Identity. 

Another major benefit of Social Media Marketing is the Reach. Your brand/business could engage with a vast audience. This means that your brand could get a lot of reach   Your brand/business can speak and engage to a vast and diverse audience. This is a goldmine of potential customers who need your product/service. 

Brand Reach! This is exactly how your brand expands. 

#2 Building a Community

As discussed previously, Social Media Marketing allows brands to engage with their audience directly. Now doesn’t this also mean hearing back from them? 

With a social media presence, a brand allows its followers to interact with them directly.  Comments, mentions, and messages could draw our audience closer to our brand. When our audience feels heard, they are more likely to support us. 

Social Media allows brands to be a part of users’ lives. And it allows users to be a part of the brand’s story. 

Strong social media strategies must be focused on generating two-way conversations with our audience. They provide valuable feedback on the brand’s efforts and help us understand their needs. 

Building a community can also open avenues to social proof through user-generated content. Testimonials or reviews are examples of your brand’s impact on their lives. They can inspire others to consider your brand when in need. 

A strong community strengthens brand awareness, identity, and eventually, success! 

#3 Customer Service

Almost 54% of people in the world prefer to post their complaints or queries on social media. 

But why? 

To understand, you have to put yourself in their shoes. In case of a grievance, would you rather find a quick solution? Or would you be okay to chase people and long email threads? 

This is the difference that social media marketing can bring to a brand’s customer service. Solving customer queries and complaints is a lot quicker on social media. 

Here’s a metric to put it into perspective. The ideal time taken to close a customer service ticket on social media is around 60 minutes. But in the case of in-person customer service? 

Great customer service wins customers. 

#4 Become Thought-Leaders

When Carl Pei unveiled his new brand, it shot up to fame. 

But it wasn’t because of their stellar marketing. It’s because Carl Pei was a thought leader. 

The CEO of Nothing wanted to make technology practical and accessible. His impressive track record with OnePlus showed people that he can. Carl also had a prominent social media presence where he shared his opinions (insights) about the latest tech. His review of the (then) latest iPhone and comparison with his brand told people he truly cared about consumer tech. It also showcased his vast expertise and understanding of practical tech. 

Carl Pei was a thought leader. 

Most brands aspire to achieve this status. When a brand is a pioneer in a field, it attracts people. 

Who is a thought leader?

A thought leader is a company/person extremely talented in a given field/market. 

Some great examples include Zerodha and Groww for Investments. Nike and Adidas for sports gear. 

How does Social Media Marketing help in becoming a thought leader? 

Through Social Media Marketing, brands can establish their authenticity. They can exhibit their expertise in solving the customer’s problems. 

People appreciate content and brands that add value. 

#5 Audience Research

What if there’s a way to understand your audience without being intrusive? 

No surveys. No social listening tools. Just authentic opinions from your potential customers. Just Social Media Marketing. 

Social Media Content Creation helps understand what the audience truly wants. Through content analysis and engagement, brands can catch the meter of the audience. Tracking engagement and virality rates can also help identify the trends in the industry. Social Media also has tools to track demographics, age groups, and other user personas.

Tracking social media metrics like the NPS, or Sentiment Score indicates the sentiment that they have towards your brand. 

#6 Competitor Analysis

Let’s get this straight. All of your biggest competitors have a strong social media presence. But this isn’t a challenge, but an opportunity. 

Let’s take an example. A clothing brand couldn’t acquire the customers they expected. So they decide to analyze their competition. First, they decide to look them up on social media. 

Then comes a lightbulb moment. Their competitors had been collaborating with other content creators in the same niche. 

This is how brands can draw inspiration from their competitors. Brands can gain information about the strategies that work best with their audience. These insights can give insights to modify or create a new winning strategy. 

Tracking the competitors’ engagement can also help build a community. 

#7 Presenting new products in front of people

In 2024 many major brands solely rely on social media for a launch. 

Why? 

Reach and the vast audience are two obvious answers. However, there's more that social media can offer to a product launch. 

Let's take an example. 

Royal Enfield, one of the world's oldest motorcycle manufacturers, was eyeing a revamp. They were launching an updated version of one of their hottest-selling vehicles. 

They had a huge event planned out, but it was still 2021. Restrictions, the deadly virus, and social distancing were still around. So they turned to social media marketing. 

A simple teaser created the spark. A lot of riders, autojournalists, and influencers were talking about it for weeks. 

And all Royal Enfield did was tease their audience little by little until the launch. 

This is the impact social media marketing can have on a product launch. When done right, social media can bring reach, hype, engagement, and potentially even conversions. 

#8 Drive Website Traffic

Many big brands like Microsoft drive traffic to their website through social media. 

Here are a few ways how: 

  • Resharing blogs, articles, or whitepapers. 
  • Content like carousels or reels with links in the caption
  • Social media ad campaigns with CTAs and links  
  • Stories, and other short-form content with links. 

These are just ways to drive traffic to a website through social media. A little creativity can divert a lot of high-intent traffic to your website. 

#9 Attract Talent and New Workforce

If your organization is expanding, it's smart to have a social presence. Many organizations have dedicated handles for employer branding. Such social media activities help your brand market itself as an amazing employer. This attracts the creamiest talents from all around. 

Here’s an example. A large Ed-Tech company in India had a bad name for being a bad workplace. To tackle this, they had started a channel just to showcase life working with them. 

This channel on YouTube has a lot of User-Generated Content, thought leadership posts, and more.  Despite all the stigma around its work culture, the company was still able to attract top talent from all over the country. 

Social Media Marketing can also increase the reach of information about job openings. This also creates a scope for higher brand awareness. 

#10 Paid Marketing and Conversions (Email and workforce)

Let’s say we ask your suggestion for a facewash. Think of what brands you would suggest. 

Now think of where you’ve heard or seen these brands before. Some may be from experience. And a large part of them could be from social media ads. 

Over 60% of the world is on Social Media today. If you have a product/service to market, there’s no better place than here. 

Here are the major ways social media advertising operates:

  1. Boosted Posts/Content
  2. Video advertisements (skippable and non-skippable)
  3. Static Display Advertisements
  4. Suggestions (On YouTube)

These social media ad formats work differently across platforms. They help brands increase their product/service’s visibility. Social media advertising, when done right, can also increase brand awareness. 

If you need quick results and high ROI, focus on paid marketing. Social media ads allow you to reach a specific target audience to generate leads. Paid social media can also drive website traffic within a short timeframe.

Major Social Media platforms today have opened doors to advertisers. 

Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing

Many businesses avoid or quit Social Media Marketing.  With this section, we break down each reason and try to understand the problems! 

#1 Social Media is time-consuming

Social Media Marketing is a slow game. Unless there’s luck, there are no shortcuts to getting results from social media. Growth and progress take a lot of time, consistency, and effort. 

It is also difficult to track or quantify growth in social media. Our brand might have a lot of followers, but how do we know if they’ll convert? Because at the end of the day, it’s all business (meme reference intended) 

Consistently posting, or engaging on social media might be rewarding. But they also increase the cost of operation. And since the results aren’t easily quantified, it could all seem like a gamble. 

#2 Reputation Management is difficult

Social Media Marketing is fun. But remember, things could go very wrong, very quickly. A few bad moves can create a huge backlash. 

Social media is about emotional connections. It is very unforgiving. 

Here’s an example. In 2017, Pepsi came up with an advertisement addressing the Black Lives Matter movement. In the ad, a celebrity (a lead) hands a police officer a bottle of Pepsi (soda). And that dissolved the situation, cooling down all the tension. 

This trivialized the whole movement. The public was offended and started voicing their concerns. It went up to the public boycotting Pepsi. 

Pepsi had to immediately take down the advertisement, and issue a public apology. The brand took a deep hit. And millions of dollars were burnt on the ad. 

This is how it could become a steep slope if you aren’t careful. 

Social Media Marketing is always evolving. The most engaging reels today could soon be dead material tomorrow. It could all change in the blink of an eye. 

People, trends, and social media platforms are highly unpredictable. This makes it difficult for social media marketers to strategize in the long run. 

Trends are also becoming short-lived. So the social media calendar could always change into something else. This increases the efforts required for strategy and content creation. To keep up with the competition, organizations might have to increase their spending on social media. 

That isn’t efficient, is it? 

#4 Social Media Marketing Needs consistent efforts

Since social media is evolving and unforgiving, marketers must always put the pedal to the metal. 

The competition on social media is stiff. Every other brand is present online. To outshine them all, brands need to be on their toes at all times.

Every trend, every global event, and every meme is an opportunity. Without consistency and high efforts, Social Media Marketing might not return much at all. 

And consistency is the hardest part. 

#5 Social Media isn’t tailor-made for business

Social media was built for people to connect casually. Its main objective is to chat and share media with connections. While it still emulates a society, it isn’t MADE for businesses. 

This doesn’t mean social media isn’t ideal for marketing. It’s great for marketing but is highly limited. Brands must balance between adding value and marketing. If the balance is lost, the results are lost too. 

Moreover, too much marketing could also create a negative sentiment around the brand. 

#6 No direct ROI measurement

This could be a repeat. But it still stands as a separate point. Social Media Marketing could increase brand awareness. It could garner a following, and even build a community. 

And despite all this, there could be something that prevents conversion. 

What could this something be? Finding that is the hardest part. 

Unless it’s a paid, targeted, marketing campaign, there are no direct ways to measure ROI. It becomes hard for management to decide if they need to spend on social media marketing. 

This could create a huge disadvantage for social media marketers. 

#7 Social Media Marketing needs constant analytics

Social Media Marketing is a numbers game. Every move is quantified into a metric. But this is where it could also become daunting. 

Unlike other marketing efforts, Social Media Marketing could require frequent changes. This is due to changing trends and results that analytics indicate. 

A large number of marketers find social media analytics cumbersome. They think it eats away most of their time. It is easy for a marketer to get lost in all the numbers. 

#8 Tracking social media metrics is an absolute necessity today.

But which metrics to track? To find out, let’s split important social media metrics into five broad categories: 

  • Social Media Engagement MetricsMetrics that help measure engagement from a post or an advertisement campaign.
  • Social Media Growth and Awareness MetricsMetrics that quantify a social media channel’s growth.
  • Social Media Marketing MetricsMetrics that measure the impact and effectiveness of paid social media campaigns.
  • Social Media Customer Service MetricsMetrics that quantify the quality of Social Media Customer Service
  • Social Media Community MetricsMetrics that indicate the growth of a brand’s community on social media. 

Read this article to get a clear idea of what each metric means in 2024. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the advantages of Social Media Marketing?

The 8 major advantages of Social Media Marketing are: 

  1. Social Media Branding
  2. Social Media Community Building
  3. Social Media Customer Service
  4. Social Media Thought-Leadership
  5. Social Audience Research
  6. Competitor Analysis
  7. Presenting New Products/Services
  8. Attracting Talent and Employees
  9. Paid Social Media Marketing

What are the advantages of Social Media Marketing?

The 7 major disadvantages of Social Media Marketing are: 

  1. Time-Consuming
  2. Reputation Management Difficulties
  3. Changing Algorithms
  4. Not Tailor-Made for Business
  5. No direct ROI measurement
  6. Need for Constant Analytics
  7. Need for Constant Reporting

What are the 8 steps to create a social media strategy?

The 8 steps of building a social media strategy are

  1. Understanding Social Media 
  2. Defining Goals 
  3. Understanding audience
  4. Choosing the right platforms
  5. Identifying key metrics
  6. Competitor Analysis
  7. Content creation 
  8. Analysis and Improvement

What is social media optimization?

Social media optimization is something as simple as choosing the right format for the right platform. Or, it could mean adding keywords and tags relevant to your audience.

How to improve social media?

The 8 steps of building a social media strategy are

  • Understanding Social Media 
  • Defining Goals 
  • Understanding audience
  • Choosing the right platforms
  • Identifying key metrics
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Content creation 
  • Analysis and Improvement

What is Two Minute Reports?

It is a connector for Looker Studio, which helps you integrate data from sources like Facebook Ads or Google Analytics to Looker Studio, create reports, and analyze data effectively and seamlessly.