Congratulations. After several months of work, your company has finally put together a social media plan, and started to put it into action. What do you do next?
If you’re sensible – tear it up. Well, not immediately. But every three-to-six months or so. The reason is simple: the technology, and the way people use it, changes so quickly that it necessitates frequent rethinks by businesses. There are frequent new arrivals on the scene.
On June 28, for example, Google launched its Google+ project, immediately attracting 25 million users, and utterly changing the game of social media. Google+ is a rival to Facebook, and includes the ability to group your friends and contacts, video chat with up to 10 people, stream feeds of information, automatically post your mobile phone pictures, and a group texting feature that allows you to group chat through your phone. Most of these features already exist elsewhere, but Google’s sheer scale and number of users will mean that Google+ is immediately essential for any company with a serious online strategy.
Other important social media sites can become popular seemingly overnight, and if you wait a year or two to update your social media strategy, you will inevitably be behind the times.
Meanwhile, the way consumers use already popular platforms can change. More people in general are using social media for business rather than pleasure, making it a far more serious tool for companies and charities than it may have been just a year or so ago – and one that necessitates far more strategy work. Facebook was initially used mainly for B2C, nowadays it is increasingly used for B2B. And in recent months there seems to have been a surge in LinkedIn use, prompted by more and more businesses realizing that it can be used for attracting new clients. In addition, because of the speed of change, new tools are constantly arriving on the market for people managing social media campaigns. Not only could this simplify your life, it could allow you to take advantage of all sorts of new gimmicks and strategies that could benefit your business. E.g. Software that finds Twitter users with similar interests to you.
In short, if you are going to work efficiently to promote your business online, you need to be aware that it is a fast-changing environment, and change your plans accordingly.