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Time, and social media, waits for no man

I’ve had the distinct feeling of déjà vu last month (January). No, not because of the short days and drab London weather, but because I’m wrestling with a new(ish) form of social media: Quora. I got the same feeling when I started exploring Twitter and Xing, for example. It’s the same sense of slight disorientation – even mild unease – that you get when you enter a new environment (either physical or virtual) that you don’t quite understand and struggle to navigate. That’s how I feel anyway – perhaps the ‘digital natives’ take to it like a duck to water.

But the point is, after a period of consolidation, social media is expanding again, with new platforms (including Tibbr and Pushnote) and new functionality – as discussed in our recent Analysis feature by Maxine Marshall. Meanwhile, many marketers are still in the relatively early stages of exploring social media, and will probably find the prospect of having to embrace a whole new tranche of platforms rather galling.

Five years ago, marketers could afford to play dumb about ‘exciting’ new innovations such as social media platforms. They could bury their heads in the sand and claim they were ‘not relevant’ and that they were ‘too busy’. Since then, things have changed profoundly and both digital generally and social media specifically, have become acknowledged as central in B2B. Consequently new developments in social media can no longer be dismissed out of hand. Regardless of their personal preferences for communication, marketers must ensure they understand the opportunities for, and implications of, social media; not just now, but in the future as social media is changing fast.

The good news is that the big changes have happened, and that there’s unlikely to be any new developments that are as significant as, say, Facebook or Twitter. But it will evolve.

So put aside your cynicism, take a deep breath and go off and explore these new environments. No single new platform is likely to transform your business today, or even tomorrow, but they represent the latest phase in a continuous process of evolution that is most likely to gather pace, and marketers can’t afford to fall behind

PS: you can connect with me here on Quora. Although I'm still not really sure what I'll be doing there...