Keeping Up on Trends While You Run Your Business

Keeping Up on Trends While You Run Your Business

When you’re working in social media, the only thing certain is that everything is about to change and absolutely rock your world. Trends are changing all the time, and you never know what’s coming next. To me, that’s exciting, but it’s also worrisome when you’re trying to balance doing social media, running a business and having a family.

Keeping up with what is happening in the social media world is vital when that’s your business. But it can also be time consuming. You can feel like you’re standing in front of a firehose while a flood of information just comes at you. And you need to look at that information critically to be able to figure out what trends to follow? It’s truly a never-ending battle.

I try hard to keep X updated with what I’m reading and then share two articles I think are interesting weekly. But there is a lot more out there that might be more applicable to your business than what I’m sharing. I am only sharing a very small amount of articles that come past my desk after all.

So what can you do to keep up without spending too much time on it? Here’s what I do.

Read the blogs

To me, some of the best information is still on the blogs. Obviously checking in on each site itself daily is way too much for me. If I had to do that, I wouldn’t read anything.

I personally use Feedly to keep my blog reading a seamless part of my day. Blogs come in and out of my Feedly list as they become useful or not useful to me. Just like with my social media accounts, when I add a new blog, it’s an audition to see if it belongs in my feed. If it doesn’t, I’m not shy about letting it go.

I like to keep my Feedly on the Title-Only layout for maximum scrolling. Even though I’m following the most applicable blogs, no blog will always post about what most interests me and my clients. So the ability to scroll and look for keywords is super important to me.

Feedly also provides easy sharing to Buffer, the program I use for scheduling. I admit that I don’t use that too often, because many of the blogs I read only give a snippet in Feedly and I have to go to the blog’s actual site to read the whole thing.

Overall, this is the most seamless way I’ve found to read blogs and share what I’m reading with others, but there are other ways as well. You should do it the way that works for you.

Social media manager groups

I love being a part of social media manager groups, especially those who are interested in aspects of social media that are not my specialty.

The thing about good social media managers is that they get excited. Super excited. When they happen about something that works, they share with their fellow social media managers. This probably has a lot to do with the lack of support they receive within their own organizations and instead find in these online groups full of people like them. It could even be because they want to talk shop with those who get it. It is awfully lonely when you are the only one in your department, after all.

And this is why I especially like those who are focused on specialties that aren’t my own. I can see potential in new developments surrounding what I do but can’t always see it in what I don’t do regularly. That’s why these groups are priceless for me.

But it’s not only large groups. I have several one-on-one relationships with people who work in slightly different areas of social media and they provide this kind of information but even better since we talk on private channels. So it’s not good enough to just get into these groups and watch. You have to also make relationships, so you can take it to the next level.

Be the trend

Of course my best way of staying on top of the trends is experimenting. That is the only way to stay ahead of trends and potentially do innovative campaigns before anyone else is aware of what’s possible.

The thing is that being the trend is the most effective way to staying on top of trends. Keeping a sense of wonder with what social media can do and acting on that wonder is always going to keep you ahead of the game.

Is that difficult in a world where you are working with clients? Absolutely. I wish we lived in a world where every client trusted us completely and could see why experimentation is great for them. But the fact is we don’t live in that ideal world and they want to make sure everything we do is not a waste of resources. So they want to see the campaign in action and succeeding from other organizations.

How do we get around this? My best tool is my enthusiasm. If I’m honestly so excited about something, I’ve found clients will usually get on board at some level. And even though it isn’t ideal, keeping these experiments somewhat rooted in things that have already worked will eventually get you towards what you actually want to do.

Staying on top of trends when you seem to be doing all the things all the time is difficult. But if you work towards it a little bit every day, it is possible.

How are you staying on top of trends?

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