Social media is a vast, continuously expanding and dynamic landscape with new networks and applications launching, selling, merging, splitting, updating and transforming on a seemingly daily basis. For many of these hopeful properties and their respective founders, the dream of creating an established impact upon society is similar to the life of a shooting star; a quick flash before fading out into the abyss of a night sky. For the fortunate others, platforms that are able to differentiate and offer an innovative new concept that is capable of attracting a sustained following, the future is very bright and profitable.
Picking the next hottest item is likely as difficult as picking the winning numbers of a jackpot lottery ticket and so is predicting the future path of a successful network. The only control that individuals and businesses can – rather must – control in this fluid digital world is deciding which social networks and applications are congruent with their goals and personalities. Businesses, and to a certain extent individuals, must also take into account the considerable amount of time that fostering an engaging presence and long-term management of each social channel will necessitate.
The two worst things that a business can do when it comes to social media are: 1. Entering a channel in which they do not belong and/or 2. Establishing a presence and allowing it to become dormant.
Businesses must view the social media landscape as a giant jigsaw puzzle that has some pieces missing and a few that don’t belong from a different puzzle. Careful planning and strategy must be applied prior to entering any social network. All the pieces must be laid out and analyzed to determine which fit, which are missing and which do not belong. This strategy must be reapplied on a regular basis in order to determine whether current channels still fit overarching objectives, or if new puzzle pieces may be more apt in constructing a valuable, consistent image in accord with business goals.
The image above contains the major puzzle pieces of today’s social jigsaw. Hover over the pieces for more information on how each fits the puzzle. Let us know your thoughts and comments below.