Social media? It’s occasionally a bane, sometimes a burden, and if handled correctly, a potential boon for your business. It’s an amazing resource to attract customers and expose your brand, or a potential vehicle to damage – with great fury and velocity – the reputation of your company.

This article will tackle the benefits of social media and its unfortunate disadvantages. As a precursor – and as a representative of a company who utilizes social media to build loyal, engaged customers for our clients – I view social media as far more advantageous than a hindrance; however, we do recommend thoughtfulness in order to prevent any potential negative outcomes (more on that later).

Let’s dig in, shall we?

Enjoy the following benefits of social media:

Your potential audience? MASSIVE. Social media’s various channels grant your business access to billions of people. That’s right – billions. So, it’s safe to say your audience is in there somewhere. It’s up to you (or your Social Media Management team) to determine which platform contains more of your target audience.

So, with great access comes greater reach, more leads, and more engagement. Just make sure you’re keeping in mind your particular customer.

Connect directly, and often, with your audience. Social Media allows you to connect – and therefore, engage — directly with your audience. It’s one of the few marketing strategies that allows such timely and direct communication.

And this connected audience? You know they’re actually interested because they’re following your account!

This previously unthinkable level of connectivity comes with the following advantages:
  • It allows you to truly know your audience. Knowing your audience means serving them more content they like. And doing so means more on-page engagement, and a growing interest in your business.
  • It provides more effective customer service: That direct connection? It allows you to resolve customer issues quicky, and more personally. And 65% of people online use social media for customer service, so you’ll be exactly where they are, and ready to receive – and respond to — their affection or frustration.
  • You’ll see how they perceive your business.  Now you’ll know exactly what the audience thinks of your business. This grants you the opportunity to give them more of what they like, and address – and fix — what they don’t.

You can create organic – and free – content. You can post for $0.00. That’s right – free. So, you have access to innumerable leads, and the ability to connect with said innumerable leads. It’s the perfect cost-effective method to expose your brand and engage with people interested in your business (and you can do so with images, videos, text, and whatever else the platform of choice allows you to post freely).

And just in case you’re wondering: Setting up a social media profile is also completely free.

But if you’re getting impatient with the slow growth of your channel, I suggest paying special attention to the very next benefit of social media:

You can access paid advertising. Not overly enthused about the reach and response of organic posting? Various social media platforms allow you to create paid ads. Their mission? To reach leads that have never been exposed to your business. A social media platform allows you to create ads based on criteria that closely defines your audience (age, location, interests, etc.). After creating these ads, they appear in the feeds of your targeted audience.

So, you’ll be exposed to more people with more interest in your specific messaging, products, and services.

And more people exposed to your brand means the following:

  • More followers
  • More engagement
  • More purchase-ready customers

Drive more traffic to your website.

When posting, you can add a link to the website. So, you can entice them with the posted content, and lead them back to the website to learn more. And when they’re on the website, they can learn even more about your company and its full breadth of services.

You can even direct people back to the site to take an immediate action – like setting an appointment or filling out forms before an appointment.


You build your brand through exposure and consistency. When you connect with leads through social media, you expose them to your brand. And you can expose them repeatedly by posting consistently.

This consistent brand exposure? It leads to brand familiarity, and eventually, brand loyalty. Why? Because people usually buy from brands they’re familiar with – brands they know well.

And brand building is helped through content sharing. That’s right – people can easily share (or retweet, or re- pin) your post on their very own feeds, exposing said post to their followers, friends, family, coworkers, frenemies, and members of their homebrew clubs or board game groups.

You’ll have real numbers to evaluate your performance.

Social media platforms actually let you see how you’re doing.  You’ll have access to all sorts of metrics, allowing you to see how many people like your posts, comment, or share.

And when it comes to paid ads, you’ll see all sorts of helpful info, like impressions, clicks, and conversions.

After analyzing all the numbers showing customer behavior, you’ll see what works — what doesn’t – and have more success running – and optimizing – your social media campaigns.

You might go viral. Followers can help expose your posts – they can share them across their social media channels, which could lead to more sharing from those accounts, and so on (and so forth) until the entire world is enamored (or perplexed) by that picture of your dog dressed like a Bantha, complete with calmly saddled (and stuffed) Tusken Raider.

Anyway, you get the hint. If your content, or special deal, or incredibly cute dog-as-Bantha picture is adored enough by some, it has the potential to be adored by others. And the friends of others. And the other friends of others. And so on (and so forth).

And viral content? It greatly (and obviously) expands your reach, and does so at a lower cost than, say, paying for ads to reach all those it did so freely.

So, that was quite a comprehensive list regarding the benefits of social media. If you’re feeling considerably informed, and relatively unscathed, feel free to stop now. But if you want to learn more, and step into the dark side of social media – in other words, the disadvantages of social media — then do so at your own peril, gentle reader.

Still here? Well, you asked for it:

The Disadvantages of Social Media (brace yourself)

1. You can thoroughly embarrass yourself.

Social media is a “potential vehicle to damage – with great fury and velocity – the reputation of your company.” Remember that sentence? Due to the viral aspect of social media, posts can grow “legs” and spread beyond your immediate pool of followers. And if the post is questionable or perhaps offensive? That post can be seen – and persistently vilified – by countless viewers.

This kind of “misinterpreted” post can harm your business’s reputation, and by extension, affect your sales.

What can you do to prevent utter online embarrassment? Research the content of your post. See if it can be interpreted in harmful ways. Make sure any hashtags represent exactly what you think they represent. A viral post interpreted negatively can really damage a brand. So, be smart. Do the research.

Adding to the last point, you can be the victim of misinformation. Someone with an unfounded negative perception of your business can spread half-truths, one-sided arguments, and outright lies about your business. This sort of misinformation, if not countered thoroughly and quicky, can tarnish your company’s reputation. And we know where that leads – less sales.

2. People can leave negative feedback.

People post what they love, but they also post what they don’t – and that goes for poor experiences with a business, be it a poorly performed service, underwhelming products, poor customer service, etc. Social media gives them the ability to immediately share their poor experience – a share that can be seen by their followers and yours.

And this negative feedback comes in many forms depending on the social media channel. Using Facebook as an example, a disgruntled customer can leave a negative comment on a post, or leave a poor review.

Is social media a magnet for negativity? Well, I would say social media is more of a catalyst for negative feedback and complaining. Why? Because it makes it very, very easy to do so. However, this is perhaps a good thing – it warns people of any poor experiences, and hopefully, improves the processes of any company in question.

People rely on the experiences of others before moving forward or making a purchase, so too much negative feedback can really hurt a business.

What can you do after receiving negative feedback? Respond to it – don’t ignore it. Leaving customer issues unaddressed means you’re willfully ignoring them. Look, here’s the reality – you’re going to get negative feedback. It’s going to happen. Not everyone is going to have a good experience with your business. Even if they did, objectively speaking, they can still feel slighted by something utterly ridiculous and leave a poor review. So, make sure to respond.

Regardless of the poor experience (earned or misperceived), responding to the comment or review speaks to the values of your business. It shows you care. It shows you’re concerned. And it shows how important you consider each and every customer interaction.

3. Social media eats up a lot of time.

And I mean A LOT. You’ll have to regularly collect, create, and post content. And you’ll have to monitor that content in order to gauge – and respond to – customer engagement. If you’re running ads, you’ll have to monitor, tweak, and analyze the ads to gauge their effectiveness.

If your business is small, or you don’t have the dedicated personnel, you’ll struggle with maintaining the effectiveness of any campaign.

Social media management is such an important aspect of your marketing, so if you can’t quite manage the immensity of it, you may need to hire some extra help, or bring in help from an outside firm.

4. You have to be patient for results.

Your social media campaigns, paid and unpaid, take time to bear fruit. This as an aspect that clients might not enjoy. They invested money – on a monthly basis – so they want to see results. They want to see a return on their investment.

What to keep in mind: The campaign counts more than individual posts. In other words, the success/failure of one post doesn’t determine the success of your campaign – it takes multiple posts over a period of time to determine the success of your overall strategy.

So, just make sure to track the results of each post and look at the data. Is there a pattern? Are certain posts more engaging than others? Use this accumulation of data to tweak your campaign and create posts that boast better engagement over time.

And that’s it. In summation: Be sure to approach social media marketing with thoughtfulness, research, and diligence. It represents several powerful marketing opportunities – the likes off which have never been seen before – but it holds the power to harm as well as hurt.

If you’re struggling with maintaining your presence on social media, or overwhelmed with running – and optimizing – your campaign, let the social media experts at Amity Digital take the reins.

Chat with one of our Social Media Managers today.