The Internet is an ever-evolving place. Since the beginning of the week, Google has announced it’s rolling back use of Google+ and Instagram is boasting record ad sales projections. As a marketer, it can be difficult to know what to follow and what to write off as nothing more than empty promises and passing trends that’ll have no real impact on the media landscape.
Here are some tips on what to follow and what to take with a grain of salt.
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Internet fads are fast moving targets that capture the wake of the Internet to the point of utter obsession, only to die out weeks if not days later. Unless you have the stars align and you can somehow seamlessly integrate yourself into the conversation, it’s best to leave these alone.
Usually, these are content based and spread around various channels. This can include obsessions over words (such as Taco Bell’s “Taco Bae”), hashtags, trending topics, or memes.
Sometimes, particularly new and niche social platforms fall under this category. Often, they vanish without a trace in a few years. However, if they end up being fact, becoming an early adopter of these networks can pay off long-term. Deciding to pursue these potential winners will depend on your strategy objectives and the resources you have available for social media.
Usually, when somebody makes a prediction, it’ll end up wrong. This is the nature of the Internet, where it’s simply too fickle to make any solid prediction of what will be the next big thing. A lot of buzz around new breakthroughs are nothing but hype, and should be treated accordingly.
Keeping an eye on predictions can help inform your social media strategy, however. Predictions are usually a result of some change in the media landscape. They’re not a signal to jump on the bandwagon, but predictions can help inform your strategy for potential new directions. While the predictions might not pan out, analyzing why those predictions were made and why they failed can give you a deeper insight in the market.
Where consumers are going and staying. As is often the case in marketing: you want to go where the people go. That goes double for social media, where its lifeblood is people using it.
When you start seeing proven statistics for longevity, for strong trends or stability in numbers, for consistent use… these are signs a phenomenon is here to stay. While it could vanish the next day— the Internet is fickle, after all— the likelihood of it staying (at least for a little while!) is high.
These are the channels and tactics you should incorporate into your social media strategy. When people are flocking to a network and consistently clicking on a certain type of content, it has somehow hit a sweet spot that people want and need.
While it can be useful to follow trends and hop on the bandwagons early, sticking with the facts means you get the most bang for your social media buck. Good luck separating fact from fiction or fad!