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Social Media Marketing: Advantages and Drawbacks

To highlight the considerable popularity social media have gained in the modern world would be to say nothing, as they have penetrated all spheres of human life. In particular, their development has favored the appearance of social media marketing, which is normally abbreviated as SMM and presupposes using social networks as marketing channels. This sphere is currently under investigation, for which reason both journals and websites publish a variety of topic-specific articles. Analyzing them allows for a better understanding of what SMM is, what strengths as well as weaknesses it has, and how it is normally done.

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Although defining social media marketing seems to be quite an ordinary task, different sources provide different formulations. Thus, Henderson describes it as “the process of creating tailored content for each social media platform to drive engagement and promote your business” (Henderson). Meanwhile, Lamminen offers the following briefer definition: “attracting attention towards a specific brand or product through social networks” (2). Both descriptions are based on the same principle of searching for potential customers with the help of social media profiles.

SMM doubtlessly has a range of benefits as compared to so-called traditional marketing. First, it shows high cost-effectiveness, as there is no need to invest in broad-scale advertising campaigns (Zaimovic & Sutrovic 49). Second, Källbäck with a reference to Todor, Das, and Lall highlights that SMM simplifies targeting the advertisements as well as estimating their usefulness (9). The possibility of direct communication with interested people and collecting feedback from them on a real-time basis is also worth mentioning among the advantages of social media marketing.

As for the weaknesses, the most serious one is the lack of privacy. According to Källbäck, who, in turn, relies on Todor, Tuten, and Mintu-Wimsatt, SMM is associated with a substantial risk of losing its identity (9). Notably, competitors can copy the marketing strategies of a particular company, and consumers can write false reviews, which threatens the uniqueness of a brand. Another disadvantage is the limited target audience deriving from the poor presence of certain groups of people on social media, for instance, the elderly (Källbäck 9). Finally, it is essential to differentiate and separate the profiles of real people from bots, which may complicate the process.

To minimize the influence of the drawbacks, social media marketing needs to be done properly. According to Soegoto and Utomo, it is essential to “directly engage consumers in the creative process,” which is only possible provided constant monitoring of the demand dynamics (2). Also, the most effective SMM strategies consider the mindset of the users of different platforms, so that the goods or services offered to match their needs, interests, and preferences (Henderson). In addition, the use of relevant hashtags can prevent a certain brand from being unnoticed in a variety of advertisements (Patel). Those recommendations are the basics of successful social media marketing.

To summarize, SMM is the process of advertising products in social media that enables a closer and more productive interaction with consumers but also bears certain threats. The resources defining and describing the phenomenon are numerous and informative, as it is currently topical. In further studies, it would be reasonable to speculate on the future of this marketing approach, since social networks have already become integral to the life of humanity.


Henderson, Gary. What Is Social Media Marketing? Digital Marketing, 2020. Web.

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Källbäck, Joel. Examines the Benefits of Social Media Marketing in Contrast to Traditional Advertising. Luleå University of Technology, 2019.

Lamminen, Vera. Social Media Marketing and Its Impact on Product Promotion in Small Enterprises. Turku University of Applied Sciences, 2018.

Patel, Neil. Social Media Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide. NeilPatel. n.d. Web.

Soegoto, E. S., and A. T. Utomo. “Marketing Strategy through Social Media.” IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 662, 032040, 2018. Web.

Zaimovic, Tarik, and Adnan Sutrovic. “Online vs Traditional; Marketing Challenge in the Telecom Market in Bosnia and Herzegovina.” Economic Review – Journal of Economics and Business, vol. 16, no. 1, 2018, pp. 45-57.

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