Are there risks involved in social networking as a marketing tool?
Social media has emerged as a powerful marketing tool for businesses, as it offers a world of opportunities for companies to implement their marketing strategies and build brand awareness. However, social media platforms do carry certain risks.
Some of the major disadvantages of social networking as a marketing tool are:
Time-consuming: Social media is an interactive platform and two-way exchanges require a lot of time and commitment. In social media marketing, the emphasis is on creating long-term relationships that can convert to sales. Companies should have someone who is wholly responsible for monitoring each network, respond to the comments, reply to the questions from customers, and post and update product information. Very often, businesses which do not have such services find it rather difficult to compete with their counterparts in the industry.
Intrusive to privacy: A good majority of users are of the opinion that social media marketing is extremely intrusive to their privacy. They feel quite uncomfortable about exchanging personal information and consider social networks as low in security.
Lack of feedback control: One of the aspects of social networking is the negative post responses to marketing campaigns. Very often, unhappy or worried customers or competitors in the industry post offensive pictures, posts or videos. Social networks must be managed effectively to promptly respond to such situations and neutralize disparaging posts.
Local businesses and distant fans: Most of the social media sites are free to join and operate, but if paid advertising is not used, it would be unable to identify and target the customer base. If you are planning to market your products through social networking sites, it is advisable to collect information from prospective customers regarding their interests. Your social marketing strategy can be a failure, if customers and clients do not provide precise data using the service.
Mainly attracts current brand users: Another flipside to social network marketing is that although it retains the existing customers, significant effort is required to attract new customers. Existing brand users could support peer-to-peer marketing through the social networking platforms and even influence consumers to try out the latest services and products. This would help to avoid pure advertising and establish strong relationship with the existing and new customers.