Avoiding Shiny Object Syndrome

Leading social media within an organization is a challenging job. There’s a lot to manage and countless things to keep in mind. There’s also the challenge that there are almost always others within the organization who are as enthusiastic about social media as you are, so you can always count on an email or two in your inbox regarding a new tool or platform with a question along the lines of, “How are we using X?” or “There’s a big opportunity for us here.”

All of that may be true. It may be a big opportunity. It may be a chance for the brand to create a presence before the platform hits mainstream. The challenge is separating shiny object syndrome with real opportunities. This is the difference between testing simply because it’s new and testing what is a real opportunity.

The challenge is platforms come and go all the time. Social media marketers have a seemingly impossible job of 1.) keeping up with what their brands are doing, 2.) where their brands are going, 3.) industry trends and opportunities and 4.) new platforms. It’s a big job, and marketers are forced to separate the meaningless from the meaningful pretty quickly.

Depth Beats Breadth Every Time

One of the key things to remember is that having a presence on a platform that’s meaningful and delivers results takes time and resources, which marketers should constantly keep in mind. They may already be spread too thin. Don’t get on a new platform unless you plan to invest in it. Otherwise, you risk sacrificing what actually is successful for the brand.

What Would Your Customers Do?

Social media is people-driven, not platform-driven, so check in on your customers. Find out if they’re using the platform. If so, determine what they’re using it for and what they’re getting out of it. 

Maybe they aren’t there, but it seems like something they’d find useful. Instead of creating a presence, keep an eye on it. It might be worth creating a personal account and learning the ins and outs before your audience comes, so you’re ready to go with a thorough understanding of the community and how it works.

Tell Your Brand’s Story

Successful social media marketing is tied to determining the story the brand has to tell, the people who will care and the time and places to tell it. Evaluate the platform and determine if it’s something you can be a part of. It may require large amounts of photography or video. Determine if you have the assets to tell your brands story effectively or if something needs to be created. But also determine if your brand story has a place on the platform. Sometimes a brand just doesn’t belong! There are a lot of options for brands out there. If a platform won’t tell your brand’s story, move on. There are other options.

Stack It Against Your Strategy

The most important factor in your decision should be determined by your strategic framework. Does the platform tie back to delivering results against your objectives? Will you be able to prove success and that the investment was worthwhile? You also need to look at how you are planning to achieve your social media objectives. If the platform doesn’t fit, save it for another day or take a test-and-learn approach.