If there’s one thing you can say about social media, it’s never boring! Trying to stay on trend can sometimes feel impossible.
Think about the changes we’ve witnessed over the past few years. Facebook acquired Instagram; Microsoft acquired LinkedIn. Promoted posts and ads have become a necessity, and social commerce is rising to prominence. New features are rolling out regularly, and new social platforms like Snapchat continue to appear, seemingly out of nowhere, to take the social media world by storm.
It’s an exciting time to be in the world of social media. But for the business owner, keeping up with all of the changes can feel a bit overwhelming.
So how can you find time to stay ahead of the social media learning curve without losing your mind in the process? Coincidentally, the answers you seek are often found on — you guessed it — social media!
1. Follow on Twitter
If you want to stay ahead of the curve, you need to start running with the big dogs of social media. You know the types, the gurus who always seem to be one step ahead of the competition. Latch on to them, and you’ll find yourself on the cutting edge of social networking.
If you’re new to the world of social media gurus, Twitter’s hashtag search can help you narrow the field. You can start with something simple, like #socialmediamarketing, and go from there.
As with any search engine, the more specific your query, the better your results. Plus, you can save the searches that produce the best results and create dedicated lists so you can browse your social tweets without unnecessary distraction.
Here are a few Twitter gurus we like to keep our eyes on:
- David Pogue (@Pogue)
- Jeff Bullas (@jeffbullas)
- Jordan Gillette (@JordanGillette)
- OutboundEngine (@OutboundEngine)
- Mashable (@mashable/social-media)
- TechCrunch (@TechCrunch)
And don’t just listen in; join the conversation! It’s a great way to increase your standing as an industry thought leader.
2. Take Advantage of RSS Feed Aggregators
As a business owner, your time is precious. You want to keep up with social media changes, but you don’t always have time to skim blogs and news sites. RSS Feed Aggregators deliver the most relevant information in a stripped-down format, so you can view it from anywhere without worrying about unnecessary distractions or compatibility issues.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas:
3. Set Google Alerts
If you haven’t already, take the time to set up some social media focused Google Alerts. It’s as simple as typing in your search term and creating the alert, but Google also provides some helpful search options, as seen here.
With the right combination of search terms and filter options, you can personalize your RSS feed. Content can also be delivered directly to your inbox as it appears, once a day or once a week. Up to you.
4. Watch YouTube
YouTube holds a wealth of knowledge that can help you stay ahead of the social media learning curve. You can browse the general search or use YouTube’s filters to go directly to related channels.
See something you like? Subscribe! Return to your subscriptions as time permits, and jump straight into learning without the added hassle of searching for new content.
Here are a few YouTube channels we find interesting:
Tip: Podcasts are another popular platform for the social media savvy. While some include video, many are audio-only, making them the perfect learning companion for the commute home. Popular podcasts from Social Media Today and Lifehacker are a good starting point.
5. Network With the Social Media Savvy
Networking is never a bad idea for a business owner, and it’s a great way to stay ahead of the social media learning curve. If you don’t have a lot of social media savvy friends in your everyday life, you can easily get your fix online by attending webinars, following conference hashtags or watching their live streams and joining online communities.
LinkedIn Groups and other online communities not only present an opportunity for social media learning but also an opportunity to expand your reach and establish yourself as an industry expert. All it takes is a regular contribution — asking and answering questions, offering insight and suggestions, etc. Before you know it, other business owners will turn to you as a social media guru!
Social media is in a constant state of evolution, and every change has the potential to impact the success of your business and marketing. By staying ahead of the social media learning curve, you can keep your marketing strategies relevant and on target.
And if you find that you just don’t have time to grease the cogs of the social media machine, don’t fret. We can help you automate the process!
Last Updated 1/17/2018, Originally Published 7/25/2016