Trends come and go in social media like in no other business. Some trends only last weeks. Because of the nature of the beast when the trend is at it's zenith you probably think that it would be foolish not to be jumping on the bandwagon and embrace it with everybody else. There is an endless cycle of hype in the tech world fueled by blogs, Twitter and online chatter and it means that all of us practicers of social media often get swallowed up in the hype that is Google buzz or Chatroulette or new iPhone apps. Every week some new services or feature within a service is getting hyped and praised to an extent where we all pile in but I want to look at this today from a higher level and ask ourselves why we always lose focus on what works and why the most important thing in social media is to decide what you don't do rather than what you do try to do.
Stick With The Winners
We use a few tools here ourselves at Simply Zesty for our own marketing and they are Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, Linkedin and Youtube. That's it. 5 Simple services. We could get involved in using countless other tools that become fashionable but the honest truth is that those 5 tools work great for us and if anything we don't actually have time to use them as much as we should. We would love to make more Youtube videos, better quality Youtube videos and even market them better than we currently do. We know that these five channels work in terms of bringing in new business but we don't have enough spare time to dedicate to them so why would we go looking for more. If it ain't broke don't try and fix it.
Your Time Is Valuable
I was very tempted to play with Google Wave and have nearly been tempted a couple of times to embrace Foursquare but I have managed to stay away from them both not because I don't think they will work or become important in the future but simply because the time that I would spend using those services could be better spent elsewhere in my opinion. I may be wrong and I may have to change that opinion in the future but at the moment I just do not see any business point whatsoever in me joining a service like Foursquare (luckily when it comes to clients the rest of Simply Zesty embrace Foursquare so as I don't have to!). Just imagine how much I can grow our Facebook page by focusing on that instead of all the hours I would spend on Foursquare. To me I see more benefit engaging on a platform where we already have fans and creating good content for them rather than starting afresh on the latest trendy location service that only features early adopters.
Take a Step Back From The action
Being in the middle of a social media campaign can feel like being in the middle of a battle as there is so much going on and so much noise to decipher the real meaning from. A lot of people react and change their strategy by the day and look for the next hot trend to emerge before pinning all their hopes on it. If I have one key learning from this industry over the last coupe of years it is that trends come and go in a flash. You need to learn to take a step back and look at the bigger picture and see everything from a higher level. Would I rather have my finger in 12 different pies over the course of the year or just focus on my Facebook page with 12 different campaigns on that 1 platform that yields me a strong fan base at the end? The latter for me please.
It's Easy To Say Yes But Hard To Say No
Instead of jumping on every bandwagon that comes along why not just say no. Instead of filling out your details and setting up your account with that "Twitter killing services with real time geolocation Facebook elements" why not just stay on Facebook and Twitter and keep growing your audience and influence there. Why not just say no to building a new iPhone app and instead try and grow your blog traffic organically over the course of a year? Believe me it is a lot harder to say no that it is to say yes to the latest technology and try to jump in with everybody else. Nobody has been more guilty of it than myself in the past but I am slowly learning that just saying no to the latest fad will dramatically increase the value of the social media profiles that you already have which have proved to be successful channels and should not have been neglected in the first place.