The Best Of Social Media: Pros And Cons
The world of social media marketing is a rich one. Not only does usage continue to rise, but marketers are making leaps and bounds in promoting the businesses they work for. As digital communities continue to be built, social media marketing becomes stronger, allowing businesses to promote themselves to the niche audiences they serve.
It’s an incredible upgrade to the world of marketing — one to which some brands are still attempting to get themselves used. The struggle comes from the fact that traditional marketing doesn’t work like it once did, and the digital world is progressing faster than most veteran marketers can keep up with. Through this, we’ve seen old tactics taking new forms, from general advertising to content creation, to a business’s affiliate marketing strategy.
To any marketers unaware of how to target the more than three billion people using social media nowadays, there is a means to get in. Better yet, if you already have social media accounts but haven’t found success, it might be due to a lack of focus when strategizing, or you might just be on the wrong app. Let’s take a closer inspection at what makes each of the social media platforms tick. You might just find that you’ve looked past the perfect platform all this time.
Social media usage
The list of social media platforms is growing, and well-known platforms like Facebook are always evolving and adding new features. With a greater and greater need for a social presence and an overwhelming amount of platform choices, it can be hard to pick which social channels to use.
You might not want to spread yourself too thin by managing a channel on every imaginable platform, but you also don’t want to miss great brand-awareness opportunities.
To help you make informed decisions about which platforms to use, this post will guide you through some of the core types of social media, examples of platforms within each category, and the pros and cons that each type might present. By the end, you should have a much clearer idea of what kind of social media strategy will work for your business.
Why Is Social Media Important?
Social media has been a powerful disruptor and has considerable influence in society, with over half of the global population active (see below).
The size of the potential audience and influence cannot be ignored.
Social media channels allow individuals access to a huge audience with almost no barriers to entry to build their personal brands as influencers.
Brands can also reach their audiences and target a niche selection of individuals to build communities and then project laser-targeted messaging, all at minimal costs.
However, with that level of influence also comes responsibility. Just under half of U.S. adults get their news from social media, with Facebook being the most used site. Meanwhile, 94% of journalists use social media for their jobs, with Twitter used the most.
Social media companies hold considerable power to influence the population. As history has shown us, news feeds can be manipulated by bad actors to proliferate misinformation.
Pros: Why is social media good?
Social media and technology offer us greater convenience and connectivity:
- staying connected with family and friends worldwide via email, text, FaceTime, etc.
- quick access to information and research
- banking and bill pay at our fingertips
- online learning, job skills, content discovery (YouTube)
- involvement in civic engagement (fundraising, social awareness, providing a voice)
- great marketing tools
- opportunities for remote employment
Social media can be a good thing, but if teens ever feel uncomfortable about something they see or read on social, they should trust their own feelings and talk to someone – a parent, a teacher, or another trusted adult. Bullying, threats, and cruelty on social media are all signs that the person doing those things needs help.
Cons: Why is social media bad?
Along with the good comes the bad. With all of its benefits, the nature of social media presents a range of potential issues.
- Online vs Reality. Social media itself is not the problem. It is the way people use it in place of actual communication and in-person socializing. “Friends” on social media may not actually be friends, and may even be strangers.
- Increased usage. More time spent on social media can lead to cyberbullying, social anxiety, depression, and exposure to content that is not age appropriate.
- Fear of Missing Out. FOMO has become a common theme and often leads to continual checking of social media sites. The idea that you might miss out on something if you’re not online can affect your mental health.
- Social Media is addicting. When you’re playing a game or accomplishing a task, you seek to do it as well as you can. Once you succeed, your brain will give you a dose of dopamine and other happiness hormones, making you happy. The same mechanism functions when you post a picture to Instagram or Facebook. Once you see all the notifications for likes and positive comments popping up on your screen, you’ll subconsciously register it as a reward. But that’s not all, social media is full of mood-modifying experiences.
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