Originally published by Canadian Small Business Women on August 21, 2016.
There is a big difference between jumping on the bandwagon just because “everyone else is doing it” and adding a new tech trend as part of your overall digital marketing strategy. The rate of change in the world of technology, especially for business, is extremely fast-paced and keeping up with the new apps, website trends and social media features can be a very daunting task. Despite the challenges that come with keeping up, it can be very beneficial to be an early adopter of new technologies and digital shifts.
First come, first serve
The first users on many new platforms, websites or apps are usually privy to special offers and features. On social media, the early arrivals are almost always the first to develop a large following of other early arrivals, who also tend to be more engaged and loyal than new followers later on.
Work out the kinks
Getting on board with a new feature or platform also give you ample time to work out the kinks, a time when making mistakes are part of the game and adds authenticity to your brand. Part of social media is the allure of being able to see behind the curtain of a logo and glimpse the authentic personality driving the message. Working out the kinks and figuring out a new platform with other early adopters also sets you up as a leader and expert when the rest of the crowd follows you.
If your brand stands for ingenuity, creativity or innovation in any way, then getting on board and being part of the initial phase could play a huge role in setting your brand up as a leader in forward thinking. When your brand shares their enthusiasm by joining in on trending topics on social media, it shows your followers that you are current, relevant and engaged.
Beware of shiny things
All that being said, the biggest danger with new technologies is the “shiny things syndrome”! It’s happened to the best of us – like children, we are easily attracted to new things and can get sucked into spending hours playing with new features and testing out new toys.
To avoid getting sucked into new technologies that are not going to see an overall benefit for your small business, you can ask yourself these questions:
- Will using this tool attract new customers to my business?
- Is my target demographic already using this tool?
- Will my business benefit from being part of a trending conversation online?
- How much time can I afford to spend daily using a new technology tool?
If you weigh the pros and cons of each new tool, it becomes easier to identify trends that will have a positive impact on your business and ones that may not be worth your time investment. In most cases, it is always a good idea to get advice from an expert or other small business owners. Attending networking events and joining online communities are great ways to know what other entrepreneurs are doing online and where they are focusing their energy.