Social media marketing is important. Who hasn’t heard that before? Well, it is, but let’s keep in mind that a predicted 61% of small businesses don’t see any return on their social media activities.
Is the answer to put your best foot forward and keep plugging away, or is your industry simply out of step with liking, sharing, and pinning? Here are three warning signs that you’re tweeting up the wrong tree.
Your Industry Benefits from Popular Aggregate Sites
Let’s get back to basics; what is the purpose of social media marketing for small businesses? Put simply, you’re looking to get found. Social media marketing involves jostling for attention among an entire industry jostling for attention on a platform which people characteristically use to jostle for attention. It’s tough, is what we’re saying.
So, if you run a business that can be found far more effectively in another manner, wouldn’t it be nicer to send your energies in that direction? The answer, typically, would be yes, which is why businesses lucky enough to be able to leverage popular aggregate sites should do so. The hospitality industry is a prime example. One study found that just 3.3% of web traffic heading to the websites of surveyed hotels and B&Bs had its roots in social media; compare that to the 74% of bookings emanating from websites such as Expedia, Booking.com, and Hotels.com, and you’ll see why the 35% of owners spending in excess of five hours a week on social media marketing might have been misusing their time..
Go further by posting smart. Engagement is up to 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays, and 50% of 18-24 year-olds go on Facebook as they’re still clearing the sleep from their eyes. Use that information to optimise your posting schedule.
Your Industry Target Elderly Clients
Let’s take a peek at the estimated percentages of web users over 65 using certain social media platforms.
Those aren’t the most encouraging figures, but completely discouraging they are not. Unfortunately, the fact that only an estimated 12.7% of web users are over 55 years puts a slightly more negative slant on things. Even Facebook’s relatively impressive yield of 45% means, with the second finding taken into consideration, that only 5 or 6 older people out of 100 will keep an active profile.
It’s well worth facing up to the fact that your target market is going to be less likely to retweet and share than your run-of-the-mill millennial. Platforms that other industries might see as played-out could be more their cup of tea.
Your Industry is Based Around Specialised Equipment
Social media marketing might be Sisyphean suffering for the type of industries listed above, but a pointless pursuit beats actual harm any day of the week. While some find that social media returns are negligible, others can damage their reputation by pursuing a strong online presence.
This is a common drawback for businesses dealing in specialised equipment or services, especially when they rely upon the approval of experts. Purveyors of medical, or otherwise scientific, equipment are a good example, with the healthcare industry enjoying an estimated 16% return on social media efforts. The industry is too niche to find clients on Facebook or Twitter, and a social media presence is never going to be large enough to seem anything better than desperate.
Social media marketing should rarely be shunned altogether, but it isn’t a magic bullet. If you’re dealing with one of the types of industries listed above, your time might be better spent elsewhere. It might even be worth enlisting a social media expert to apply specialist techniques that will better target your industry.