In this day and age it has become quite clear that social media is here to stay and has a big impact on communications.  So how does this affect the business arena and what guidelines should you follow when making your business a social entity? What are the advantages and disadvantages to implementing digital marketing for your company or business? Below is a comprehensive guide to the pros and cons:

ADVANTAGES:

  • According to the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 78% of marketers saw increased traffic with just six hours a week invested in social media. One of the reasons for this is that you can reach customers that traditional marketing misses.
  • It can boost your reputation and build relationships by demonstrating your personality, being able to interact with customers and show them that you care. This is a great advantage if your business operates solely online like an online store.
  • You can learn more about your target audience by studying visitor analytics which in turn helps with your other marketing campaigns so you can make them more relevant and it is also more cost effective than other marketing methods.

DISADVANTAGES:

  • It can be difficult to constantly come up with exciting content that interests your audience and without relevance your efforts could be wasted along with your valuable time.
  • You must also be aware of public backlash and that anything that you post is up for grabs by your competitors.
  • Within your working environment you also need to get your staff to adhere to internal social media policies so that they aren’t wasting time and productivity.

GUIDELINES

So what guidelines should your business follow? How often should you post? How do you stop getting lost in social media and time wasting? Here is a list to start from:

  • Quality over quantity – don’t bombard your audience with frequent or repetitive information that over takes their news feed. Make your content relevant and limit your updates to a few times a week is a good place to start and judging on statistics you can increase exposure or modify the content to suit.
  • So what type of content should you post? Try running contests or promotions, advertise your expertise with blogging content, highlight relevant industry news, showcase happy customers or business milestones and promote your new products.
  • Have an emergency plan for negative comments. Don’t take bad feedback personally and maintain a professional level when responding to customers using social media otherwise it could prove terribly detrimental to your business image.
  • Determine a goal for your social media. This could be to build awareness, to increase sales or for customer loyalty.
  • Identify which social media networks you want to focus on. Some will have more relevance than others depending on the type of your business.  Look at what your competitors are doing and try and get an understanding of your target audience and how they use social media.