Not every company should use every type of social media. In fact there are a few very specific companies who will benefit almost nothing from using any. Whilst we constantly read about social media being the key to online success and brand awareness in modern day marketing, this "be all end all" attitude may lead us to forgetting our marketing basics: segmentation and relevant communications. Knowing where you should be and what's relevant: that's the key to success.

TOO much of a 'good' thing?

The past decade has witnessed a growth in the customisation of products leading to consumer hyperchoice (infinite product alternatives and substitutes) and an exponential growth in the amount of marketing communications bombarding the public. This trend has been largely mirrored within the world of social media, begging the question of whether people want to be reached through so many channels and how desensitised they will become to these messages as a result of the sheer volume they are exposed to.

The quality over quantity argument has never been more poignant

We should not spread ourselves thin just for the sake of communicating across multiple different platforms and potentially reaching prospective clients, but rather focus on what we know works and reach our target market with quality content. As with traditional geographic and demographic segmentation, understanding if our customers are online and where they are is critical.

We have to ask ourselves: SO WHAT?

Why would people be interested in hearing from you here? And, is it congruent with your brand image, values and business objectives?

Social media strategy

While effective use of social media has been proven to create success, ineffective or excessive use may be a massive turn off for our audiences. Matching your business goals with a sound social media strategy means you are more likely to be successful and can measure your performance for future prosperity. A study into the use of Twitter by businesses suggests that if your aim is to increase brand awareness then frequency is key, sending out multiple messages every day to enhance the amount of exposure you receive. However, if your goal is to drive increased traffic to your company website then fewer messages with more meaningful content achieve a higher click-through rate.

In conclusion, use your time wisely. Although social media is a cheap strategy for effective marketing communications, make sure you thoroughly analyse your objectives, your target audiences, the value of your content, and ensure you create consistency throughout all marketing efforts.