Making The Best Of Social Media For Brand Advertising

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By Henrietta Igbekea

In the past few years, social media has grown from being a way for people to socialize to one of the most powerful means of advertising and marketing businesses. It has become an essential way to reach customers, gain valuable insights, and grow brands. More and more companies are including social media as part of their advertising plan, while those that already have it are increasing their budgets in this regard.

The benefits of social media cannot be overlooked, but, like everything else, there are two sides to it. On the one side, social media platforms are great for keeping in touch with your target audience, sharing content, analysing trends, and launching well-targeted advertisements. On the other hand, these platforms make businesses vulnerable since the public’s response to content is not always predictable.

An increase in brand awareness and recognition is one of the notable benefits of social media advertising. Social media advertising is a great way to get users familiar with your brand and its offerings by sharing quality content that allows your brand to interact with them on familiar grounds. These interactions could increase brand visibility and help build the reputation of the business.

Another benefit of social media advertising is wide audience reach. With many of the world’s population using social media, one is afforded the chance to reach millions of people including those who are not even following your brand on social media and may not have heard about your brand before. Social media breaks down whatever demographic barriers that may exist, be it age, sex, or social status, everyone on any of the social media platforms can be reached irrespective of where you are logged on from. For instance, the massive End Sars protest that sent Nigerian youths to the streets of major states in the country had a big reach outside the borders of Nigeria due to  twitter platform and the hashtag deployed, #EndSARS. Hollywood celebrities tweeted and spoke out about it, CNN broadcasted live videos of the protests and two MPs of the United Kingdom Parliament spoke about it in the parliament’s session. This is how wide social media reach is, irrespective of location.

High in-store visitation is another benefit of social media advertising. With more people learning about your brand, it goes without saying that there would be increased inbound traffic to not just your website but also in-store. Some social media users having seen your ads and learned about your products are encouraged to purchase. This act which is called webrooming is common in most emerging markets where trust is still a major issue in buying products online. 

Finally, social media is cost-effective. It is possibly the most cost-efficient part of an advertising strategy. Signing up and profile creation is free on all the platforms, and if you choose to invest in a paid promotion for your brand, you will find that it is reasonably low cost compared to other marketing plans. This is such an advantage because you can see a greater return on investment and retain a bigger budget for other marketing and business expenses.

However, one of the disadvantages of social media is the risk of getting negative feedbacks and responses from customers. Negative content shared online about a brand could tarnish your product name, break customer trust, ruin brand perception for businesses and companies, and deter potential customers from doing business with your brand. All these can be done within 24rs.

How Social media Platform Can Help Your Business In Branding - RPMG DigiTech

Another downside to social media advertising is that social media takes control off brand owners and marketers, leaving them vulnerable. The continuous availability of the platforms is unsure as government can initiate a policy to shut down a social media platform, leaving brand owners who are heavily vested on social media for advertising, powerless and at a loss. Take the Nigerian Government twitter ban of June 4th, 2021, for instance, this left business owners in despair and with an economic loss estimate of N546.5 billion by the time the ban was lifted after 222 days.

Lastly, time consumption is a disadvantage of using social media to advertise a brand. Advertising a brand on social media is not a one-and-done type of marketing. You must constantly post new content, monitor that content, engage with your audience on these platforms and measure the impact of the content. All these activities can be very time-consuming.

In all, it is only normal for even the most popular means of marketing to have drawbacks. The important thing is to be aware of them, that way, you can do your best to minimise the negatives. This means carrying out proper research and be well informed about all aspects of social media platforms intended for use for your brand marketing before subscribing to them.

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