Social media is one of the most important parts of our lives today. Our life revolves around it, and we mainly live in the worlds we create within them. The benefits of social media are endless. That being said, you can't completely leave the cons out of the equation either.
We often hear the term "social media' started in the media, but do we really understand what it is and what it means? I doubt. It has become an industry of its own, and each industry has its own jargon, terminology, jargon, tools, and ways of working.
There are many pros and cons of social media and this article aims to give you a complete understanding of them.
What are social networks?
We usually associate the term “social networks” with Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. That became the association of the term, right? But is that all? No it is not. There are hundreds or thousands of different definitions you will find for this specific term. One of the reasons for this is that there is no consensus on a definition.
The technologies we used a decade ago are outdated. This is the pace of rapid technological development. The technologies available to us today are evolving much faster than ever before. This is another reason why you cannot be sure whether something can be classified as a social network or not.
Social networks are also evolving. The definition thus evolves further. However, a general definition of the word describes it as follows:
"Websites and applications that allow users to create and share content or participate in social networks"
This above definition makes it a bit easier to classify some of the most used tools at our disposal. But it gives us an idea of what the term means.
The key to classifying something as “social networks” is interaction. However, there is another distinction here that we need to clarify. A website that allows comments as an "add-on" to the content of the website cannot be counted as "social media".
On the other hand, a website whose design and infrastructure is based on interaction between people can certainly be called one.
This should make it a bit easier to distinguish which pages are classified as "social networks" and which aren't.
There are some important components that all social media platforms contain. Here is a list of some:
Communication is the exchange of information between people. Social networks live on information. In the blogging worldWordPressand bloggers are some of the most famous platforms used as communication tools where people can write their own content and allow other visitors or readers to comment.
Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok do it too. It also goes a few steps further where you can send a "friend request" or a "follow request", share your personal information, photos, videos, events and message others.
Collaborative tools are incredibly useful as they allow multiple people to work on something together. This gives them a "social" aspect. Let's take Wikipedia as an example. We all use it, right? It's the site for all of us who want to find information about something or someone. It is extremely helpful and largely cooperative.
Wikipedia is updated by many people at the same time, giving us access to all current and historical information about our searches. It is an online encyclopedia that can never become out of date due to these specific practices.
Google Docs is another good example. This allows us to work on something while a collaborator is looking at it and adding or removing something. This is convenient and saves a lot of time and energy.
Gone are the days when you had to wait a few days before submitting your design to your boss for approval. Now you can send them the Google Docs link and let them make corrections and add notes directly.
Cloud sharing apps like Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive allow you to have a central folder where you can put all your information, files, documents, photos, videos, etc. important (or not important). and share the link with anyone you wish to share this information with.
You don't even need a flash drive to share data anymore. It resides in the cloud, waiting to be accessed and uploaded (or downloaded).
reviews and opinions
Many of us look for reviews before making any major or expensive purchase, as it should be. Whether it's a new Thai restaurant in town or a new iPhone, reviews matter because they can save us the hassle of wasting time, energy, and money that are extremely valuable to all of us.
Even when it comes to opinions, not all blogs are easy to view. There are many of them. Everyone has an opinion. But the right platforms can amplify your opinion using “likes” or “upvotes” from others to validate it. This is where sites like Quora and Yahoo Answers shine.
These above sites are highly reputable and established enough to guarantee millions of viewers every month. Some people have questions, others have answers. These platforms connect you both and give you the opportunity to get what you want.
There are also other websites that thrive on comments and opinions. A few that come to mind are The Verge, CNET, Amazon, etc. This includes all types of consumer products and more.
Expert opinions are also shared and customer opinions also play an important role in potential customers' purchasing decisions.
If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it's that people love to interact with each other. Physical absence has given an unprecedented boost to interactive online activity. Whether it's through Netflix Watch Party or online multiplayer video games, they all gained the most momentum during the quarantine and are expected to continue or even increase in the future.
Media in the form of music, videos or photos are also very popular. Platforms like Spotify have replaced CDs and digital downloads to make way for streaming. People can stream all kinds of music in no time for a subscription fee. They can also create playlists and share them with their friends and listen to what their friends are listening to.
Platforms like Flickr allow people to upload photos and share their links. Pinterest allows people to tag interesting ideas, images, and information.
Sites like YouTube and Vimeo are great options for uploading and sharing video content. YouTube allows everyone to share and interact with their videos with the world.
People can interact with you by subscribing to your channel, turning on the Tinker Bell notification, liking your video, or sharing it.
Benefits of social networks
1. Wide audience reach
Social media can act as a great growth catalyst for your business. Nowadays, having an online social media presence is a must. If you are not visible on any social media platform, your chances of reaching maximum potential customers are absolutely nil.
Regardless of the type of business you are in, having a social media presence can give you an instant opportunity to reach the maximum number of potential customers or audiences.
Businesses need leads and leads are generated through social media. Be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or Pinterest etc. You can engage and interact with them and generate lots of leads to get sales from them.
It doesn't matter whether you are a new or established company. There are a number of benefits that one can enjoy from these platforms. It's a great equalizer for startups vying for customer attention. If you follow a few simple steps, no one in the online world can stop you from reaching the same customers as established brands.
2. Interaction with the customer
Any marketing strategy without customer interaction is doomed to fail. Marketing is all about communication and messages. These strategies are designed to improve the brand's image and protect it from any blemish.
Gone are the days when you would need a monthly, quarterly, or yearly sales report to understand if a product has failed. Nowadays it only takes a few days to know how a customer feels about a product. The customer is king and is always right.
If you don't listen to them, don't expect to stay in business long as your ignorance could cost you your business. Connect with them, get to know them, provide top-notch customer service whether it's through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any other platform.
Don't take everything too seriously either. Customers appreciate companies that don't take jokes seriously. A great example of this is Microsoft's Xbox Series X, which has spawned a lot of memes. Its shape was derided for its resemblance to a refrigerator.
What did Microsoft do? They made functional coolers in the shape of their console and sent them to YouTubers and influencers. The answer? in ecstasy
Feel the space and act accordingly.
3. Organic Content
One of the biggest benefits of social media is that you can generate your own organic content for free. You don't have to pay to get access to valuable leads. Many companies use these platforms to generate and engage with leads.
The amount of content you publish is unlimited. You can use all of your content resources to generate incredible interest in your products and projects. Whether it's through the use of photos, videos, or just updates, there's a high chance that any one of them will generate a reaction.
4. Access to Promotional Tools
Organic publishing is a great option and very solid. The results might be slow, but the conversions will definitely be worth it. However, you can also take advantage of the use of paid advertising tools from social media platforms.
You can create ads for your products and projects on almost all major social media platforms. Be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube etc. They are all great and great value for money.
You can customize your ads to deliver exactly the results you're looking for. These platforms have amazing algorithms that you can use to find the customers who would be most interested in your products.
Gone are the days when you had to save money only to spend it on an expensive billboard or ad in a newspaper or magazine with no solid return. Nowadays everything is simple and cheap. Anyone can benefit from these services.
Whether you want to spend or less is entirely up to you, your company and your resources.
5. Redirect traffic from social networks
Suppose you run an online real estate portal in your city. Your business is your website. Therefore, you need to redirect maximum traffic to your website in order to generate sales.
It can be extremely difficult to achieve great success without search engine successSEOpractice. It's a known fact thatGoogle-Rankingsthey are not an easy nut to crack. Hence a faster and easier waysend trafficto your site can be through yourssocial mediaplatforms
Post compelling content and include the link to your website so people who have shown interest in your products see more detail and may be closer to conversion.
6. Performance Evaluation
Social media is much easier than other methods to measure your marketing performance. If you book a billboard in a high traffic area, it's going to cost you a lot and while you can be proud of the fact that you're attracting a lot of attention, you're not sure how many people have paid attention to it. or replied to it.
The same applies to the placement of print or TV advertisements.social mediaOn the other hand, you get access to various analysis tools that allow you to see how your campaigns are performing. It is so easy.
You can track your campaign and also see how many people have interacted with your posts in the form of likes, comments, shares, etc. Whether impressions, clicks,bounce rateso Conversions – Social media is the way to go if you want to objectively measure your performance with appropriate metrics.
This will save you a lot of money because instead of wasting it on campaigns that don't offer guaranteed results, here you can see if your money is well spent.
7. The use of social networks is free
One of the biggest advantages of social networks is the fact that some of the most popular ones are free to use. You can gain access to the billions of people using the platform as long as you know how to reach them.
This can be done through organic posts or paid promotional posts that allow you to reach the audience you want.
Also, you don't have to opt for the paid advertising models of these social networks. You can always build your audience through organic media. It will take a lot longer to get a loyal following, but you will always get a loyal following that is genuinely interested in your product.
These are the people who will buy your products. So proceed with calculations. Understand what your goal is and develop a strategy accordingly.
8. Go viral
Viral content or going viral are buzzwords that have already become a common theme among marketing teams and the public around the world. Every business wants to create content that goes viral immediately.
They want their ads or campaigns to be instant hits and to keep people talking. However, it is not easy to do this. Today, companies are known to spend millions of dollars looking for the next big viral campaign, but it doesn't always work that way.
Of course if you have enough resources you can approach this and be successful in this quest as well, it doesn't always work that way.
The content that goes viral the most is content that people can associate with. If they resonate with it, they will share, like and comment. This is the organic way to do it and anyone can do it. You just have to have real and engaging content.
9. Customer perception through social networks
Knowing what your customers like and don't like can go a long way in making sure your products appeal to them. Nowadays you are spoiled for choice. If they like something and they can't get it from me, they get it from someone else.
It's all about convenience.
In a world that has reached this level of competition, the more you know about your customers, the better off your business. Social media will help you with that.
They allow you to gain valuable information about your customers, which you can create and promote your products with maximum profit. Social media allows you to do this by letting you know how your customers feel about your products, your brand, your quality, your campaigns, etc.
Customers are more than willing to tell a brand what they really think of their products on social media. Good and bad. It's up to you and your brand to decide what to do with that information afterward.
10. Social networks can be your testing ground
Large companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars (and more) in their R&D departments to develop an exceptionally attractive product for their customers. After that, they spend more money on their tests. Either a product test or a general test to find out how your target customers feel about this product.
Even after that, there is no guarantee that your product will be successful. Social media helps you understand how people think about certain things in real time. You can get a good grasp of which way they are leaning and you can rotate accordingly.
Sometimes these decisions are successfully made in time, while other times they just aren't.
An example of this can be seen in the Xbox One console announcements, where they made the Kinect accessory mandatory for the console, banned game sharing, and instituted an always-on requirement. Things went very wrong for them, and while Xbox listened to customers and lifted those restrictions, by launch day it was too late.
Sony overcame them and took advantage of Xbox's bugs.
Social media has its pros and cons, but no one can deny that it's one of the greatest inventions of all time. If you use it correctly, you will only get good results. So the responsibility is yours, how do you intend to use social media?
What are the top 5 benefits of social media? ›
- Build relationships. Social media is used for more than just brand-customer interaction. ...
- Share your expertise. You have the chance to talk about what you know and what you want to be recognized for on social media. ...
- Increase your visibility. ...
- Educate yourself. ...
- Connect anytime.
Social networking services can provide an accessible and powerful toolkit for highlighting and acting on issues and causes that affect and interest young people. Social networking services can be used for organising activities, events, or groups to showcase issues and opinions and make a wider audience aware of them.What are the 5 benefits of social media marketing? ›
- Improve your brand.
- Engage the audience.
- Promote customer service.
- Impact sales and conversion rates.
- Become a thought leader.
- Study the competition.
- Improve SERP presence.
- Boost website traffic.
Social media may provide individuals with a platform that overcomes barriers of distance and time, allowing them to connect and reconnect with others and thereby expand and strengthen their in-person networks and interactions.What are 3 effects of social media? ›
Social media harms
However, social media use can also negatively affect teens, distracting them, disrupting their sleep, and exposing them to bullying, rumor spreading, unrealistic views of other people's lives and peer pressure.