With an article on this topic, I could easily throw out a bunch of statistics and talk about how everyone is on social media, including your prospective clients and competitors, and so you should be there too. The statistics and the volume of people would be accurate but it wouldn’t answer one of the questions we frequently hear:
“How is social media relevant to my industry? Sure, it makes sense for a restaurant or a bookstore, but what about a physician’s practice or a non-profit?”
Today we’ll look at several ways social media connects you to your audience, regardless of who that person is. We’ll also discuss how some social media platforms are more suited to certain industries. And yes, we’ll look at some stats. In fact, let’s get those out of the way now – here’s three:
- 2.1 billion of the 7.2 billion people on earth use social media (source)
- 65% of all adult Internet users in the United States use social media (source)
- Facebook accounts for 15.8% of total time spent on the Internet (source)
Okay, no more statistics.
To get to the point, social media should be a central component to your marketing strategy, regardless of your industry. While every company and industry is unique, there are certain aspects that we all have in common and we all strive for. These elements include the desire to gain customer insight, increase brand awareness, reach more people, build relationships, and discover what your competitors are doing.
At the end of the day, social media doesn’t discriminate between industries. In a strategic way, it actually brings us all together with one purpose: to be heard.
The key is to educate yourself on the different platforms. Choose 1-2 platforms that your demographic engages with, and create a communication strategy for your social media. We’ll take a look at the different platforms right after we discuss the 10 reasons social media works for every industry.
10 Reasons Social Media Works for Every Industry
- It personalizes you – whether it’s a picture from your staff Christmas party or your office manager’s wedding, pictures show the personal side of your business and makes you relatable.
- Helps you be discovered – social media is also used as a search engine and when your page is properly categorized, you can show up in a relevant search for your potential audience.
- Allows you to learn more about your clients – discover your social media demographic and start a conversation with them. Facebook’s Ad Manager feature has made great improvements over the last year and provides excellent insight into your demographic and their habits.
- Helps you place your message in front of prospects – when you know who your audience is, you can reach out to them via paid ads and begin extending your audience on social media with the right people.
- Improves your customer service – if there’s an issue, the sooner you know about it the better. Consumers are increasingly using social media to voice both praise and criticism; and a quick, thoughtful response to their comment can create a big win for your company.
- Keeps you relevant – digital media allows you to post frequently and create your own personal voice on the Internet.
- Trackable ROI – everyone keeps a close eye on their return of investment. With digital marketing, the ROI is much easier to monitor and allows you to more easily pivot during your campaign as you analyze the data.
- Drives traffic to your website – your social media should also be viewed as a sales funnel that leads people to more information. Your website is where consumers will take the next step and learn more about your company and services, and social media is a great website traffic generator.
- Improves your SEO – as you drive more traffic to your website, you will also improve your online ranking.
- Helps warm up your leads – when you begin interacting with a lead, the more touches you have the better. A good communication strategy on social media can help warm up a lead and actually start cultivating a relationship before you even talk to them.
Hopefully the above reasons resonate with you and your wheels are turning. Now that you’re ready to get started, here’s some advice on finding the right platform for your industry.
As we mentioned before, you don’t need to just jump right in and setup a profile on every social media platform. You need to do a bit of research and determine which platforms your target markets are spending their time on. Here’s a quick cheat sheet of who the platforms typically cater to and the industries they are specifically effective for:
- Facebook – caters to everyone and is good for every single industry.
- LinkedIn – caters to professionals and is for B2C industries such as medical, legal, and financial. It’s also great for B2B industries that provide a higher end or more costly service, such as professional services.
- Twitter – caters to a wide variety of people primarily looking for information and it’s good for customer service and retail.
- Pinterest – caters to women and DIYers primarily and is good for retailers.
- Instagram – has a lot of cross over with Facebook users and has a similar audience; it’s good for photography, fashion, art, travel, and food industries.
- YouTube – has a wide audience as video dominates our visual culture; it’s good for tutorials, introductions, tours of facilities, and product demonstrations.
After you’ve decided on a platform, you’re ready to setup an account and start posting. We’re excited for you, and as an added bonus, here’s 4 of our top tips for managing a great social media platform:
- Create a strategy – anyone can make a social media post, but it’s important that your posting is on-brand, purposeful, and falls within the strategy you establish. Your strategy should keep in mind your company’s core values, your primary demographic, and your overall goals for social media engagement.
- Find your voice – every company has a voice. Whether it’s professional or laid-back, serious or light-hearted, you need to discover your company’s personality and let that be reflected in your social voice.
- Don’t take on more than you can manage – as you get started with social media, you may be tempted to sign up for every platform out there. Slow down! Our advice is to start out with 1-2 and do them very well, and then add on as your time allows.
- Be authentic – this applies to all aspects of your business, but especially social media. Consumers are smart and they know when you aren’t being transparent or real with them. People connect with people, so be real!