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Jackie Cooper, Vancouver Lead Generation expert and Social Media Consultant discusses whether Social Media is a fad and whether businesses ought to get involved or stay on the sidelines to see whether it’s worth the effort.

IS SOCIAL MEDIA JUST A FAD?

Technology is evolving daily and so is the internet. Will Social Media soon be replaced by newer innovations? Or is it a form of communication that’s here to stay?

In other words, have you ever wondered: is Social Media just a fad? Is it worth your while investing time and resources into building a social media presence only to find that in a year it’s all changed again and that Social Media is old hat?

While the internet is evolving daily and new technologies ARE continually appearing, currently Social Media is the primary means of communication on the internet today.

Social Media capabilities will evolve further in the future, but it’s important to get involved now and begin building a loyal ‘tribe’ of friends and followers – in other words customers and prospects

This is so that you not only maximize your internet potential today, but you’re also positioned to take advantage of new capabilities as they emerge.

Although there are techniques that allow you to make a quick online impact using social media, for the most part, establishing a good, enduring online presence requires that your social media activity be seen over a long period of time and in a consistent manner.

For instance, this means that if you set up a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a blog and so on, that you post to these venues regularly. There is nothing that spells ‘boring’ more than seeing that the latest post was made several months ago. The frequency of posting will vary depending on the specific platform and the nature of your business. For instance, while many Social Media experts say that you should post on Facebook at least 3 times a day, my experience and respected Social Media research papers indicate that not only is this impractical for most businesses but that 3 times per week has been shown to deliver the best results.

I understand that keeping a Social Media program is a challenge for many people – after all, who has time to do all that’s required of them plus spend time creating and uploading content to multiple platforms several times per week?

This is where a Social Media Manager helps. When they take care of the actual posting and other time consuming tasks, your time is more profitably spent on strategizing with them to get the maximum impact. After all, not even frequency can overcome an inadequate marketing plan.

When you adopt the approach of frequent, consistent Social Media interaction, you’ll also be assured of staying up to date with evolving technology. As technology develops, the common platforms develop in concert.

This means that if you stay up to date with what’s happening, you are able to absorb and adapt to the changes as they happen, rather than suddenly finding that you no longer recognize the social landscape.

In this way, Social Media is similar to computers. If you do not use computers very frequently and keep your computer for a number of years, one day, when you turn it on, you’ll find it’s ‘suddenly’ no longer compatible with the latest online browsers and the updates for the software you are using.

In this instance, your solution is simple: it’s a matter of buying a new, more up to date machine and installing the latest software updates. Social Media is a little different in that there is an additional learning curve as you struggle to get up to speed with the latest etiquette and most popular venues. These developments don’t come with a ‘manufacturer’s manual’ the way that software and computers do.

While it’s pretty obvious from the huge proliferation of Social Media venues, that this type of communication and interaction is not a fad and that it’s here to stay, it’s also obvious that Social Media will probably look different in a few years time to how it looks today.

The best way to address this constant change is to jump into now and stay connected so that the evolution is made as simple and painless as possible.

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