Run social media trends through your business filter

Whoa. Whoa. And whoa.

Before you run out and start live streaming every aspect of your business — predicted to be one of the biggest social media trends for 2016 — here’s an important question: What’s your strategy?

While video and live streaming are hot in social marketing circles, they might not have the ROI businesses are hoping for if there’s not a solid plan behind them. The ever-changing social mediascape is creating a digital divide in even the most social-savvy workplaces, so it’s best to figure out your end game before rushing in.

Here are three things to consider before embracing this or other new media trends:

1. Will this tell our brand story effectively?
If you choose to tell your story through video or another medium, make sure it’s compelling, educational and entertaining. People want to connect with brands in meaningful ways, both in B2C and B2B environments. With all of the noise on social channels, quality content is more important than ever. Companies that go beyond the telling what of their business and hit the why, will connect emotionally with their audiences.

2. Is this the way to reach your audience?
Gone are the days when companies thought they had to have a presence on every social media channel. Investing effort on channels where you can build influence is a better approach. Today it’s about engaging your audience in meaningful ways rather than simply building followers. Once those influencers are engaged, they will share your content with other like-minded people.

3. Is there ROI?
It’s becoming increasingly easy (aka inexpensive) for businesses to create video content. Video can be a more intimate and immediate vehicle for your audience to experience your brand. It’s also possible to break down a video into other content such as images and text that can be repurposed on social channels. But don’t fall into the everyone’s doing it trap. You wouldn’t use that rationale in making other business decisions, so don’t do it here. If videos, etc., clearly help you meet your business objectives, then they’re worth exploring.

If you stick to a business-based strategy in evaluating trends, you can reduce risk and maximize rewards — a winning philosophy that stands the test of time.