I don’t know how many more times I can answer the same question from people. It usually goes something like this;
Social media wannabe: “Hey, are you on Pinterest yet?”
Me: “No! go away!”
I know this sounds harsh, but it’s simply a fair representation of the conversations I’ve been having too much recently. I think it was less than a week after Pinterest became “mainstream” when the questions were being asked about why I (or my company) weren’t on the platform yet. As if we’re missing out big time. We’re losing the opportunity of a lifetime. It’s now or never!!!!!
I love reading when the media picks up on brands embracing new platforms. It’s like the holy grail. Media love stuff like that, because it’s new, different & embraces the early adopter. I, on the other hand am overly sceptical. Just because there’s a new platform with an IPO valuation of $500 Trillion doesn’t always mean brands should flock. I’d be so interested to see the marketing plans/ rationale/ objectives/success metrics written down from any brand that have recently started using Pinterest. I’d seriously pay good money for that. I mean, do they even have any detailed audience analysis which brands can use for planning? I’m a huge advocate for trying out new things within social, be it through platforms/ tools/ techniques etc, but for me, there has to be some thinking going on before starting anything.
I recently read this from Mashable which is a brief look at 9 hot new social platforms that are emerging. It’s not surprising that many on the list are iterations of things we already have, but does this mean we need to have a presence on all of them? I’d argue no. I love how social is evolving & changing the communication landscape, but at the same time I’m worried about how marketers are going about embracing them. It comes back to that saying which occurred around 3 years ago, which usually came from the CEO/ MD of any brand…. “We need a Facebook page”. There was little reasoning or methodology, but they knew that Facebook was where everyone was heading so it made sense to set-up shop there.
I’m actually starting to fall more & more out of love with Facebook for various reasons. I know a lot of brands have embraced the new Timeline feature. I think it’s awful. I genuinely think it’s bearable for users, but for brands it makes no sense. I loved the old layout for pages. Clean, accessible, nice user experience etc. What they’ve created now is simply not good enough. I might be alone in this thought, but it’s how I feel as someone looking after social marketing for a brand.
If we’re not careful, we will ruin the opportunity to authentically engage with users through social interaction. If we’re too obsessed with the next big platform, but can’t get right what’s in front of us now… what hope do we have? I’m still waiting for someone to hand me the key to unlock the “measuring social media” safe. Many are trying, but most are failing. Let’s take a step back. Think about what we’re doing & re-focus. We don’t have 24 hours left to live, so we can take some time to re-appraise this.
Social is still new to most brands & users & very few are still getting it right but let’s not all flock to the next “big thing” just because Silicon Valley says so. Embrace change, but with caution!