Jumping on the Bandwagon

Jumping on the Bandwagon

So, Pokemon has become a ‘thing’ again, and from what I can make out has totally taken over the world. Launched on 6 July 2016, Pokemon Go has become a world sensation with certain areas of Central Park in New York uncharacteristically busy, and according to news reports and articles, is bringing large crowds in to local businesses who are racing to join in and get ahead.

A win (although likely short term) for local businesses that are using ‘lures’ to get people into their business to ‘find’ Pokemons (still working my way around the game!)

This brought about the same questions I’ve heard many times before, whenever a new app or craze comes out.

· How long will it last?

· Is it worth the time investment?

· Are you building customer loyalty, or just taking part in the craze for short term gains?

· Does any of the above matter — isn’t it just a bit of fun?

With any new app comes a peak of interest, but it’s sustaining that interest which is key to survival. Today’s “awesome” app could be tomorrow’s solution to saving precious memory and space on your phone or tablet. So if you’re investing time, effort and money into the latest social media network, or app for your small business — you’re risking a short-term investment with potentially little gain.

I regularly hear concerns around this. Comments and questions such as “I’m not on Twitter, should I be?” “I have accounts on 5 different apps and I can’t keep up, none of them seem to be working for me”. “I’ve heard there’s this new app, should I be using it? Am I missing out? What do I do?”

The truth is, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Up until 6–12 months ago I would have stood firm and encouraged people to explore using the top 3 giants first — Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Not to say they should definitely be used, but certainly be the first port of call if looking at a strategy. Now with Snapchat, Instagram, Periscope and yes, even Pokemon Go — the game has changed (again).

The answer is simple, and starts with another set of questions. Who are your audience, and what channels do they use? The answer is to go where your audience are. For example, a young, edgy fashion brand should consider Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. Local café or restaurant, you’d be looking more at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Local solicitors would see the most success from LinkedIn and Twitter.

Keep it simple.

It is undeniably in your interests to execute a brilliant, solid, planned social media strategy on one channel, than to try to keep 2, 3 or even 4 channels running. Otherwise, what you end up with is what I refer to as the ‘Social Media Graveyard’. The last thing that any small business wants is to have dormant, inactive or out of date social media channels appearing in their searches. With competition so fierce, who would your buyers or customers choose; a business who has a strong and active presence on Facebook, or 4 different channels with little to no activity?

Review sites such as Trip Advisor also play a huge part and regularly come into conversation with my client — but that’s a different story for another blog post. Watch this space!

Going back to Pokemon Go and those 4 questions — especially the last one. Isn’t it just a bit of fun? Of course it is! Strike while the iron is hot if it works for YOU and YOUR audience– but be wary of investing too much time, energy and resources into it — who knows how long it will last!

If you’re debating some of the questions I’ve raised in this blog post, please reach out to me on georgie@locasocial.media. I’d love to help you answer some of them.

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