Behind every TikTok-level meteoric rise are a number of social media platforms that have gone under or failed to ever take off. If there was a magic formula to social media platform success, every platform would be a hit. That also means there is no magic formula to knowing exactly when your brand should jump in on a new platform trend.
A lot boils down to luck. But as the great quote says, “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” This article will give you some tips on ways your brand can work hard to set itself up to capitalize on a social media platform when the opportunity presents itself.
For starters, it’s incredibly important to stay up to date on the latest trends. This means doing your research, reading articles, following high profile brands, and constantly listening to catch word of what’s next.
Think about it. To be a successful company, you have to stay up to date on trends within your particular industry. An apparel store selling clothing trends of 2019 is not going to be successful in 2020. So much emphasis is placed on product updates and following industry trends, so why not place that same emphasis on social trends? Social media is crucial to brand building, especially for small businesses. Do your due diligence and take pride in staying current with social trends.
When to Enter
As mentioned above, social media platforms come and go. There’s no guarantee the latest fad will be a long-term success, and there’s also no guarantee that your company will find success on all platforms. Deciding when to enter depends on a number of individual factors:
For starters, you need to decide if your audience is on the platform. If your audience is primarily older customers, then you’re probably better suited to focus your efforts on Facebook than Tiktok. BUT do not use this tip to limit yourself. Companies can adapt and evolve, and your audience can evolve with you. If you want to expand to a different demographic, a new social media platform may be the perfect tool to do so. For example, the WTA and ATP professional tennis organizations saw a decline in tennis interest among younger audience members. As a result, they have made a concerted effort to enter the TikTok realm and keep up with the latest trends in hopes that will translate to increased interest.
Next, you need to think about whether or not your goals will be successful. If your marketing content is not conducive to short video clips or you want to focus all of your social presence on customer service, perhaps a platform like TikTok is not the right stop. We’ve talked about the importance of having a social media strategy before posting. Well, that social media strategy might be even more crucial in deciding whether or not to jump into a platform to begin with. Set goals, formulate a plan, and decide if it can be effective on a particular platform before devoting efforts to it.
And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, consider your resources. All of the suggestions are moot points if you do not have the resources to devote time and money to managing yet another account. The more resources you have, the more risk you can take in trying out a new platform. But, for small companies already spread thin, you need to be careful to not spread yourself even thinner. Achieving maximum results on a small number of platforms is better than achieving no results on a large number.
If you do jump in early on a new platform that gains traction, you will have the advantage of having a head start. Let’s take a look at an example:
One notable platform that has taken off this year is TikTok. It’s the most popular app of 2020 and there are 30 million active users (and those users are spending 46 minutes a day on the app!). Chipotle started early on TikTok and has reaped the rewards with over 1.3M followers and a viral #GuacDance challenge.
TikTok’s shelf life is up for debate among some experts, but in my opinion, it’s here to stay. With threats of political bans on the backburner, the focus is back to the content and the talented creators around the world. Snapchat and Instagram have implemented their own mini versions of TikTok features into their apps, but TikTok hasn’t missed a beat and is continuing to grow in popularity.
The beautiful benefit of social media is you can jump in at any time and benefit if your content strategy is sound. So, if you’re thinking about jumping in on the TikTok bandwagon, it’s not too late! One #GuacDance challenge, and you could reach Chipotle heights.
Hopefully, you are leaving this article with some sense of clarity on your next social media platform endeavor. At the end of the day, any decision made with the right intentions and a plan in place is the right decision. You can’t beat yourself up for taking a chance on a platform that fails, but you also can’t beat yourself up over missing out on a popular platform that you didn’t feel was right for your brand. Platforms come and go, but with properly thought out social management decisions, your brand will be here to stay through them all.