What are the pitfalls of social media for Marketers?

Social Media can be a very beneficial tool to a company if it is used the right way. Marketers should not underestimate the use of social media. Marketers should also realize that using social media is not solely a marketing strategy either. So there has to be a fine line for marketers when using social media as a support tool and should not be the only tool. I found a couple of relatively recent articles that have useful information and do a good job of explaining the different downfalls of social media for marketers. Again, I stress that social media platforms are helpful but marketers should be thinking outside of that box too and focus on promoting their product(s) and/or service(s). I’ll summarize what the two articles provided for information.

One major disadvantage for marketers using social media is that updating the social media accounts takes a lot of time and effort. “It is ongoing work to find new angles about your products continually and to post and re-post information. The information is only visible for a short time before newer posts replace it. In addition, publishing obvious advertising copy is unacceptable in the social media world, therefore you must present the information in the form of conversation or you will lose followers.” Also, a social media study was done by Monash University and they found that American businesses are expected to spend more than $3.1 billion by 2014 for social media marketing. That is some serious spending for any company on just one aspect of marketing out to customers. Some people think that social media marketing is intrusive on their privacy. “According to Web Pro News, eight out of 10 social media users feel ambivalent to uneasy about sharing personal information and place social networks low in security confidence.” Another disadvantage and could be damaging in the realm of social media marketing is negative post responses. “Unhappy customers or industry competitors are able to post disparaging or offensive pictures, posts or videos and there is not much a marketer can do to prevent these occurrences. Still, negative or other non-constructive feedback cannot be ignored. Social networks must be managed efficiently enough to immediately respond and neutralize harmful posts, which takes more time.”

The other article stresses that a disadvantage for marketers could be not having a strategy or plan for social marketing. “You should build a plan for your social marketing like you would for any other marketing discipline. Your plan should include the strategies, tactics, branding, messaging, content, tools, resources, and goals that will help you make your social media presence a successful part of your marketing.” Also, companies should incorporate social media into integrated marketing programs and not run social media like sideline programs. Another disadvantage is if a company/brand uses social media for more of a “status” rather than use it for business purposes. “Too many B2B companies use their social channels to push out one-way PR announcements and top-down messages. You can instantly set your company apart from competitors by delivering interesting and valuable content and engaging in two-way conversations about topics that really matter to your target audience.”

A big disadvantage of social marketing is simply neglecting your following. People are following your company for a reason! Do respond to feedback and messages to keep the customers engaged so they keep coming back to you. Finally, don’t obsess about the “numbers.” “Your social media presence should be making an impact and contributing to the success of your marketing campaigns.” These definitely are the major downfalls of social media that marketers should recognize and avoid at all times to stay successful.

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-disadvantages-social-media-marketing-21890.html

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/disadvantages-using-social-networks-marketing-tools-20861.html

http://www.business2community.com/social-media/5-pitfalls-that-keep-marketers-from-maximizing-social-media-channels-0181707

-John

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