We live in a new dawn, a new age, an age where for many businesses, a social media presence is a marketing strategy that they simply couldn't live without.
Facebook, Twitter, even Pinterest and other lesser known social sites have the ability to influence our buying decisions but is social media something your business really needs?
The first consideration that needs to be made is all about who YOUR ideal customer is and whether they'd be perceptive to being marketed through one of these channels.
Whilst social media is no longer merely a novelty used by the younger generation it is still not widely used by both men and women over the age of 40.
If your target customer is older and unlikely to be spending a lot of time on websites like the ones mentioned above then it simply doesn't make sense to invest time and money in pursuing them.
Ultimately, for a social media campaign to work what you really need is a product or service that has the ability to be shared amongst friends and family – in other words, you need a bit of viral magic to work in your favour.
That doesn't necessarily mean you need a “cool” or “trendy” product that the world has seen before but it is no secret that positive social media results rely heavily on people sharing your content and there are many businesses where this simply isn't going to happen.
The likes of restaurants, hotels and nightclubs can really utilize the power of social media because they have their ideal customers in abundance.
They also have the advantage of being in social businesses and therefore social media marketing just makes automatic sense.
These kinds of businesses are the ones that should definitely be spending money on social media as one new customer picked up through this channel can result in several more being acquired at no extra cost.
Notice that these kind of businesses have a very broad customer demographic as well as the fact they largely cater to the younger crowd.
They also have an element of “cool and trendy” for the most part and this certainly helps.
Businesses like vets, dentists and freelancers don't quite have that appeal but can still prosper by having a social media presence because for many, sites like Facebook and Twitter have become one stop shops to find everything from what happened last night to buying solutions.
The businesses that really don't need any kind of social media presence are the ones that deal in very specific niches.
A conservatory manufacturer, an office supplies company or a funeral directors are all businesses that are very unlikely to pick up ANY business from social platforms and even if they did, the time and money investment of advertising there is never likely to add up.
What we're really saying here at Design Lancer is that just because “everybody” else is shifting their attention towards the 21st century way of doing things, it doesn't mean you HAVE to.
If it makes financial sense to try and gain business from these people heavy places then do so but there is absolutely no need to follow the crowd as other online marketing services like SEO, Google Places and PPC still achieve much better results in terms of return on investment than 90% of social media campaigns.