Dangers of Relying on Social Media Marketing

January 3, 2022

A lit neon sign showing zero hearts
What would happen to your marketing if your social media accounts stopped?

In today’s internet-crazed era, social media has evolved from a mere chit-chatting and photo-sharing platform into a powerful marketing tool for businesses seeking to build their brand locally and globally.

According to Buffer, 73% of businesses using social media marketing in 2019 said it was ‘somewhat effective’ and ‘very effective for their operations.

We’ve written about some great reasons to get your law firm on social media before. And while social media marketing brings with it tons of benefits such as massive global coverage and the ability to drive traffic to your website, relying on it brings multiple concerns to your business.

This article will discuss the dangers of relying on social media marketing. Let’s dive in!

You Don’t Control the Platform

Different social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram have guidelines that control what goes into their space. These guidelines include restrictions on marketing strategies.

This means you don’t have complete control over the platform, and whatever you post should be in line with the platform’s guidelines. A deviation from the standard procedures of a particular app may result in your content being pulled down or your account being banned by the administrators.

Additionally, with social media marketing, you don’t control who sees your content. Typically, social media platforms use algorithms that determine the users to be served with your content depending on their behaviour and preferences. And since social media is open to all, your competitors and haters can access whatever you post and use this information to their advantage. Although you can block certain people from viewing your content, they can still create new and pseudo accounts whenever they want.

So, typically, you don’t own or control social media platforms. And regardless of the client base, you have built or the dollars you’ve invested in social media marketing, you can still lose your account out of a slight violation of the guidelines or, even worse, out of vague violations.

The Platform Can Go Down

Social media apps, just like any other app, can experience technical errors that may affect their usability. For example, recently, Facebook apps, including Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram, went down for about five hours.

It’s estimated that, during this outage, Facebook itself lost about $100 million. Typically, it isn’t easy to estimate how much the business depending on social media marketing, lost, but it must also be running in millions of dollars.

This outage came as a wake-up call for companies to have other marketing strategies besides social media marketing to counter huge losses whenever social media platforms go down. Alternative online marketing strategies include email marketing and display advertising.

Sites Restrict and Charge You to Access the Audience You’ve Built

Let’s say that you’ve put in a lot of hard work and built an audience of 1000 followers. That’s 1000 people who have chosen to follow you — they want to view the material you put out on social media. Yet an average organic reach rate for Facebook posts is a paltry 5.2% in 2020. This means that only 52 people out of your 1000 will even see your post. Want to reach more of your audience? Better break out your wallet.

You’ll need to pay FaceBook for additional exposure for your posts. The least you can spend on Facebook ads is $1 per day, which translates to about $365 per year.

Inforgraphic showing the percentage of your audience that sees and engages with your posts on Facebook.
Stats taken from https://blog.hootsuite.com/facebook-algorithm/

In terms of Cost Per Click (CPC), Facebook charges an average of between $0.7 to $1.01 per click. And the average cost per thousand impressions (CPM) is between $8 to $10. The most interesting thing is that social media sites will charge you to reach the audience you’ve built by yourself.

Paying to access your audience isn’t an ideal way for businesses to run their marketing campaigns.

Platforms Come and Go

There’s no doubt that social media sites play a significant role in marketing—they have added a new twist to the way people do business. Unfortunately, due to the rapid technological innovations and advancements, some of these platforms continue being replaced quickly.

A social media site can be here today, but it isn’t guaranteed to be there tomorrow, next week, month, or year. It’ll be a big blow to you if you wake up one day only to find that your most favourite social media marketing site has gone or has changed significantly for the worse. And if you rely solely on such a platform, it can cause huge losses for your businesses.

Some of the social media sites that were once very popular but have become defunct include DailyBooth, My Space, Google plus and FriendFeed, to mention a few.

Algorithms Can Allow Competitors to Target Your Audience

Social media sites are open spaces where you’ll mingle freely with your competitors and potential clients. Unfortunately, the social media sites’ algorithms are designed to suggest your competitors to your potential customers.

For example, when searching for an item online, social media platforms often suggest several places where the item can be found. Since you don’t have any control over this, some of your potential clients will be netted by your competitors.

Privacy and Security Issues

Another problem associated with social media marketing is data privacy and security issues. When creating your online profiles, you’ll likely surrender your personal and public information to attract more clients and get the most out of your marketing efforts.

Unfortunately, some of your competitors may use this information against you or pick your strategies and apply them to their businesses.

Social media is also a lucrative target for unethical people such as hackers. This means the data and information you share on social media may not be completely safe. For example, Facebook has been facing lots of cases concerning data breaches. Such breaches can land your information in the wrong hands.

And although social media platforms are striving to improve their security details to safeguard your information from hackers and fraudsters, there are still multiple cases of data breaches reported.

Negative Feedback

Social media has all kinds of people, some of whom can have ill intentions. Since advertising your business on social media exposes you to all these people, some may intentionally give negative feedback about you and tarnish your brand name.

And since you may not be online 24/7, you’ll not be able to delete all the negative comments in time and may only realize about them when the damage has already been done.

Bottom Line

As you can see, social media marketing has many dangers that can harm your business. However, it’s still an essential component of your marketing strategy. Be aware of how to use social media for your firm,  and avoid common social media mistakes. You may want to hire a social media manager who can keep monitoring what’s going on in your social media profiles.

Typically, you shouldn’t rely entirely on social media marketing. Instead, it would be best if you used it as one channel of your marketing campaign. Other reliable marketing options include email lists and websites.

Never go-all in on social media marketing. Diversify your marketing strategies as much as you can!

Want to know more?

Find out how GDQ can address your law firm's needs with a no-obligation consultation.

Book a consultation Back to Journal