A Fish Tale – Be Careful Of Shiny New Social Media Hooks

At the risk of soliciting hate mail and more controversy, I am going to say it. Just because a new social network is the shiny new thing on the block, does not mean you should jump in. Yes, I am referring to the likes of Pinterest and even Google Plus.  There I said it…  Now let’s break this down.

See this little fishy? He has plenty of food in the lake in which he lives. He has plenty of friends in that big lake and is doing very well at making new friends and finding food that sustains him. Unfortunately, Mr. Fishy isn’t very focused. He tends to chase after most shiny new things that fly by every once in a while. Most of the time he just chases a bit and checks things out. Sometimes his impulses can’t resist that shiny new thing that buzzes by.

Finally, Mr. Fishy decided that the latest shiny new lure to cruise by was irresistable. Why? Cause it was cool, really shiny and a few other leading fishy’s seemed to be attracted by it too. He forgot about the food he already had plenty of in his big lake. He forgot about all the friends he had there too. He was so easily distracted by that new shiny lure that he decided to go for it and spend the time and effort to chase it down. Poor Mr. Fishy got caught.

Yes, I am being quite silly with this post in the hopes that I make a very important point. Within social media, new platforms will continually pop up. They will be really cool, shiny and new, attempting to take your time and focus, not to mention energy. However, if you are in social media for business and wanting to get results, I caution you. As yourself some important questions…

1) Does this platform contain my target audience?

2) Does the time and effort I am spending/wasting result in ROI?

3) Am I giving less time and attention to the existing platforms that return results for myself and my clients?

I am not a killjoy by any means. I am a realist that is extremely focused, despite my ADHD tendencies. I evaluate methods and properties based on measurable, factual information, not just fun, interesting or new. Be sure you are spending your time wisely in social media and not being attracted by the latest shiny new lure that comes along, or the peer pressure that often accompanies it.


24 thoughts on “A Fish Tale – Be Careful Of Shiny New Social Media Hooks

  1. Thanks for the reminder Robert. I just can’t even make myself learn Google +, can’t afford the time, with so many other avenues to publish and share content. Although, I do like Pinterest, but am trying to keep it in perspective and simply create ideas for me, without trying so hard to build another audience.

    Caron – Tiwtter, Facebook and Blog User since 2008

    PS Haven’t you noticed that in many cases the same people that you communicate with on Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets are the same group of people?

    1. Largely yes, same people. But in my case I get about 100-150 new Twitter followers everyday, so someone is always inviting me to some shiny new thing. Focus is key!

  2. Good Post, Robert.

    Strong point IMO here, “Does this platform contain my target audience?”

    Depending on the brand and the product, the opportunity to strike a connection may more easily be established on a new network. However, the danger still exists of what will the new network become, as they all evolve and not always for the better of your own business.

  3. Nevermind the new shiny object, these are great questions to ask of any and all social networks. If your target audience is not there, or better, does not want to socialize with brands and companies there, then why are you spending your time there?

  4. Great post Robert! Spot on about not being distracted. Even this past week, one of my bosses asked if I had started working on a pintrest account for our company. I audibly laughed at him and said that I don’t think engineers (our target audience) are even grasping facebook and twitter fully, and that we ought to hold off until we know they’re there.

  5. Great post. Too many people suffer from the shiny object syndrome. You have to stay focused on what works for your business. There are only so many hours in the day and if you spread yourself too thin, nothing gets accomplished other than wasting time.

    There’s my 5 cents…used to be 2 cents but had to add in inflation!

  6. This is a great illustration. I’m so guilty of being the little fishy. One thought to add though…
    Sometimes the early adopters have huge advantages in platforms that DO take off. Pinterest is a great example of this. I’m in the wedding business (photographer) and pretty much ALL of my market is obsessed with Pinterest. Some of the early adopters who are wedding photographers have had tens of thousands of repins and millions of visits to their website because they really grasped the new platform and how to use it properly for marketing. As a wedding photographer, it is almost foolish at this point NOT to use Pinterest. I like your point about ROI, but remember that return doesn’t have to be monetary. I can use Pinterest to set myself up as an expert/authority or offer better customer service, which is huge in my business.
    On the other hand, I’ve found that almost NONE of my brides are using Google +. For me and my business, G+ is a waste of time. I oo’ed and aww’ed when the shiny bait flashed by… but in the end I realized there was no return for my time because my market wasn’t there!
    Your point is great, and I realize you aren’t doing this… but some people preach “don’t ever try new things.” I say, use caution when “everybody else is doing it” and don’t do something without a plan. BUT if it is something that can really help your business and you have the time… go for it!

  7. Amen to all you said. Social Media activity as a marketing tool for your business should be focused on where your audience is not where you necessarily want to be! I would advocate setting up an account & profile on new platforms so that you have the username that you want but not being an early adopter from your businesses perspective unless your audience is there.

    1. Yes Dave. We need to focus on the platforms where our audience spends their time and focus. If your audience is on Pinterest, you should be. If that is not your target audience, stop watching every shiny new thing fly by and chasing after it. :-)

  8. Excellent post, Sir! We must be on the same wavelength, because this is the exact subject of my next blog post. I always stick with what’s tried and true, and of course what works best for my clients. And I always advocate for quality over quantity of platforms. As time permits, I try to get an overall feel for newly emerging ones, just to see if they might hold good potential. But I don’t knock myself out to do so. There are just so many hours in a day, and each additional platform you incorporate dilutes the quality of your overall presence on the web!

  9. Let’s not get taken in by the new shiny toys ;) If it makes sense for your business, by all means go for it. If it doesn’t, go with what works for your best ROI. Too many get caught up in the hype and not the substance of what really matters for their bottomline.

  10. Oh boy, do I agree!! Just mastering the complexities/value of FB and Twitter are enough to keep one busy; and yes, I’ve added Google+ and Pinterest…but find they do very little for me or the projects I’m involved in. I’m in a position of giving advice to others about their use of Social Media, and so far, I can find no solid proof that we need spend too much time on those two sites. Thanks for this.

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