Is social media right for everyone?

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Reading through the press this morning, it’s clear that social media is being well and truly recognised as a legitimate marketing strategy for 2009.

Following the buzz that started in 2007, and grew rapidly during 2008, social media marketing is now flourishing in this tough economic climate.  I can think of a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, the process provides tangible results.  Due to the wonders of Google Analytics, we can track traffic sources and conversion rates.  ROI can be easily calculated and clients can see the impact the campaign is having on their bottom line.  This transparency has to be an attractive proposition for businesses.

Secondly, I’ve heard two buzzwords for success in 2009.  These are ‘honesty’ and ‘excitement’.  Social media provides both.  At its core, social media is about engaging with customers.  It’s all about creating an open and honest conversation between both parties.  It’s also about creating a buzz online about your product or service.  By engaging with your target market, you’re building excitement around your brand.

So is social media right for every business?  It helps if your business has a decent website and perhaps a blog – the perfect place to drive traffic to, and engage directly with your customers.

Clearly, your customers need to be online.  If they are, it helps if there’s a conversation already happening between them.  Are your customers the type of people who form communities and talk around the subject?  A little keyword research will help you find out what’s happening online in your industry.

I’m struggling to think of an industry that wouldn’t benefit from a social media campaign.  I’d love to hear your thoughts..