How to Greet the New Kid on the Social Media Block

By Theresa Braun

Every few months it seems a new, “hot” social networking site arrives on the scene. This past summer, Google+ had its moment in the sun, with members of the social media community desperate for their invitation to circle everyone they knew. Currently, the internet is going pin-crazy on Pinterest. When a new social site or app begins to garner buzz, it can be difficult to know how best to respond. While there’s a natural FOMO (or, “Fear of Missing Out”) reaction, there’s also a real concern for social media fatigue. So what do you do: welcome with open arms or shy away?

 

 

1. Don’t be aloof. Click. Explore. Be curious. Be open-minded. Most importantly, don’t worry about whether or not the popular new site will ultimately live up to the hype. Don’t worry about whether or not it’s going to be around in five years, or even five months. Don’t ponder things like, “Is Pinterest the new Facebook?” and other such irrelevant queries. The key thing to keep in mind as new platforms arise is the importance of understanding prevalent trends and evolving consumer behavior. You have to keep your finger on the pulse of social media trends in order to recognize opportunities. Which brings us to...

 

2. Recognize relevant opportunities. Don’t jump on the bandwagon just to go along for the ride. Realize when a new network holds the tools and solutions relevant to your brand’s success. Some are niche networks that don’t have to be the “hot new site” to align with your brand and your strategy. There are a plethora of viable opportunities. But remember: you can use (almost) any social media platform, but you can’t (or shouldn't) use every one.

 

3. Limit your focus. Don’t feel that you have to have a presence everywhere. In fact, this approach could  end up negatively impacting your brand and dilute your social strategy. So instead, start out by focusing on just the three social networks that are ideal for your brand’s strategy, message, and audience. Then: dominate those three. From there, you can peruse additional networks and consider incorporating them when, and if, they make sense for you.

 

You won’t hit it off with every new social networking site. But at the very least, say hello, get to know each other, and evaluate your compatibility.

How do you react to new, hyped social media? Share your thoughts in the comments!