This isn’t really the kind of bird that tweets, but we’re not really talking just about Twitter, either.
The question is, where should you be engaging in social media? The easy answer is, where your particular audience hangs out and where you’re most comfortable. But is it really that simple?
Consider these cases:
- A client of ours supplies home medical gear, like oxygen tanks and hospital beds. A lot of her customers are elderly, so they’re probably not on Facebook. But their kids are the fastest-growing demographic there.
- We’re about to launch a website for a roofer. His colleagues aren’t doing a lot at Twitter — but realtors sure are. That’s an important source of referrals for him. Being on Twitter before the others in his town will give him a great advantage.
- We’re starting a site for a local chiropractor. He doesn’t really get social media and isn’t sure he wants to go that way. But the Facebook page we set up for a physical therapist in another area has hundreds of fans and lively discussions of back pain.
Certainly, your company’s largest investment should be in developing a presence in the community you share with your target customers.
But there are also real advantages in being there first. The first roofer in the community who leverages social media will — assuming he does a good job — already be the big dog in his community when the other roofers join in. And the medical supplies company need only wait a few years to start seeing today’s Facebook visitors on her customer list — and vice versa.
So make the minimal investment in major social media whether your customers are there or not. Studies show that being in place early has benefited those who’ve already done it. Fortunately, there are plenty of communities — whether it’s the Twitter community of roofers or the health concerned at Facebook — where it’s not too late to be the early bird.