If You're Not Excelling at Social Media, You're Failing

By Barry Hott There are few industries that experience change as frequently and significantly as social media. In the social media world, hardly a week goes by without an upgrade to one or more networks--these aren't small modifications to niche networks; they're major features on the biggest sites. While a lack of stability would be daunting or risky to others, for social media professionals, adaptability is the norm--it's at our core.

In marketing, there are few dramatic shifts beyond social media. Besides losing steam to digital networks, traditional marketing platforms have seen fewer changes in the last year than social media has in the last week.

As social media platforms, networks, sites, and services continue to grow and innovate to become both more specialized and more intricate, knowledge and understanding of them is becoming increasingly more scarce and, therefore, more valuable.

The constantly changing nature of social media makes it difficult for most to keep up with trends. It may seem easy to post or tweet, but to maximize effectiveness and routinely outperform your competitors, a higher skill level is required. Facebook and other networks must continually innovate, for fear that they will become irrelevant, surpassed, and replaced by another service. Your business needs to be on top of the latest changes or your competitors will similarly get ahead of you.

If you're working outside of social media, you'll surely hear about the "game-changers," like Instagram videos (over 5 million videos posted in the first day, sorry Vine!) and Facebook hashtags, but you might not know about Facebook comments with images or that Facebook link posts are starting to display full-sized images in the News Feed. Being on top of these updates gives you a distinct advantage over competitors.

A mild following or understanding of social media is no longer enough to stay afloat. If you're not excelling at social media, you're failing.

How does your business keep up with social media trends?