When to Ignore Digital Trends

When handling the digital presence of your business, it can feel like a constant game of catch-up. Every day, a new article tells you all the major things that you’re not doing. 3 Ways Ironic Social Media Can Prevent Your Business From Utter Decimation

“Well, I don’t want to be decimated,” you think, and well you should. Decimation is sure to cut into your quarterly earnings, definitely to be avoided. 

But as you begin pivoting to engage the well-reasoned suggestions of the article, a new article tells you Ironic Social Media is OUT! Authentic Social Presence Responds Well With Millenials. You sigh and tear apart the memo laying out your plan to optimize your social with memes, and begin soul-searching for sincerity – until the next article appears.

This sentiment is born from a good place. If you are in a position to influence the direction your business goes, there is no shortage of people willing to tell you what that direction should be. What you’re aiming for is an ever-changing target based on the whims of “influencers” with daily writing quotas, not necessarily experts in the business of doing actual business.

Beyond the regular blogosphere, Linkedin is filled with “Leaders” who are among the most famous people no one has ever heard of. Pulling out their cell phones to record a thoughtful diatribe on management, marketing – personal fitness? Whatever the topic, you need to hear it and implement the ideas right now or you will become a carbon copy of the worst managers you ever had.

Hold on. You are a good, empathetic person who wants the best for your company. That much is obvious. That doesn’t mean every bit of half-baked wisdom is worth investing time, thought, and money into. Many of the ideas you encounter will seem like good sense at first glance – maybe it just gives you a new perspective. That’s all well and good. But when you begin to shift your strategies to match trends, you not only eliminate the possibility of making any one strategy effective, but also dilute your brand. 

Your brand isn’t just your logo, values, and product-it’s your entire approach to marketing. People will grow to respect a brand when it enters the channels they expect and delivers a message they understand. That isn’t to say surprising people isn’t a good idea, but this should be the exception rather than the rule. If your digital footwork is constantly shifting, people won’t be surprised and intrigued when they don’t immediately understand what you’re doing – they’ll be annoyed and confused.

I’ve been speaking ephemerally for long enough. Let’s dive into some specific examples so we’re all on the same page.

Remember the fake article from the start of this blog post? A quick google search showed me that it’s totally real. Here it is: How to Use Authenticity to Capture the Attention of Generation Z.

And here is an example of a brand being sardonic and irreverent: 

Along with articles to prove that this style is appreciated: 20 Savage Tweets That Prove Wendy’s Twitter Is The Best Twitter

An approach like this works for Wendy’s because they stick to their guns. A tweet as “rude” as one from the Wendy’s twitter account would get a social media manager fired if it was coming from the Microsoft twitter account. That same tweet would get thousands of likes and retweets coming from Wendy’s, a voice people understand is supposed to be cheeky.

The most important thing to do is to build your brand to be consistent with who you are. You don’t need to take advice you don’t need from bloggers and “thought leaders” chasing the cutting edge. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was your brand. 

So how do you keep your business from utter decimation in 2019? Find your guns and stick to them. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot. 

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