Apart from socialization, social networking sites are an excellent tool for businesses to find their target audience and direct traffic to their website. But that isn’t the only reason social networking sites are becoming increasingly popular among entrepreneurs and business owners.
Many small businesses find it convenient and more resourceful to launch their online business on a social networking site rather than investing in an e-commerce platform, primarily because many social networking sites have various marketing tools.
However, there are pros and cons to using social networking sites as an entrepreneur. Considering that, let’s discuss some pros and cons of social media.
Pros of Social Networking Sites
The first and foremost advantage of using social networking sites is the broad range of connectivity. Not only can you connect with users sitting miles from your location, but those across the globe. The increased connectivity between users makes exchanging ideas and thoughts frequent and more straightforward. It is beneficial for small business owners or bloggers to use social networking sites to find their target audience and direct them to their brand or blog.
Businesses can use social networking sites to create content that will increase their brand’s visibility and bring traction. But, of course, other factors also aid in brand awareness, like having a compelling username or bio. If you’re unsure about the username for your profile, try using an online user info generator that helps create unique usernames and passwords. Not only are these unique, but the passwords are safe.
Social media is an excellent way of promoting your new blog post or new merchandise. Linking up all your social media accounts with your online storefront or website also helps keep track of everything when running marketing campaigns.
Most social networking sites nowadays provide a range of marketing automation features and tools for bloggers and business owners. Such tools help increase your brand’s awareness and improve its reputation. Through engaging and unique content, your brand becomes more visible to your target audience and increases prospects for revenue. Social networking sites are also great for keeping your audience updated with promotional offers or trends.
Cost-efficient for small businesses
Traditional marketing is a game of big numbers for annual budgets, which is not the case for social media marketing. As a result, many small business owners start selling their merchandise through social networking sites. For instance, Instagram and Pinterest are popular among clothing and jewelry businesses. Since most social networking sites are visual platforms, there is an opportunity for business owners to market their products through visual content. Not only does this boost customer engagement, but it is cost-efficient for the business. At least, in the beginning, there are negligible costs for marketing your product. Later, when your business grows, you can invest in creating an online storefront or selling on an e-commerce platform.
Create your online community
Social networking sites can also build your small community of like-minded individuals. For instance, if you’re a tech enthusiast, you can create a community of people who love talking about tech gadgets or software. So far, there are thousands of micro and macro communities online where people with common interests come together and interact. As an entrepreneur, this can be of particular help to your brand. Creating your community means you have a pool of your target audience; thus, getting your message across is easier than ever.
Feedback from customers
As someone who runs a business, whether a service- or product-based model, getting feedback or criticism from customers is the best way to improve your brand. Social networking sites provide the unique opportunity of interacting with your customers right when they need you through direct messages, polls, or surveys. And positive feedback can help generate more clients for your business.
Cons of Social Networking Sites
Some of the cons of using social media for entrepreneurs or start-ups could be the following:
Lack of resources
Most social networking sites have marketing tools, like paid advertisements, SEO tools, and analytics. However, it implies that to run a social media marketing campaign; you have to hire someone who can manage that. Hiring an extra staff member can spike your business expenses if you’re a small- or medium-sized business. Especially for small-scale, product-based businesses like pottery or arts and crafts businesses, managing social media marketing can be burdensome alongside running a business. On top of hiring a new team member, you would also have to look into the costs of paid advertisement and tools required for upscaling your brand’s image, like a high-quality camera or editing software.
Lack of face-to-face interaction
Traditional brick-and-mortar businesses have a unique feature: face-to-face interaction with customers. In-person interactions not only increase transparency but help build long-lasting relationships with your clients.
Threat of cyberattacks
While running an online business on a social networking site is relatively cheaper, it has a considerable risk of cyber threats and attacks. Often businesses on social networking sites have been victims of hacking. Of course, there are measures to strengthen security and privacy, but the risk remains.
Negative impact on mental health
Though not for business owners, social networking sites can impede your mental and emotional health. Often users reside on social networking sites for human connection and drift away from in-personal contact. Such instances create a lack of connection and feelings of overwhelm and sadness. Negative emotions thus adversely affect mental health.
Although your social media experience depends entirely on its use, there are specific pros and cons regardless of who uses it and how. There are plenty of ways of using it effectively for running a business or gaining an audience for your blog. Still, there are also possible threats like coming across spam accounts or those engaged in fraudulent activities. It all comes down to how careful of a user you are.