Yesterday I got into a pretty in-depth debate about Augmented Reality in terms of social media development.
Nerdy, I know, I won’t even bore you with the details of the debate nor the definition of Augmented Reality, but if you don’t already know and are interested, here’s a pretty good summary from Mashable.
But truly the point of this blog isn't Augmented Reality. The overall takeaway was this: the person I was debating with insisted that a sexy new technology trend be picked up immediately and current efforts in online marketing (such as blogging and social media) should be dropped because this new technology will take over soon anyway.
The strategy is a little too aggressive for me, but the idea behind it is good. In order to stay ahead of trends and appeal to the greatest number of people it’s a good idea to read tech blogs and try to stay current on the latest trends.
But for an association executive who is likely short on time and help, you probably don’t have the ability to jump right into every trend that hits the scene, regardless of how much “buzz” you pick up on.
So how do you tow the line between staying current and ensuring you don’t waste your time?
1) Avoid the passing bandwagon and wait it out
Keep in mind that tech bloggers live and breathe the “next best thing.” It is not your job to read every single tech writer out there. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on emerging trends, but it’s not always worth your time and energy to keep a constant eye on what’s going on until it becomes big enough and tested by enough people to prove relevancy. Give it time.
2) Run it by your members
Next time you have a meeting, mention the technology or new social media platform you’re interested in to your members. Are they interested? Have they even heard about it? If not, what's the point?
3) Take a cursory glance
If you still the need to take your association to this new social media or technology, check it out further yourself. See the amount of work that will be involved for you and your members. Is it even doable?
Remember: just because there’s some flashy new technology or social media platform out there doesn’t mean it’s going to pan out. Even if it does pan out, it doesn’t mean that it’s the best investment of time and money for your association. Keep an eye on emerging trends so you and your association can stay relevant and connect with the next generation of association leaders and members, but be sure you don’t jump in too soon!