How to determine if social media is the right investment for your business.
“Is my industry good for social media?”
We get this question a lot.
And truthfully, there’s no cut and dry answer to this.
Social media could be a good investment for your business or a bad one.
Your industry does not necessarily dictate ultimate success or failure with social media marketing.Your industry does not dictate how successful you will be with #SocialMedia. Click To Tweet
However, there are several industries in which social media success comes more naturally.
And interestingly enough, while some do fall into the business-to-consumer category, they aren’t all in the B2C space.
Top Industries for Social Media Marketing
In terms of social media marketing success, some B2C industries are a slam dunk.
Of course, even in these industries, your content and strategy need to be on point. But, chances for driving quick, positive results are high if your company is in one of the following categories.
The impact that social media has had on the entertainment industry as a whole is undeniable.
Because of this, social media and the entertainment industry go hand in hand.
According to the Hollywood Reporter,
- 79% of television viewers are on Facebook while they are watching TV.
- 41% of people tweet about the show they are watching, and
- 76% of people who post about a television show, do so while they are watching the show.
In fact, in 2015, posts from the entertainment industry make up over 60% of all posts on Facebook.
So, why is this industry so great for social media?
If you are in the entertainment industry, your goal is to aggregate as many eyeballs as possible.
Since social media itself is considered a form of entertainment, getting content in front of people is not very difficult.
And when you have entertaining content, you drive engagement.
Also, social media platforms offer a place to build community.
Brands in the entertainment industry benefit from being able to use social networks like Facebook to build massive communities who they can engage on-site with their content, rather than attempting to drive them away from social media to a website, for example.
The truth is, Facebook does not want people to leave Facebook.
Keeping the community on platform improves organic reach, which fuels growth and impressions for that channel.Keeping the community on platform improves organic reach, which fuels growth. Click To Tweet
The way that people have become accustomed to using social media while watching movies and television allows companies within the entertainment industry to provide strong branded experiences to these people, thus enacting the positive feedback loop of virality and reach.
- Beauty / Cosmetics
- Consumer Electronics
Consumer products such as makeup, clothing, bicycles, or any type of visually pleasing or novel item tend to perform well on social media.
Retail brands who win at social are able to take advantage of brand evangelists who spread the word about their products organically, which helps them to reach new audiences of people who may never have heard of our purchased anything from the company.
Also, when you have an interesting (or pretty, funny, exciting, etc) product, people love to take pictures with the product and share it to their own social media profiles (also known as user-generated content).
We consider products like these to have high virality.
This instilled virality perpetuates the extended reach, which means that a positive feedback loop can exist around your products and brand.#B2C retail is a good industry for #SocialMedia bc high-virality products elicit sharing. Click To Tweet
Another reason why the retail industry is good for social media has to do with customer service.
A customer service inquiry on social media provides an opportunity for retailers to positively impact their audience and strengthen their relationship with their customers.
If your company can handle customer service complaints on social before they grow into major problems, you will win the trust and respect of your audience.
In some industries, people might not even turn to social media to voice complaints, which may sound like a good thing. But, what this really means that companies in this position might be negatively affected by the lack of customer communication, which could lead to customer churn.
At least in the retail space, consumers are vocal on social.
Retailers can fix problems with their product or update their standard operating procedures based on the information they can gather from these conversations happening on social media, which makes social media a must for any company in the B2C retail space.If your company is in the #B2C retail industry, #SocialMedia marketing is a must. Click To Tweet
The restaurant industry is another space that can greatly benefit from investing in social media.
People love food, love eating, and love sharing pictures of their meals.
As is the case within the retail industry, user-generated content for the restaurant industry is being created a thousand times a day. Also, people turn to social media for customer service, to leave reviews, and to find new places to explore.
Due to the competitive nature of this industry, as a restaurant or bar, you pretty much need to have a strong social presence in order to succeed as a company.You need to have a strong social presence in order to succeed in the #RestaurantIndustry. Click To Tweet
Restaurants who aren’t using social media are missing out on a massive opportunity to delight their current patrons or offer assistance to their unhappy customers.
At the end of the day, people are going to talk about their dining experiences, good and bad. It is very important for restaurant brands to be apart of these information-rich conversations.
People may think that the biotech industry is a quiet giant when it comes to marketing, but successful brands who are afraid to use social media to their advantage are missing out.
While not every company in the biotech industry is convinced that social media is the best place to invest their marketing budget, there are several biotech companies who have developed successful social media engagement strategies around hosting their own Twitter Chats and educational Youtube channels.
Not only that, but social media is a valuable listening tool.
Even if your brand isn’t planning on jumping in on trending conversations or posting funny cat memes anytime soon, there is still invaluable information to be gathered from social media.
Mark Schoenebaum, a well-known biotech investor, states that having an edge in information over your competitors of even 1-2% can massively increase profits.
He advocates the use of social listening and data analysis by companies in the biotech space to increase their understanding of consumer behavior.
Moral of the story?
If you have a company in the biotech space, you can certainly drive engagement and gain valuable insight that will affect your bottom line, just from employing the right kind of social media strategy.#Biotech brands can gain #industry insight w/ a proper #SocialMediaStrategy. Click To Tweet
Another industry where social media marketing is underutilized but can be very effective is in manufacturing.
Not surprisingly, brands in the manufacturing industry have been slow to adopt social media as a marketing tool.
Most B2B brands accept that LinkedIn is a good platform for building business relationships, but have forgotten the power of Youtube as an educational platform and Facebook as an advertising and content distribution giant.
Companies in this space can use social media to educate their potential partners and buyers through detailed product trainings, build out their brand presence, and inform product development.
The best part? There’s not a lot of competition. As a brand in manufacturing, you can easily carve out your own path and reach global audiences, some of whom you wouldn’t be able to reach without social media.
Marketers clearly know their way around social media.
If you are in the marketing industry, having a strong social media presence is more than just a “nice to have” line item: it is a proof of concept.
I’ve run into many agencies who fall into the “cobbler’s son has no shoes” realm.
But the truth is, if you were planning on hiring an agency to handle any or all of your marketing initiatives, one of the first places you might go to study up on the brand is social media.
Of course, not all marketers are in the digital space, and not everyone needs social media to get clients and build a brand…
…but it doesn’t hurt.
While social media is an extremely saturated channel for marketing industry professionals, if you can break through the noise, it can drive massive results for building domain authority, thought leadership and lead generation.#SocialMedia is a saturated channel, but breaking through the noise drives massive results. Click To Tweet
I lumped companies in the events industry into B2B because I’m mostly referring to my experience in working with business conferences and events that target business owners, but even events that target consumers can benefit from using social media in a lot of the same ways.
Social Media is the best amplification tool for marketing an event, as it has a lasting impact on immediate, short-term, and long-term results for an events company and a brand.
Companies in the events space can benefit from social media leading up to, during, and after each event, which makes it the perfect place to focus marketing dollars.
Before an event even happens, events companies can use social media to announce their event to the world in order to generate awareness and buzz for the experience to come.
- They can use the various social networks to analyze and engage past event attendees.
- They can use social advertising to get locally targeted messages in front of people who might be interested in attending.
- They can even utilize influencer audiences (for instance, if the event has speakers, sponsors, or other companies or individuals who might be interested in spreading the word) to drive reach and impressions.
During the Event
While an event is taking place, most attendees will pop open their phones and document their experience through ravenous social posting, hashtagging and picture taking.
Having a live play-by-play of the event and someone there to monitor channels such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can really improve an attendee’s overall experience.
Events companies who have someone working social media can do live tweeting, answer attendee questions, grab video testimonials, and engage in the moment with the most active people.
Not only that, but they can even collect data on these people in order to use for targeting, building out personas, and adapting future events to suit their most passionate fans.
And once an event ends, companies in this industry can keep the conversation going on social media to gather feedback and further enhance the attendee experience.
This might include sending out post-event Twitter campaigns asking attendees what their favorite part of the event was, or if there’s anything they wish were done differently.
All in all, social media is a great tool for event promotion and engagement. If you have a brand in the events space, you should absolutely be present on social.#SocialMedia is great for #EventPromotion. Any company in the #EventsIndustry should be present. Click To Tweet
Are there any other B2B industries that can do well on social media?
Can professional services, such as lawyers, plumbers, and electricians do well on social media?
Yes, but it’s a very different strategy and typically requires the company to have eccentric employees who are willing to dedicate themselves to teaching.
These companies can succeed, but it requires the right mix of internal and external resources and a much clearer strategy.
In all honesty, an e-commerce company could sneeze a decent social media strategy, but odds are, an electrician that tries social media will find themselves failing miserably.
This also has to do with the time commitment from the parent company.
The business has to have scaled itself to a point where some of its team members can afford to participate in marketing activities.
The fact is, too many brands try to invest in social media too early, then claim it doesn’t work. But, it’s a very long-term investment.
What I’m saying is that if you’re a two-person plumbing company, stick to AdWords and word of mouth, oh and those sweet car wraps (original growth hack?).
If you’ve got 25 employees and 2 people in your marketing department, then you might be ready for social media.
So, Is Social Media a Good Opportunity for My Company?
There are a handful of times when social media is a no-brainer opportunity worth pursuing:
- If your audience are heavy users of social media
- If you have a product, service or concept that has high virality
- Anytime you can pioneer education in an industry
If your company falls into any of the above categories and you know without a doubt that what you have to say on social media is of value, it’s probably a good fit if you can execute the vision.
That tends to hold true across all businesses, regardless of industry.