By: Samantha Hewitt
A lot has changed over the last couple of years, months, weeks, even days in social media. From the insurgence of video – Vine (R.I.P.), Snapchat, Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, Musical.ly – to the ever-growing role of advertising, things move pretty quickly around here. Now more than ever, I’ve loved observing my clients ask interesting and compelling questions about what’s going on with their social media, beyond the numbers. They want to know how updates will affect their reach, how their target audience is responding to content, how to effectively leverage new tools…the list goes on. It’s exciting to witness the mental shift because as a social media manager, I’ve always believed knowledge is power. Here are three ways that social media pros and business owners alike can stay sharp and informed on social media:
Play consumer. Whether you’re an entrepreneur developing the latest and greatest beauty product or an event manager putting on a ticketed gala, it’s important that you remember what it’s like to be your consumer. Surf each platform your brand is on and notice which posts genuinely grab your attention. What’s special about them, and what do they have in common? What kind of visuals are they using? Did they tell you that they’re great, or show you? Step into your audience’s shoes and really consider if your content is appealing, digestible and motivating – you might be surprised by the view.
Listen to the pros. One of my favorite ways to keep up with industry updates is to tune into podcasts – they’re abundant, free and give you access to some of the most innovative thought leaders in almost every industry imaginable. There’s no shortage of podcasts that cover social media, and a lot of them publish quick reactions to viral campaigns or platform updates so you’re always ahead of the curve. If you’re not sure where to start, I recommend checking out Social Media Examiner, Social Pros and The Business of Story, to name a few.
Go one-on-one. You can’t realistically expect to excel on a platform that you know little about. Even if you have a team of social media aficionados handling the day-to-day, it doesn’t hurt to have a good understanding of the platforms where your brand engages with others. For a quick 101 on social platforms, I recommend visiting each platform’s business support page. You’ll find everything from basic how-tos and guides to success stories and recent updates in an organized place. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and LinkedIn all offer amazing resources!