It’s the job of any social media marketer and social media agency to keep up to date with the rapidly changing features of digital and social media platforms and their regulations. It’s how we stay ahead in a competitive market, figure out which trends to try before anyone else and get our clients the best results. But with so much changing on nearly a daily basis it can feel like a never-ending task to keep up with it all.
Fear not – it doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, it’s easy to streamline your information so that you’re staying ahead of the curve for platforms, influencers and trends that are most important to you without having to spend hours of extra time researching. We thought we’d share a few of our top sources and tips.
Digital marketing websites & podcasts
It probably goes without saying that news sources that focus entirely on digital marketing and social media updates are going to be among the first to deliver breaking news and inspiring campaigns. Websites like Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today, The Drum, Search Engine Journal, Moz Whiteboard Friday and Econsultancy can be incredible sources of information.
If you’re struggling to keep up with it all, it might be worth adding your favourite news sources to a news aggregator application, such as Feedly or Panda, which will pull in content from the websites you follow on the platform, allowing you to quickly scan headlines and read full stories for the topics you’re interested in. You could even make it your browser homepage, meaning that every time you open up a new tab you get to see the latest headlines.
Podcasts can also be incredibly valuable, particularly if you’re after in-depth information and expert commentary – they’re also perfect for listening to on your commute, making them easy to fit into your daily schedule. Tune into podcasts that are uploaded regularly so that you always know when to expect an update. A few of our favourites are the Social Media Marketing Podcast, The Science of Social Media and the Marketing School Podcast.
Sign up for Google alerts
Similarly, you can set up Google alerts to keep you informed of particular terms, digital topics, websites or influencers that you want to stay informed on. Opt-in for daily updates and Google will send you a neat little roundup each day of all the latest news on the areas you’re most interested in, taking all the legwork of searching out of the equation.
Follow digital influencers
When you hear the word influencers your mind might immediately turn to beauty bloggers doing a monthly favourites piece, or tech-geeks unboxing the latest iPhone. But the term encompasses a much broader range of people in the know, many of them who specialise in digital marketing or social media.
Following the right digital influencers can be beneficial for an in-depth look at how they perceive the latest trends, their opinions on current campaigns, or how they might tackle a certain challenge. Follow your favourites on Twitter and don’t be afraid to engage and interact with them when you feel that you can dive into the conversation – it’s a great way to make friends with peers and experts.
Attend digital marketing networking events
Once you’re having fun engaging with people on Twitter and LinkedIn, it might be time to get involved in local networking events that specialise in social media or digital marketing. Again, this is a really great way to make friends and connections, as well as learn from experts and peers about the latest news and what has or hasn’t worked for them. Not only that, they’re often informal so you can have fun even while learning.
We attend events on a regular basis, covering topics that affect lots of our different service areas. A couple of our favourites are Social Media Week, Social Day, BrightonSEO, CMA Live. We also host our very own SPOTlight events quarterly, which are a great way for us to get experts in the room and discuss hot topics and insightful information.
Keep up with social media news
Possibly the best place to get social media news from is – straight from the horse’s mouth, as they say – social media. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or otherwise, each platform will roll out its news regarding updates to the functionality and new features on the platform, so it’s worth checking in on their own blogs to ensure you’re not missing anything.
Finding great hashtags to follow on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram can also be invaluable for keeping up with trends. Try following a general term like #socialmediamarketing to keep up to date with the latest news, or hashtags related to your area of interest (for instance #bathroomideas if you’re in the interior design sector) to get inspiration for content trends.
Create social media ‘champions’ within your company
Finally, why don’t you consider sharing the task between multiple people within your company? Sharing the load means that it isn’t only one person’s responsibility to sit on top of all the latest information every single day. That way people can take on the platforms that they are most passionate about and really own their knowledge on that one platform. For instance, one person may love Pinterest while another may never have used it – play to the strengths of individuals and make the person who’s really into it the Pinterest champion at your company.
Although you should maintain a general knowledge of what’s going on across social media as a whole, having one person hold in-depth knowledge and experience within the platform will allow you to call on them if required while still having the time to innovate and look to other platform and projects.
Need a team of social media experts to keep up to date for you? Our team always has a finger on the pulse and we know how the latest changes in social media platforms can affect businesses across B2B and B2C sectors. Get in touch to see how we could help you with your next social media campaign.