Should High-End CE Companies Bother with Social Media
On several occasions clients have asked us whether it was worth their time and effort to participate in social media outreach. The tone in which the question was asked told us that the answer they wanted to hear was – “no, you don’t need to mess with that stuff, it’s just for kids. “
The right answer is, you should first find out if your customers participate in online networking. Have you ever asked your customers which social media they participate in if any? A simple email survey can get you those answers pretty quickly. If you don’t know how to do a statistically valid survey, contact us and we’ll show you how to do it at a very low cost.
The odds are good you’re going to be surprised by your customers’ degree of social media involvement. Take a look at Pew’s research on social media use by age group.
Clearly social media is not just for kids. An astounding 78% of 30-49 year olds and 60% of 50-64 year olds use social media and the trend line is heading up. These are the prime age ranges for high end CE consumers so it’s easy to see why you can’t ignore social media forever. Let’s take a look at each of the major social media.
Facebook - It is hard to ignore Facebook. It still dominates the online social scene, especially with adults. Under 25 year olds seem to be gravitating away from it towards Tumblr, Instagram and other emerging social media. But adults are on Facebook in good numbers – roughly half of the adult population of the US according to Pew. That’s a surprising number of people over 50 participating on a regular basis. And not just people with too much time on their hands; we see accountants, academics, financial and other professionals who are active on Facebook.
Twitter - The demographics here are very different than Facebook, trending way more heavily toward young people, urban dwellers and African Americans. If your product is aimed at that demographic, Twitter is a great choice. If not your efforts may be better spent elsewhere.
LinkedIn - This one is a no-brainer if your goal is to reach out to other businesses and CE industry professionals rather than consumers. If your brand is primarily Custom Installation focused, your audience is more likely here than anywhere else. CE Marketing Pros has an active Linkedin presence because our customers are other businesses, not consumers. Speaking of which, you should drop everything and “follow” our Linkedin page. Please.
Pinterest - Skews heavily toward college educated women under 50. If that’s your target customer, go for it.
YouTube/Vimeo - Most people don’t normally think of video sites as social media but we believe that they are mighty closely related, sort of like first cousins. They have huge audiences across a broad swath of demographics. People go to video sharing sites to get information as well as be entertained by cats playing the piano. Awwww. Over one billion, yes that’s one BILLION with a “B” unique user visits to YouTube each month. Like whoa! If you are not posting videos online you are missing out on an effective and inexpensive marketing opportunity. But that’s a subject for a future blog.
So Bottom Line it For Me Boys
Should you be participating in social media marketing or not?
* Yes but only if your website is in tip-top order. Your website is the single most important weapon in your marketing arsenal. One of the goals of social marketing is to drive traffic to your website – and there’s no sense driving people to a crummy site. To find out if your site is good enough read our scholarly tome on web design best practices.
* Yes if you have done a statistically valid survey of your existing customer base and know for a fact which social sites they use on a regular basis.
* No if you don’t have a plan for maximizing the effectiveness of any social media outreach. You’ll be wasting your time and possibly harming your brand image by participating in a half-baked manner. You gotta have a PLAN.
And that boys and girls will be the subject of our next blog post: how to do social media marketing the right way for fun and profit.