There's been a lot of talk of "social media marketing" lately and what normally follows that phrase is the word "Twitter". It's becoming more common everyday that people simply suggest Twitter as the means for announcing your product/service among the social media stream. Though this has been proven to be highly effective in terms of marketing practices, it falls short if your business doesn't fit into Twitter's niche.
With over three million people using Twitter, it might come as a surprise to you that this is a relatively small number when compared to Facebook (14 million). This large number of people falls under very specific subcultures/niches that might not necessarily be interested in you and your brand. Designers, Social Media addicts, Writers, Bloggers, Artists, SEO and creatives alike can easily reap the benefits of Twitter due to large established communities in the online media sphere related to these topics.
Companies and corporations that offer services like jet charters, tax refunds, real estate, and insurance will find a hard time finding a large enough community on Twitter to sustain a legitimate & worthwhile following. Below is a daily search for the following keywords as they appear on Twitter: "Social Media, Design, SEO, Insurance, & Jet Charter"
Ignoring the over abundance of tweets about "Social Media", you'll notice the sharp drop from 'design' to 'SEO' which indicates that the less creative and artistic something is, the less likely people are to be tweeting about it. Insurance has half of the daily searches as SEO does which doesn't even compare to the meager 46 daily searches that 'jet charter' gets. Twitter can effectivly damage your brand by making you and your company seem desperate for advertising within a sphere where your information might not be relevant or even desired.
This concept also applies to companies who make Facebook and MySpace account. There's nothing that devalues a brand faster than having your company page on the same service as millions of teenagers complaining about their daily lives and fawning over their favorite bands.
The best way to move forward with online marketing for companies that face this dilemna would be through solid, organic, and holistic search engine marketing techniques. Onsite optimization, quality content, relevant and powerful links are the best ways to drive your website the traffic it needs instead of relying on a community you might not fit into.