Friday, September 28, 2012

Social Media Is Fleeting - So Be Prepared

I was recently surprised to discover that a social media site I frequently used to ask and answer business-related questions disappeared. One day the site was live, and the next day, the URL was available for purchase.

This caused me to question the lifespan of social media – not just social platforms but the content we post and share. How often have you visited a website for the first time and later returned to discover that the link is no longer live? All of us have encountered those annoying 404 pages, and rarely, companies actually create clever error pages.

But returning to the issue at hand, the lifespan of social media, the lesson is clear. Don't put all your content on any one social platform. Sprinkle the good stuff around so that your followers want more. Also, make sure you back up your content – so that you are prepared if a site goes down or closes up shop without any warning.

Lastly, but most importantly, apply the mantra that those of us in the marketing world yell from the rooftops on a daily basis: develop a strategy and adhere to it. Don’t just post dozens of tweets on Twitter, wall posts on Facebook, updates on LinkedIn, videos on YouTube, pins on Pinterest, etc. – without a social media strategy that aligns with your overall marketing plan. This will guarantee a consistent message and effective branding. While this may be obvious for businesses, individuals must also abide by this mantra.

As Adam Kmiec of the Campbell Soup Company said, “The answer isn't Facebook [or any other social media site.] The answer is your social strategy.”

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