Social Media For Business? It Depends on Engagement Level of Your Target Audience

mac duggal dressIs your business missing the boat on social media? Frankly, it depends. Social media can be an effective method for promoting your business. It can also be a massive “time suck” that eats up significant resources without providing meaningful results. The critical issue in determining if social media can effectively be utilized to promote your brand is the engagement level your target audience has with the product or service you are marketing.

Here are a couple of examples:

Fashion Designer – Mac Duggal

Insurance Broker – Hill and Stone

Mac Duggal designs prom dresses and homecoming dresses. Their target audience of teens is intensely engaged in the process of finding these special occasion dresses. The firm has over 12,000 Facebook fans that have “liked” them and they get dozens of new fans every day.

Hill and Stone’s target audience of business owners is not terribly excited about insurance (unless they need to file a claim). The firm has 121 Facebook fans. No matter how much effort they put into developing their Facebook presence, they are unlikely to significantly increase their number of fans

Given the engagement level, it is not surprising a fashion designer has 100 times as many Facebook fans as a insurance broker. Social media is extremely useful for fashion designers as a method of building their brands with a very engaged audience. On the other hand, it seems unlikely that the Facebook page for an insurance broker is generating much in the way of sales.

For the most part, a business that does not have an engaged audience is not going to have meaningful success with Facebook, Twitter, Google+,  Pinterest or the second tier social media sites. However, there is a social media vehicle that is appropriate for most businesses, and that is to develop a blog. As discussed in the post Should A Small Business Start A Blog? a blog can offer benefits to most businesses. However, other than a blog, there may not be a lot of potential in social media for a business in a mundane product category.

Even for a business with a highly engaged audience, not all types of social media are going to be productive. As an example, Mac Duggal as an actively engaged audience for their Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterst sites. However, Google+ has gained zero traction among fashionista’s. Google+ is ;probably a “time suck” for most fashion oriented brands. Similarly, Pinterest is unlikely to work for all brands. A brand needs to have access to interesting photography or graphics in order to be successful on Pinterest.

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