Marketers, advertisers, PR pros and yes even journalists have an obsession with new and shiny things. We flock to sign up for the beta invites for the newest soon-to-be social media craze. We stand in lines for hours to be the first people to get the latest tech gadgets. We obsess about product reviews and predictions for how this service or gadget will change the landscape in the future.
Guess what. Here’s the cold hard truth. A new social media site, tool or tech gadget is going to live or die by its apparent usefulness and community.
In reality, many of us are just hopping on what appears to be the next big thing without considering what purpose it serves for us. That’s when I start to cringe. We start seeing posts showcasing how to “game” the new site or gadget. We begin taking “shortcuts” to save time, cut costs and increase the ROI. We sometimes end up with bigger sacrifices like risking coming off inauthentic, spamming users, and even downright devaluing the whole purpose for the site.
But for what? Getting tons of followers, fans and linkbacks on a new site. It may look fancy on a weekly or monthly report. But, it’s likely not going to add any real value– at least not by itself. In fact, gaming the system and getting tons of new likes and follows will get you absolute nothing if these people aren’t even your target audience and have no desire to learn about you or buy your product(s).
Predictions, trends and a heathy dose of experimenting is great. But often times, we get so caught up experimenting and scheming ways to use the new shiny object du jour that we forget to go back to the basics. Is our target audience going to be on this site? And, is there a reason for us to be there? If the answer is “no,” then it’s okay to sit back and watch what happens from a distance.
How do you keep from falling victim to the bright shiny object syndrome?