Everywhere you look, businesses are promoting their social media presence. They’re tweeting, posting and giving stuff away in the hope that’ll you’ll ‘like’ them and engage with them.
Social media makes perfect sense for some companies to be involved with, while others become involved with it only because everyone else is doing it. If your business is doing it for the latter reason, have you thought about your audience, the best platform to use, and whether your customers even really care?
If nothing else, to help your SEO rankings you should have basic contact and business information on sites like Facebook and Google +. Search engines are giving more credibility to social signals, and failing to maintain at least a minimal appearance can negatively impact on you.
This doesn’t mean everyone should go crazy on every single social media platform. It’s imperative you consider what kind of market you operate in, and the relevance of social media to your business.
What businesses are best suited to social media?
Generally, businesses that are best suited to social media are ones that provide goods or services to customers on a regular basis, that people feel some type of affinity towards, or which people feel great after making a purchase. Businesses like cafes, restaurants and bars are perfect examples of this. Non-profits are well suited for social media as well.
Who doesn’t need to go crazy on social media? Niche businesses that customers only reach out to in isolated cases generally don’t have much opportunity to build a following.
The less often a customer purchases from you the less likely they are to interact with you on social media. It’s the same if you sell goods or services that are a grudge purchase.
If people don’t walk away from you feeling elated, no matter how good the experience, it will be hard to get them interacting online. Lawyers, funeral homes and tradespeople – all great businesses, but they don’t need to put much effort into social media.
I struggle to understand why someone would ‘like’ their fuel company. I don’t enjoy filling up my car and have no affinity to BP or anyone else.
The question is whether or not to invest many hours a month in creative campaigns and audience engagement. Lawyers need testimonials, and they need to be found on search engines – but they do not need to post content daily and run contests on Facebook.
Social media is not free advertising. Because creating an engaged and loyal fan base is time consuming and costly, you need to decide on your level of involvement and be realistic of the results you want to achieve.
The question you need to ask before you get involved with social media is, “Is it right for my business?”
By Aaron Enright