In social media, things are constantly changing, new platforms are being developed, new research is being released, and audience wants/needs are changing. This rapid pace has major implications for brands embarking on a new social media initiative or growing an existing program. Think about 5 or 10 years ago…do you remember news on the predicted the success of Facebook? The rise of mobile users? The new platforms that were just in development? It’s virtually impossible for marketers to predict what social media will look like in a few years. For example, Pinterest grew rapidly (after a bit of a slow burn) thanks to a combination of a trend for consumers to favor visuals, the rise of responsive web design, increased support for mobile data use, and a decrease in attention spans. It’s easy to see how a a brand may feel that they need to take advantage of the latest and greatest trend in social media to stay current. However, a further evaluation may reveal that the new platform isn’t a good fit for the brand’s target audience or business objectives. For this reason, it’s critical to review social media as part of the overall business objectives, not just in a vacuum. Frequent and thorough evaluation paired with careful strategic planning will help drive continued growth of a social media initiative, no matter the changes to the trends or technology.