4 Ways to Stay Up to Date on the Latest in Social Media Marketing

Today’s guest post comes from Drew Alvarez, who spent two weeks working as a Rep Cap high school intern earlier this summer. Drew is a rising senior at Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and is the 2014-2015 editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, Bearly Published.

Social media is an essential element of many organizations’ marketing efforts these days. If you’re already doing social media marketing, you’re off to a good start, but you can’t just coast on the knowledge you have now. Technology is constantly evolving and even the standard social media sites are frequently updating essential elements of their services.

Whether you’re a business owner or a marketer, if you’re engaged in marketing, you need to make sure you’re always on top of the latest developments in social media. That’s the only way you’ll ensure you stay up-to-date on all of these changes and make sure your efforts are making an impact.

I reached out to some marketing pros to find out how they stay up to date. Here are four strategies they shared that can help you stay savvy about the latest in social media marketing.

Do a Daily Blog Scan

Hundreds of new blog posts come out everyday about social media sites and how to use them for marketing. Instead of filtering through all of the blogs, a tiring activity, try to limit it to the sites that work best for you. Some good choices include Mashable, Social Media Today and Social Media Examiner. Just take a few minutes each day to scroll through your favorite sites to see if there are any new posts worth reading.

“I scroll through the feeds in the morning and if any updates have been made I make sure to either read them right away or bookmark them to read later on,” says Nicole Hoglund, owner of marketing consultancy Honestly Able. “I feel this has helped as I start my day knowing what the updates are and can see if I need to change any social media marketing strategies I have in place.”

Also, following these resources on their own social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook can be helpful, as they release extra tips and links to new posts throughout the day.

Go Looking for New Information

As I mentioned above, there are many websites and blogs that regularly share social media marketing news and advice via their social media accounts. However, it’s hard to catch everything they post, so it’s important to do your own research from time to time.

“If there is a social media trend or a new tool to be used, I do a little research on it and use it for my clients to see if it works,” says Neta Yoffe, founder of netaPR. “Not only do I then have the knowledge about it, but I apply it to my work, providing a win-win situation in the art of social media.”

Rep Cap’s own Lee Price agrees. “I sign up for everything — every new social tool and trial,” she says. “We try everything so that our clients don’t have to. I never consider this experimenting a waste of time, since I usually learn something new, even if we don’t end up subscribing to a tool long-term.”

Spend Time on Social Media Every Day

The best way to stay on top of the updates to social media marketing is to simply spend time each day on the platforms you’re using, as Megan Ingenbrandt, PR specialist for eZanga.com does.

“The best way to stay current in social media marketing is to spend at least a few minutes a day toying around with various social media platforms, seeing what they have to offer, and getting firsthand experience with new features or updates to each platform,” says Ingenbrandt. “Using social media daily helps you to circumvent any surprises that may arise in your SMM strategy.”

Attend Industry Events

If you have the means to travel and attend conferences and other industry events, you can learn a lot by doing so. If not, another way to keep up to date is to watch the latest speeches from the creators, CEOs, and experts of certain social media sites, as David Reischer, branding marketing manager of Legal Marketing Pages Corp., does.

“Participating in these events will help a marketer understand the unique ways social media marketing is being employed in their market segment,” Reischer says. “Oftentimes these technology and trade shows showcase how social media technology is being beneficially employed in your market ecosystem.”