There was a time when a new social media platform would simply replace its predecessor, but at present there are numerous sites all sharing the same user base. This would lead many businesses to believe that they need to be visible on all of them in order to maximise the impressions they leave on their target market. The question is should a business use their resources to achieve this blanket coverage or are there certain sites that are far more suited to certain industries?

Picking the right site
Facebook and Twitter might be two of the most recognisable sites for the masses but the popularity of Pinterest is undeniable. With around 75 million accounts it’s in the top 5 in terms of size and has achieved its success despite not focusing on the mass audience. Social networking sites have become a lot more visual, this is the case with Pinterest. The site, which consists of images and videos arranged in a bulletin board style layout, has become one of the most popular social networks.

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, which rely on content from a network of friends and followers, Pinterest focuses on the ‘interest graph’ as it is made up of people who gather around topics of interest rather than relationships.

The question is should all businesses use this type of networking or are there certain industries that are far more suited to certain sites?

Case Study
It’s important to understand what social networking sites offer instead of simply setting up an account because apparently that’s what you should do. For example, Country Baskets, a leader in floristry supplies and craft materials believe that Pinterest is perfect for their customers. The intuitive nature of Pinterest is extremely similar to the real world process undertaken by those who enjoy arts and crafts, a feature that hadn’t gone unnoticed when the company developed its social media strategy.

“We knew that in order to maintain social awareness it was essential to maximise our social presence. The way we’ve adopted the different sites is to utilise them for different purposes. Twitter is great for interacting with customers and Facebook allows us to promote events, products and content. However, our industry is extremely visually orientated and we felt there were better alternatives when it came to highlighting our brands identity to our audience. Pinterest allows us to maximise our users interactive engagement because they believe there is value in our knowledge of the arts and crafts industry, taking inspiration from the content we have on our profile.”

What shouldn’t be underestimated is the time taken to build an audience and if a site isn’t offering value to its users it can be extremely difficult to cultivate growth. By all means companies should be willing to try to build their social media presence but if it feels unnatural they should also not be afraid to abandon their efforts and focus on those that are resulting in interactions.

Social Media Advice
It is important to understand your customer needs; what they expect companies to do through their social media and what benefits they get from the loyalty to the brand. Once you understand this then it’s a case of developing relationships with customers via social and ensure that you ask for feedback throughout.