Social media, like many other things in life, is constantly changing and evolving to offer users a better experience. The social media landscape which existed three years ago is light years behind what brands are deploying in 2013. Many of the leading social networking sites are constantly giving out big announcements on changes to their platforms. Features are being upgraded and new features added. But, most importantly, new social networking platforms, tools and apps are emerging almost every fortnight. If you are managing multiple social media profiles, the task of keeping up with these changes becomes even more complex. Not only do you have to track the latest changes on Facebook, you may have to track changes on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube and many other platforms and update your profiles accordingly to reflect these changes.
All this is well and good unless you have the responsibility of quickly adapting these seemingly endless changes to deliver value to your brand. Here, we are referring to the social media managers or digital marketers in charge of the myriad social media accounts on the web. How can you keep up and in step with all these updates and harness them in a timely manner to deliver value to your social media experience? There are several steps which you can incorporate so as to be in step with a rapidly evolving social media landscape.
Trust your guts
One key skill which you must learn in the midst of all these rapid changes and to some extent chaos is how to cut through the clutter and focus on the most relevant changes that actually add value. You don’t have to learn and master every little update or tool that is announced on Mashable or TechCrunch. You must have some good discriminative skills so as to sharply focus on the most relevant. Cutting out the crappy time-wasting changes is never easy, so one thing you must learn is to trust your guts or instincts. If you have been involved in social media marketing for some time, you must have developed a powerful instinct for what will actually work for your business. Use this instinct to adapt to new changes. If you have fun using it, it is certainly right for you.
Measure as you adapt
But you cannot fully rely on your gut, particularly in an exercise where you may need to measure results and determine a return on your investment. Measurements should back up your own instincts to help you determine the best performing social tools and applications. By measuring the impact of new tools, apps and updates, you can easily choose what works for you and eliminate what doesn’t based on their performance.
Avoid the “shiny object syndrome”
The shiny object syndrome is perhaps one of the leading causes for the failure of most social media campaigns. It simply refers to a habit where you are constantly in pursuit of the latest trendy and fancy social tools and toys without regard to the value they add to your campaign. The “wow” effect of these tools blinds you to their uselessness and you end up wasting a lot of time pursuing a mirage or magic bullet. In the process, you leave out the hard choices which could actually take your social media campaigns to the next step.
Do and learn
A way to adapt to a new trend is by actually learning to do it. By constantly doing, you improve your social media knowledge and can easily adapt to new changes. Acquiring the skill can also allows you to innovate and deploy it in more creative ways.
What works for your competitors?
There are easier ways of cutting through the clutter and quickly adapting to new social media changes. You may spy on your competitors to determine what works best for them and then adapt these to your own social media campaigns.