Is Social Media Right for Your Industry?

Most experts agree that every business needs to use social media as a marketing channel nowadays. “I’d argue that investing time and resources into a social media strategy is most definitely a necessity in 2013, I believe the tipping point in public sentiment from ‘should have’ to ‘must have’ will occur in 2014,” says marketing professional Jayson DeMers in Forbes.

The more common social media sites used by marketers

By Henripontes (Own work)

However some small-business owners have trouble leveraging social media — not because they don’t understand its potential benefits, but because it’s hard for them to grasp how they might see any results in their particular industry. These sentiments are sometimes echoed those involved in social media.


In a recent article she wrote for MarketingLand Kelsey Jones said: “Just because a social network is available, it doesn’t mean that your business needs to be on it. The main point is this: don’t talk just to talk, especially if no one is going to listen to you.” Jones used a plumbing business as her example.

But Jones was off base here. Her citation of the plumbing industry could actually be a perfect example of an industry that could well profit from social media marketing. In fact, any sector that serves a do-it-yourself population is ripe for all sorts of social platforms as a way to attract new business.

Not sold on this theory? Take a look at, a hardware business that specializes in items such as brass washers and gaskets. Many might look at this outfit and think, “Social media? Not really.”

Superior Washer understands the customer’s need for information, however, and the company uses social media to get that knowledge in front of its customers through a blog, YouTube channel, Twitter feed, and even some of the more popular social networks.

Doing it right

Social media marketing for any business starts with a plan that lays out the objectives of the campaign and the actions that need to be taken in order to accomplish them. The plan should also include the metrics your business will use to measure whether or not you’re meeting those goals and what actions need to be taken to help move closer to them.

For businesses that fall outside the spectrum of what most people think would benefit from social media, developing a content strategy should be your number-one focus. Inform potential customers about the differences between items in your product line, or what they are used for, without ostensibly trying to sell them.

Find common tasks that use your products or services, and educate people on how these tasks can be done. Once you have a solid library of content, start sharing it over the different social media platforms.

Pepper in some other useful content from other people that fall within your industry as well, and you’ll start to see your community grow in spite of those who tell you that your business won’t see any benefit from social media.

One thing for any business to remember when it embarks on a new social media campaign: It shouldn’t be done on the cheap. Developing good content costs money, and it takes time. In fact, most people involved in content marketing list lack of time, not producing enough content, and failing to generate sufficiently engaging content as the three biggest challenges.

Despite these hurdles, a majority of marketers expect to increase their content marketing budget over the next twelve months. With this much focus being placed on content, and all of the content that’s being produced, it’s likely that sharing it via social media will also ramp up as well.


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