by Lainie Fickau, Social Media Specialist
Ah, FOMO. It sneaks up on you when you least expect it. For those of you in need of a quick refresher, “FOMO” is the “fear of missing out,” and it can hurt your brand when it comes to making decisions about your social media presence. Viral challenges. Popular new platforms. Trending holidays. The potential pitfalls are endless. Keep these four questions in mind to avoid a social media faux pas driven by FOMO.
Without fail, our social media team will routinely field questions such as “Does our brand need to be on TikTok?” or “Should we be exploring Pinterest content?” We get these kinds of questions from both new and established clients, so let’s break it down. Should your brand consider a new platform?
Short answer: It depends.
Slightly longer answer: Just because “the cool kids are doing it” doesn’t mean it makes sense for your brand to have a presence on a specific platform.
If you’re considering a new social media channel for your brand, it’s important to keep a couple of things in mind. First question: Is my target audience on this platform? For example, if your audience is primarily made up of Gen X’ers interested in retirement planning, TikTok is not for you. With a monthly average of one billion users, TikTok is dominated by Gen Z’ers teaching their followers new dance moves, sharing influencer recs and taking part in viral challenges.
Second question: Can my brand share or create content to fit this platform? Consider Instagram. Unlike other platforms, you must have a visual element in order to hit “Post.” If your brand doesn’t easily lend itself to visually appealing content (think bookkeeping), Instagram probably isn’t for you—no matter how appealing billions of users on a growing e-commerce hub may sound.
We get it. No one wants to feel left out. Which is why when trending content hits our radar, like National Dog Day, and everyone’s sharing cute pictures of Duke playing fetch outside—we want in on it! You may even feel like if you don’t, you’ve missed an opportunity. However, we’re here to tell you that sometimes less is more.
Before you jump into a trending social media convo, ask yourself two questions. First up: What is the end goal? Is it to put a smile on the faces of your associates during an afternoon slump? Are you trying to add some personality to your brand’s profile? Or…are you just having FOMO? Be careful here. The last thing you want is to appear insincere, especially when it comes to headliner holidays with important conversations behind them (Women’s History Month, etc.) No one will see through you faster than a social media troll with nothing to do.
Next question: What is the best way for my brand to lead and/or join the conversation? If you’re looking for a way to highlight a celebration but don’t think it will vibe with your feed content or who you are as a brand, consider another solution. Share a temporary story on Facebook and/or Instagram. Jump on Twitter and stay engaged with your audience by retweeting existing content. React to posts shared by associates or your partners on LinkedIn. Know when to pass the microphone and sit in the audience.
At the risk of sounding like your life coach, don’t let FOMO drive your decision making! Take control of your social media presence by identifying your target audience, understanding platform mediums, setting goals for your brand and knowing how to participate in a conversation. We’ll be the first to admit that social media can be intimidating. Ready for some help? Give us a holler!