Written by Jason Francis
The value of social media is no longer a secret. It is no longer something that can be ignored as “that new thing the kids are doing”. If you are not social, you are not successful, period. With that in mind, comes a wide array of decisions as to what social media platform should be the hub for your brand. Once you feel you have that under control, you have to navigate the continuous wave of new social media sites and apps. Which will survive and which will turn out to be flops. Which are worth you using and which would be a bad fit for your brand? Here are a few things to keep in mind to make the best selection in the ever evolving social media landscape.
You won’t be able to decide how to potentially expand the reach of your voice if you don’t know what your voice is. What methods of communication do you utilize to reach the most people? Are you a vlogger? Do you get the most traffic via Instagram images? Do Twitter chats and hashtags pull in the most the viewers for you? What you do best plays into how a newer social media platform could connect to what you already present to the public.
The new trend in social media is live, in-the-moment content with limited lifespans. Let’s look at Snapchat. The app allows images and short video to exist for a 24 hr period before deleting. This type of platform caters to very specific users and is not for everyone. You are creating with the knowledge that whatever you are putting out has to hit its mark in one shot. That is a pressure packed position if you are unprepared for it. Those that blog may not be comfortable condensing their image and message in that way. People are not always receptive to change so the classic saying, “If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It” may be your best course of action.
One of the things to keep in mind when making your decisions regarding new social media is that major market brands will more than likely be using those platforms, or at least want people that can. This isn’t a warning to force you into a space you don’t operate well in, but it’s incentive to find a middle-of-the-road way to introduce your network to something new without changing your overall brand appeal. As previously stated, new media is moving towards shorter form content so why not try using these new tools in select situations. Are you covering an event? Build it up in blog posts and tweets then provide live coverage via images and videos on Vine or Snapchat. Then you can give your more comprehensive review on your blog afterwards. If you’re a food blogger, try detailing your cooking step-by-step on Snapchat or live stream on Meerkat. There are a number of ways to add new elements of digital expression to your brand.
There is no slowing down of technological advancement within social media. With this in mind, don’t let it overwhelm you. There will be many things that you decide to say no to and that’s fine. The better you know your brand and what your followers want from it, the easier it will be to provide what is best for them and for you. Change doesn’t have to be a full scale, sweeping transformation of everything you do. Find a space to try new things out that interest you and just follow the reactions of your network on what is worth continuing to pursue.
About the Author: Jason Francis is a Writer, Blogger and Social Media consultant. He specializes in connecting the rapidly growing world of digital media and entrepreneurship via social media. His site www.TheSocialMediaSamurai.com speaks on a number of social, technical and professional issues that affect the lives of young business people. In addition to this, he manage the social media for the Nomadness Travel Tribe, an international collective with 10,000 members worldwide.
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