Social media enthusiasts and consultants thrive on new platforms in the ever-evolving world of social media. Quora and augmented reality tools like Layar are just two examples getting a lot of attention these days. But should your business be using them? It’s tempting to establish a presence quickly, gaining first-mover advantage should that platform explode in popularity. But before you register, consider:
Are you using your existing social media well? Before you leap into something new and spread resources, make sure your old stand-bys (e.g., blog, Facebook, Twitter accounts) are well-maintained, and can remain that way.
Is your brand innovative? If you’re the Apple Store, you’d better be on the latest social media platforms, because your brand dictates that you do. If you’re a local shoe store, a good, old-fashioned Facebook page will probably be fine.
Are your customers innovative? If they are early adopters, you’ll be seeing them on the new platform sooner. If not, you could be waiting for payoff a l-o-n-g time.
Does the new social media vehicle allow you to interact in ways you can’t now? Starting a Tumblr account won’t bring you many new opportunities to interact with customers if you already have a WordPress blog.
Is your audience large? Only a tiny percentage of the overall online audience use the latest social media, and it takes a fair bit of effort to establish your business on a new platform even if you’re small. Is it worth being there if you’re stuck providing content for two followers for months?