For the past few years, business owners and marketers have known that social media is a game-changer when it comes to reaching out to new clients and establishing brand loyalty. But, the opportunities that social networking sites present come with a cost that's hard to ignore: not only does your social activity itself take a bit of time, but keeping up with the latest trends and ideas feels like a part-time job all on its own.
In other words, you can't make the most of social media marketing if you don't stay on top of the latest trends, but you can't spend all of your time figuring out what's going on with Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn either.
To help you stay tuned into the social world, and especially the best practices in the industry, here are seven quick tips you can use to stop social media trends from passing you by:
1. Listen and learn. You can learn a lot just by hanging out with other business owners (or tech-savvy teenagers) and learning about what they're doing.
2. Track the most popular hashtags on Twitter. The biggest and most important trends will almost always have an accompanying storm of hashtagged tweets announcing and following them.
3. Get to know the G+ influencers in your industry. Likewise, the biggest news on social media is going to be discussed by industry experts. You can often learn more on Google +, which allows for more substantial content than Twitter, so follow a few people you can learn from.
4. Get plugged in to LinkedIn Groups. LinkedIn discussion groups are a largely-untapped gold mine of information and advice. It only takes a moment to join one, and the benefits could last for years.
5. Play with your apps and toys. There is no teacher like experience, and simply experimenting with social websites (and the accompanying apps) can be a great way to get to know them.
6. Attend a conference or training event. If you can devote a few hours to social media marketing, consider attending an event or workshop. You'll learn expert tips in a condensed format.
7. Subscribe to blogs like this one. An informative blog post is also a great way to absorb a lot of information in a quick, easy-to-understand format. Subscribe to a few (like ours) and you'll have a head start on learning everything you need to know.
While it is true that social media changes quickly, it's a myth that you have to spend all of your time on social sites to use them effectively. Instead, you just have to know where to look to find the highlights. Spend a few minutes a day following these tips and you'll be up to speed in no time.
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