And I don’t think you understand what you’re saying.
Recently, Shel Holtz (who spoke at Sundog in 2012) tweeted something that made me smile.
I could not agree with that sentiment more. Now, I know people title blogs like that because it gets lots of people clicking (“Facebook is dead? Huh?”), but what you end up doing is creating a sense of panic, a sense that every technology or system that people use today is speeding towards its imminent demise, and if we don’t get the heck off the ship now, we’re all going down with it.
Of course over time technologies will change and fade. Let’s be real, if we all recorded our blogs on cassette tapes and tried to sell them no one would be getting anywhere fast. But when I look into 2013, I feel pretty confident people are still going to be using computers, tablets, and smartphones (in fact, more people will be using them) and so if what you’re suggesting is dead in fact functions great on these devices, I’m going to question if there is weight to what you say. I’m also going to suggest marketers and companies do two things the next time they feel themselves falling down the slippery “something is dead” slope:
1. Quit panicking
2. Don’t forget who your customer is
Seriously, quit panicking. I can’t think of many great business decisions that were made in the midst of panic mode. Unfortunately, when we’re all connected in the 24-hour news cycle, mass hysteria seems pretty common. For example, when Instagram put out its new terms of service, Tweeters and marketers and businesses went a little nuts. Not only did they declare it Instagram’s downfall; they proclaimed, then and there, that they were done. Quitting. If you’re an average Joe, fine. The decision is personal (though still a little childish if you ask me). But if you are a professional marketer and Instagram was a part of your business plan? Maybe take more then 24 hours to make your decision. If Instagram was really working for your businesses, it’s just foolish to make those “knee-jerk” decisions, as they’ve been called. If the new terms are really making you nervous, consider sticking it out for now, while you explore other options. Is there another photo sharing service your customers are active on? Take time to find out, and then make the switch if you still deem it necessary. In the meantime “cool your jets,” as my mom would lovingly say.
To build on that idea, never ever stop thinking like your customer. Always know where they are, what devices they are using, and what websites they are checking. This is key when it comes to not falling for the “____ is dead” scenario. You may have heard that 20 somethings are over Facebook, and have moved on. Okay, fine. Did you know that senior citizens and the over 55 crowd are flooding Facebook right now? What if you sell reading glasses or those cool bathtubs with the doors that you can walk right into? I would suggest you think long and hard before buying into the idea that Facebook is “over.” Because it isn’t, it just isn’t the same thing we all started out with. What about podcasts? There was a lot of talk that no one was into those anymore either. However, smart and funny folks are doing some pretty incredible things with podcasting right now. Do you run an event venue or comedy club where some regulars would record shows for you? Is there someone at your company whose insights into your industry make you (and your colleagues) laugh, because they are just so true? There is an audience out there waiting to be entertained. If they are your potential customers, please don’t give up on the podcast. It’s not for everyone, but it is for someone.
My main wish is that you understand that sometimes dead just means different, and no decision should be made because a few blogs are trending. You’re a smart marketer, and if you keep a cool head and rely on your analytics and analysis to guide you through, you will see that managing scary waters and sinking social networks can be doable after all.