The proliferation of social media platforms can be overwhelming for individuals and businesses alike. The opportunity to become an early adopter and demonstrate leadership on the platform can be a great business opportunity if the platform’s functionality and business’ marketing objectives align. However, ShinyNewSocialWidget.com isn’t necessarily right for every business.
Ask yourself these five key questions before succumbing to the allure of a shiny new social media platform:
Are my clients, customers and strategic partners using ShinyNewSocialWidget.com?
If the target audience isn’t interested in your company’s platform(s) of choice, it can be challenging to build community and generate ROI. Before embarking on a new platform, evaluate who is using the platform and how they are using it. Something as simple as a 3-5 question e-survey can provide valuable data to answer this question.
Who is going to maintain ShinyNewSocialWidget.com?
For many businesses, employing a social media manager is a luxury. Consider which of your team members has the time and skills necessary to establish a consistent presence on the platform. Since social media is most effective when used as part of an integrated marketing communications program, it is unlikely that one platform will justify draining key resources.
Is ShinyNewSocialWidget.com compatible with my existing communications program?
If your business has few photo-worthy moments, the latest photo sharing platform isn’t a logical place to build a presence. Yes, I realize it is new. Yes, I realize it is shiny. Don’t let yourself be distracted. A platform that isn’t conducive to the content your company generates isn’t going to positively impact the business’ bottom line.
What new and unique functionality does ShinyNewSocialWidget.com offer?
Many platforms offer similar functionality. Consider whether or not the latest and greatest platform has functionality that is important to effectively marketing your business. If the answer is yes, consider whether or not the new platform is a better alternative to one of the platforms you are currently maintaining.
Does ShinyNewSocialWidget.com have staying power?
We all remember Google Buzz, which came and went before it ever got off of the ground. Before taking the time to invest time and resources into a new social media platform, evaluate its staying power. While there isn’t a metric or formula available that will guarantee a platform will stay, considering whether or not it has unique functionality, what audience it is intended to serve and how user-friendly and secure the interface is, can provide some key insights on how widely the platform will be adopted.
As new platforms appear and companies expand their social media presence, the time it takes to effectively maintain a social media program will only grow. Before succumbing to the allure of the latest platform(s), take a deep breath and carefully consider whether or not ShinyNewSocialWidget.com is the best allocation of your business’ marketing resources.