How do you keep up with all the changes?
Something I was asked earlier in the week. Let’ be honest there’s not much that isn’t changing at the moment, whether it’s politics, technology, business we’re all surrounded by changes and ‘updates!’ Social Media is another one that over the past few years has totally changed. And for my business I don’t tend to learn about these changes until just before or once they’ve happen…not always helpful!
So how do I try to keep up? Well it’s a combination of things really…
Using & Playing Around with New Tools & Functions
As I’m more of a practical learner I get most out of trying it out first-hand. When Facebook changed the Ads Manager or introduced Live Video the first thing to do is try it out! It seems quite a few people are afraid of doing this when it comes to social media and business. When advising businesses I say to try out a few things and see what works for them. Ok it’s a bit of trial and error but unless you really don’t have a clue what’s the worst that can happen? Mmm, maybe don’t answer that…
I get heaps of blog updates, articles and news from various organisations to my inbox every day. The ones that seem of interest to me I flag up and make a point of going back and reading them. Often these are then the articles that I then share on Twitter. Some of my favourite articles to read about the latest trends, business fails, great examples and more come from Marketing Week, Think With Google and ClickZ.
If there is something that a business mentions or does and I’m not sure how they’ve done, like most people I turn to Google or YouTube. With more minutes of “How To…” videos on YouTube than there are in my life and endless step-by-step guides, there’s not much of an excuse to not even give it a try. Simply searching about the problem I came across or wanted to know about is how I learned and got to grips with Google Analytics and how to work various functions on Facebook , Twitter etc.
Over the last few months I’ve signed up to a number of Webinars and I’m a fan. Some have been free while others aren’t. What I like about Webinars is that it is real time (unless you’re catching up!) it’s like attending a workshop or course from the comfort of wherever you are in the world. Some of the webinar interfaces have chat boxes so we can ask questions directly to the presenter. Others are active throughout the session on Twitter. Pretty cool really. I attended a live webinar, a social media “masterclass” the other morning and although I think I’m fairly competent at what I do I still learned a number of top tips that I’ll use for both my own business and when advising others. It also made me realise how important attending such courses are – these experts have done the background work and willing to share their findings. Even better on certain programs their screen appears so shows exactly how to do something. Something else you could loose days watching and learning from is TED Talks (once you’ve finished reading this it’s definitely worth a visit, you can thank me later).
Social media is a key tool when learning and keeping up to date with social media. I follow industry experts, businesses that offer similar services to myself and the social media platforms for business. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc are all great at posting tips for businesses and introducing the latest ideas and updates.
And lastly I keep up with social by being sociable and having old school conversations with people at networking events , over a coffee in a bar wherever. Listening to what they have to say, asking questions and swapping experiences. No wifi connection required.
Although all this sounds like information overload, half the time you don’t realise you’re learning and keeping up with the latest social media trends. Every day is a school day after all!