"It used to be called the killer app"
Before the term ‘app’ meant something you found on your iPhone or iPad, the term ‘killer app’ was used to describe the next application people were searching for that would become indispensable in our lives.
Social Media, of course, is made up of many apps – each vying for the title of ‘killer’. From Facebook to Twitter and beyond, many have claimed to be preeminent. Social Media has also taken the business world by storm over the past few years with corporate websites and emails jam packed with jazzy new icons pointing at a plethora of new communication forums.
The urge to join in and go ‘Social’ can be overpowering but it’s not just down to crowd-mentality – some of the Social Media, maybe not all, is quickly becoming established as a communication protocol, transcending traditional forms such as email, calls and the humble letter. But, therein lies the challenge – identifying which is the new killer app for your business-to-business communication, can be, at best, an inexact science.
Many businesses see the way forward as jumping into Social Media in as many ways as possible to make sure they don’t miss a potential prospect or customer interaction, but is this really sustainable? With new Social Media channels opening up seemingly daily – Pinterest; Foursquare; Instagram – how on Earth are you able to keep up?
And with each new social app channel potentially vying for the same eyes, the ‘killer’ element of any one app seems to get further away, not closer.
The two most important parts of any social media strategy start with making sure you choose the relevant platforms before any engagement begins and then working out what to say and how often to say it before commencing – get the app right and fill it with the right content.
Pinterest is a prime example of this. The predominantly business-to-consumer social platform allows users to ‘pin’ and share photos on various ‘boards’. This isn’t going to be a cost effective use of time or resource for most B2B companies, though some will warrant its use and others will add it to their list of all things social ‘just to make sure’.
In this economic climate it is essential to decide how best to deploy your available resource in the most effective manner.
Too many businesses fall into the trap of becoming social spammers – all broadcast and no engagement. It is fundamental to make sure that what is created is a dialogue and not a monologue. Social media isn’t about broadcasting; it’s about starting an interaction; a dialogue between you, your prospects and your existing customers.
So, is social media going to be the next killer app? Every new technology has its time and whether social media will prove to be a trend-driven fad, or become something that we can’t live and work without is something that only time will tell. In the meantime, you have to be careful about how and when you use it to best utilise the resources available and maximise the opportunity with your target audience.
Make sure it is right for your business, keep it relevant and keep it engaging. Get it right and you may well find your very own killer app.