March 28 (THEWILL) — Over the past few years, social media has evolved from a means of socializing to one of the most powerful ways for advertising and marketing businesses. It has become an essential way to reach customers, gain valuable insights and grow brands. More and more companies are incorporating social media into their advertising plan, while those that already have it are increasing their budgets in this regard.
The benefits of social media cannot be overlooked, but, like everything else, there are two sides. On the one hand, social media platforms are ideal for keeping in touch with your target audience, sharing content, analyzing trends and launching well-targeted advertisements. On the other hand, these platforms make companies vulnerable since the audience’s reaction to the content is not always predictable.
Increasing brand awareness and recognition is one of the notable benefits of social media advertising. Social media advertising is a great way to familiarize users with your brand and its offerings by sharing quality content that allows your brand to interact with them on familiar grounds. These interactions could increase brand visibility and help build the company’s reputation.
Another advantage of social media advertising is its large audience. With much of the world’s population using social media, there is an opportunity to reach millions of people, including those who don’t even follow your brand on social media and may have never heard of it. of your brand before. Social media breaks down every demographic barrier that may exist – be it age, gender or social status.
Anyone on any of the social media platforms can be contacted, regardless of where you are logged in from. Case in point is the massive #EndSARS protest that sent young Nigerians onto the streets of major states across the country in 2020. The incident had wide reach outside of Nigeria’s borders due to the Twitter platform and hashtag deployed , #EndSARS. Hollywood celebrities tweeted and spoke about it, CNN broadcast live videos of the protests and two members of Parliament from the United Kingdom spoke about it during the parliamentary session. This is the extent of social media reach, regardless of location.
The high number of store visits is another benefit of social media advertising. With more people discovering your brand, it goes without saying that inbound traffic would not only increase to your website, but to the store as well. Certain social media users who have seen your advertisements and learned about your products are encouraged to buy. This act called ‘webrooming’ is common in most emerging markets where trust remains a major issue in the purchase of products online.
Finally, social media is profitable. This is perhaps the most profitable part of an advertising strategy. Registration and profile creation are free on all platforms, and if you choose to invest in paid promotion for your brand, you will find that it is reasonably inexpensive compared to other marketing plans. This is such a benefit because you can see a better return on investment and keep a larger budget for other marketing and business expenses.
However, one of the downsides of social media is the risk of getting negative comments and responses from customers. Negative content shared online about a brand could tarnish your product name, break customer trust, ruin brand perception for businesses and businesses, and deter potential customers from doing business with your brand. All of this can be done within 24rs.
Another downside of social media advertising is that social media takes over brand owners and marketers, leaving them vulnerable. The continued availability of the platforms is uncertain as the government may initiate a policy of shutting down a social media platform, leaving brand owners who are heavily invested in social media for advertising helpless and distraught. Take the Nigerian government’s Twitter ban of June 4, 2021, for example, it left business owners in despair and with an estimated economic loss of N546.5 billion at the time the ban was lifted. after 222 days.
Finally, time consumption is a downside of using social media to advertise a brand. Advertising a brand on social media is not a unique type of marketing. You need to constantly post new content, monitor that content, engage with your audience on those platforms, and measure the impact of the content. All of these activities can take a long time.
All in all, it’s normal that even the most popular means of marketing have drawbacks. The important thing is to be aware of this; this way you can do your best to minimize the negative aspects. This means doing proper research and being knowledgeable about all aspects of social media platforms intended to be used for marketing your brand before subscribing to them.
•Igbekea, a brand specialist, wrote from Lagos.