Why Social Media Works
The biggest reason is Cost. Compared to other forms of marketing social media is very inexpensive. Costing usually between $400 and $750 a month, social media, if utilized properly, is your most productive employee and your least expensive employee... by a mile.
Your social account is growing your brand awareness 24/7, 365. Like most things, getting started is cheap and easy but usually ineffective. Leveraging social media correctly is immensely profitable.
Second, it enables you to engage with your audience. Social networks allow the business to engage the target audience and develop interactive relationships with customers.
The Disadvantages of Social Network Marketing
Time - The main problem with social network marketing from a business perspective is that it can be incredibly time-consuming. Social media marketing campaigns are not one-shot affairs; they need to be nurtured over time. While big businesses such as Dell, Microsoft, and HP have been using this type of marketing effectively, they have the kinds of marketing budgets that allow them to assign x number of staff to conduct and manage social media marketing campaigns, resources that a lot of small businesses don't have.
Direct advertising on social media doesn't work - Businesses using social networks want to sell their products or services of course. But as blatant advertising on social media would, in most cases, alienate their intended audience or even get them kicked out of the particular social community they're trying to infiltrate, businesses need to use more subtle forms of promotion on social media. To use social network marketing effectively, businesses have to be perceived as members of the social media community, willing to interact with other members.