Avoid the Social Media Shiny Object Syndrome

Today I had the pleasure of chatting with Dan Moran from Clutch Business Blueprint about social media (the video will be posted on Monday).

One of the questions that Dan asked me during the interview was “What do you think we should be looking out for this year? What’s the next Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook?”

This question got me thinking about what’s the next tool.  I wanted to sound smart and look like I knew what the next “big thing” was.  Then I realized, it doesn’t matter.

Organizations have such a strong mix of social media tools available to them, that they need to focus on using these tools really well before introducing new tools into the mix.

By this I don’t mean creating awesome custom Facebook tabs or using hash tags like a rock star.  I mean truly becoming a social business by caring about your audiences, demonstrating it through social channels and developing strategy to support your goals.

So many organizations’ activities on social media are really superficial.  They run contests, share the occasional photo, strive for likes, but are they making a difference?  Until organizations get past all the surface activities on social media, introducing another “shiny object” into the mix will yield minimal results.

If you are the type of person you thrives on trends.  Instead of looking for technology trends like QR codes, social networks, etc., look towards consumer trends.  What are the consumer demanding? How is your audiences habits and expectations changing?

Jeremiah Owyang, a well-known web strategist talked about the 5 eras of the social web. Jeremiah is really great about not focusing on the technologies, but rather the consumer trends.  It’s these trends which companies really need to pay attention to and Jeremiah offers some great advice to organizations on how they can prepare.

All this being said, I do tend to get accounts on the latest social networks like Google+ and Pinterest as the pop-up, but purely from a research point of view.  In fact, I realize that I am not using the existing tools like YouTube to their fullest potential.

Thanks Dan for the inspiration for this post.

What are your thought? Do you think there is value on focusing on the next “big thing?” Share your thoughts below.

  • Sherice

    Hi Mike – Excellent point! I wrote about this very same issue “Shiny Object Syndrome” on my blog, as it relates to not just social media, but also owning and managing a website.  There’s a “symptoms list” there too, so you can find out if you’re suffering from this very curable problem :)