In business, we’re told to plan for every eventuality. And although this makes good business sense, when it comes to social media, all of the planning, strategy meetings, update meetings and brainstorming sessions can, at times, get in the way of us getting stuck in and actually achieving our key objectives. When considering the immediacy and rapid pace of the social news cycle, it may be worth taking a leaf out of Facebook’s book, whose mantra throughout it’s formative years had been “move fast and break things”?
Simply put, “now-ism is the practice of jumping in and having a go without over excessive analysis and too much planning”. Businesses often get caught up in creating the perfect strategy and forget the importance of being reactive. This is where “now-ism” comes in, encouraging spontaneity, taking chances and real-time marketing.
WHY IS “NOW-ISM” IMPORTANT FOR SOCIAL MEDIA?
Although a business can have the most carefully laid plans, it’s important to be reactive. This is even truer when it comes to social media marketing.
It’s easy to stay exactly where you are, to play it safe, or carefully plan and wait for everything to be perfect before you make your next move. But in 2016, is that the best approach? Technology’s changing at such a rapid pace that businesses need to run just to catch-up. Competition’s also getting stronger, so it’s important to stay ahead of the game. Sometimes, the best time to take action is now.
That’s not to say that planning’s not important – we don’t suggest for a minute that you should always jump in and give things a go without thinking it through first. In fact, Facebook’s mantra’s recently been refined to “move fast with stable infrastructure”. Although this might not have the same ring to it as their last one, it points out that moving fast is crucial to success, but it’s also important to have a solid strategy at the heart of your actions. Perhaps many other businesses could benefit from this approach too.
HOW CAN BUSINESSES EMBRACE “NOW-ISM” FOR SOCIAL MEDIA?
Small businesses are in a great position to be reactive, with much more freedom and flexibility. However, as businesses get bigger, in some cases, part of their spontaneity unfortunately dissipates. For example, social media posts may need to be created weeks in advance so that they can be approved by various people within the business, before being published to Facebook.
Here are some simple suggestions, to help you bring some “now-ism” to your own social media:
1. GET AGREEMENT FROM MANAGERS
Ensure you have backing from managers to be more reactive. You can still have an approved posting plan, but get permission to add to it, as required. To give more assurance, you could consider creating clear social media, branding and tone of voice guidelines, to follow when creating ad-hoc content.
2. JUMP ON THE BACK OF TRENDS
Whatever your business, make sure you monitor current trends. There may be something that your business can jump on the back of and create a post about (also known as ‘newsjacking’). Trending topics tend to have a very short lifespan though, so it’s important to react quickly. Twitter’s a great place to start looking for trends, but be careful – just because you can, doesn’t mean you always should. Ensure that anything you post is appropriate, relevant to your business and is creative. A good example of newsjacking gone wrong is when England’s royal baby was born and every marketer jumped on the bandwagon, which led to negative reactions from audiences.
3. BE ON STANDBY
Whether you’re running your own business event, or there’s a big event in the calendar, don’t leave your social media accounts unattended. Make sure someone is on stand-by (even out-of-hours), to research and react to the event, along with your audience. Oreo is the perfect example of this – they were quick off the mark with their clever blackout post during the 2013 Super Bowl.
4. TRY NEW TECHNOLOGIES OUT FOR YOURSELF
Although your company may not be happy for you to experiment with new social media features straight away on their business accounts, why not test out new features or ideas on your own personal channels? For example, you could try out Instagram’s longer 30 second videos, investigate Snapchat with your friends or experiment with Facebook Live. Test the features out and then if they could have benefit to your business, then pitch them to your boss.