Social media marketing can work for just about any organization, but some companies have an easier time than others. There are some things that are people are passionate about and these are the things that are shared the most. Ironically, for businesses who are in industries that are good for social media marketing, social media isn’t an option, but a requirement. If people are talking about an organization’s subject matter, but they aren’t talking about the organization, then people must be talking about their competition. With that warning in mind, here are three industries that must be on social media.
Fashion designers have an advantage when it comes to producing content for social media; their products are visually appealing and creative. This means there are a lot of good photos that people will want to share, and the numbers support this notion. In one study, 10 percent of the most shared content on social media network was about fashion (a statistic that is made more amazing by the fact that men tend not to share about fashion; so women must be sharing about it in very high numbers).
The prevalence of fashion items on social networks makes sense because fashion is something where we heavily depend on the opinions of others. No matter how much a person thinks those pants make them look good, enough crazy stares from people on the street and the pants are staying in the closet. That’s why, according to research from Brafton, 72 percent of fashion shoppers check Facebook before making a purchase and 50 percent report checking Pinterest for inspiration. One can see how social media is essential for the fashion industry, since having nothing can be just as detrimental as a bad review.
Besides death and taxes, there is two more absolutes in life: People like to eat and people like to talk about going out. This combination makes restaurants prime candidates for social media marketing. In fact, in the Prollie study, one in four of the top shared content was about food, drink and travel. Social media also plays a factor in deciding where people go to eat. According to a study from the National Restaurant Association (the other NRA), 49 percent of consumers research restaurants on social media.
Just like fashion, restaurants and food lend themselves to the easy production of content. Pictures of food are among the most shared items and even video from restaurants are becoming increasing popular. For example, Instagram and Vine are being used by restaurants as an innovative way to showcase their products.
“Vine, if you want to play with that, is from Twitter and basically a six-second video service that’s really starting to take off,” said one marketing specialist in an interview with the National Restaurant Association. “We’re seeing a lot of interesting uses of it. We’re seeing a lot of restaurant chefs showing how to make a dish in six seconds. That’s really great content, especially if you have signature dishes.”
Though the nation’s obesity rate would lead many to think otherwise, health and fitness topics are among the most popular on social media. In the study on the most shared topics, health, fitness and sports accounted for 10 percent of the most shared content. Generating this kind of buzz can do a lot for a gym because it can encourage members to come to the gym more often, try new products, or refer friends. According to research from Local Vox, only 27 percent of fitness clubs members continue to go regularly, and it’s eight times more cost effective to keep current members than recruit new ones. Social media is a low-cost tool that can help gym owners connect with their current membership and keep them engaged with the gym.
A lot of celebrity fitness trainers use social media to inspire and inform their audience. Examples include Chris Powell from ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss; Jeanette Jenkins, who trained Kelly Rowland and Carmen Electra; and Tony Horton, the creator of P90X. When used properly, trainers and gym owners can inspire their members before they even head to the gym.
The statistics for social media strongly suggest that social networks will be a growing part of American society. Businesses should adapt and take advantage of the various platforms to find what resonates best with their audience. Those who choose to ignore the potential of social media are fighting against the tides and no different than the business owners who refused to accept the value of television, radio, computers and the internet. This will eventually be true for all businesses, but for some industries the time is now. Gyms, restaurants, and fashion designers that refuse to adopt some form of social media strategy risk losing ground to their competitors and eventually becoming irrelevant. There are other industries where the numbers suggest social media is a necessity, but more on those in another post.