Small business owners have enough on their plates. They have to watch expenses, create marketing pieces, go to sales meetings, follow trends in their industry and keep up with trends on social media. They might have trouble staying on top of them all, but if they fail to pay attention to social media trends, they could miss golden opportunities.
Besides new features added to Facebook, LinkedIn Twitter and Pinterest, new social media sites are launched that do different things. Being on the forefront of social media changes can be accomplished. Here are a few suggestions on ways you can do just that.
1) Create a stream on Twitter with popular hashtags
You can start your goal of staying on top of social media by using social media. Create a stream on Twitter with popular social media hashtags. You can use terms like #socialmediamarketing, #smchat or #TwitterTip. Don't be too general because you will see an influx of tweets into your stream. This stream will help you know what you can expect for the next month.
2) Make a Twitter list of influencers in the industry
Experts in social media often hang out in the social media sites. Whenever there is a new announcement that you should know, you will be able to get advice from the industry leaders tweeting the change and discussing it. Use the hashtags that you gathered and pick out the most active or insightful people who are tweeting. Make a Twitter list based on your research and spend time each day listening to what they have to say. Ask them questions too. That's why they are experts.
3) Use Google Alerts on terms and influencers
Now that you have a list of influencers that you can follow on social media, you can set up a Google Alert for some of them. That way you will get regular updates when they post content or are interviewed about social media. Pick your top three favorite influencers and set up Google Alerts for them. This will help you stay up to date on any breaking news in the industry. Getting the alert once a day is perfectly reasonable. All you have to do is type in your search term (the influencer's name), select the types of results you want to see (news, blogs, videos, etc.), select your frequency, and you are ready to go.
4) Join LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn discussions can get lively. Because the site is geared toward business owners, they talk about changes on Facebook, new social media sites launching or future trends. You also will meet a lot of other social media enthusiasts. You will be able to network and ask questions of these people.
5) Subscribe to social media blogs
Also, you should read blogs that post content about social media so you can be sure that you won't miss anything. If there's a new feature or trend, it will definitely be on written about in detail on these blogs. More important than subscribing to these blogs is making sure you set aside time each week to read through your content.
6) Go to a conference
Take the time to go to a social media conference. This will be a great opportunity to hear from social media experts in the industry and be able to ask the burning questions you may have. You will get the most up-to-date advice about running a social media campaign and what you should know when using social media. You don't have to attend in person. For example, Social Media Week allows you to attend via your phone, computer or tablet.