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How to avoid #SMSOS - Social Media Shiny Object Syndrome. 
Many of us have, at one time or another, fallen victim to the Social Media Shiny Object Syndrome (clinically referred to as SMSOS). Although it usually has little social ripple when it affects an individual - unless your social media influence is based on your own personal online presence - it can have a more detrimental side effect on businesses.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this syndrome, it involves troves of people uninhibitedly jumping onto the ‘look at this brand new social media shiny object … I want it, I want it, I want it’ bandwagon. In most cases, users are plagued with maintaining a chronically underperforming social channel. In very few cases, #SMSOS victims come out of this affliction unscathed and socially stronger for it – just ask the first thousand or so Facebook users. However, this last outcome is rare in today’s virally driven social media ecosystem.

How can I avoid falling victim to this phenomenon, you ask?

Don’t worry, there is a #SMSOS vaccine and it is relatively painless: don’t be too quick to link your business to new social media ventures. Take time to ‘personally’ investigate and asses the shiny object and interact with some of its users.

Once you are satisfied that the social startup shows strong potential for growth and, more importantly, a potential for your business to gain a quality following, incorporate it to you social media strategy and carefully plan its implementation.

Abandoning a social media channel can have a negative effect on your business. It is not only a sign of “social weakness” but it can also reflect poorly on your online customer service as well as your social media knowhow and project management capabilities.

Is there a cure for #SMSOS?

If your business has contracted #SMSOS there isn’t much you can do. However, here are a few steps that your business can follow to minimize the damage.

First, launch a campaign that aims to direct users to your other, more successful, social channels.

Second, honestly inform your community of the situation, encourage members to join your business on your other social channels and thank them for having been part of the social community.

Finally, shut down your social media channel promptly once you have informed your community that you will no longer be maintaining it. Most community members don’t visit social media account pages, especially if you are no longer posting content. Moreover, you probably don’t want any new people joining the community when you are planning on deleting your social media channel.

If you are worried about missing out on a ‘social phenomenon’, don’t be: taking a few months to better assess and understand the features and functionalities of a new social startup can only help your business establish a strong social presence in the long run.

Assess, Strategize, Plan and Implement!


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