I was recently asked if I could identify the next big thing in social media. My client wanted to know which network they should “get into bed with” before they exploded and became the next Facebook or Twitter.
Sadly, I don’t have this inside information. If I did, I’d be spending more time with Venture Capitalists and Investment Bankers and getting rich.
I advised my client, rather than looking to the future, they should invest their efforts into the present. This means getting good at engaging their audience on the platforms they currently use.
There is little point in trying to second guess the industry on the off-chance of identifying the next big thing. In social media there are too many players vying for engagement and until they reach a critical mass they will deliver very little (if anything) in return to their users.
Building a Strategy for Today
The most important aspect of any social media strategy is to understand how and where your clients (and your potential clients) want to engage with you today. If you audience prefers to hang out on Twitter rather than Facebook, you need to invest more time and effort in Twitter (regardless of your own personal preference). You might not personally “get” network’s like Pinterest or Instagram, but if your audience is there – that where you need to be headed.
Having the correct tools in place to monitor the social web and so acquire the knowledge of where your audience resides is vital if you are ever going to see success from your social media marketing efforts.
These tools will also help answer the bigger questions about the next big thing. At Viralheat we monitor the entire social web for you. If your audience suddenly migrates to a previously unknown platform (and these things have the potential to happen quickly in social media), you won’t be left wondering where they have all gone.
To learn how Viralheat can help your organization keep its eye on the present and the future join us for a free product demonstration.
Photo credit: CzarCarter
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