Tips for Social Media Research

As an avid social media fan for years, I have been teaching myself about the medium for some time. Recently, I started my dream job. To say I feel blessed is an understatement; I am humbled and honored. I am now working as a social media manager at a small marketing firm.

As I adjust to my new position, I have found myself diving in with enthusiasm as I research what we can do to enhance our social media reach and truly engage our friends and followers.

To do this, I have discovered a few ways to help myself more effectively research social media trends.

  1. Create a Twitter account solely for research: I started a new Twitter handle, @SocMediaSiren, so I can follow only social media news, entrepreneurs, and social media superstars.
  2. Subscribe to Fast Company. No explanation here. Just do it.
  3. Read every day. Don’t check it just once. Check it several times a day for breaking news. Don’t stop there. Look for every media outlet you can that features social media.
  4. Research on the various aspects of social media/mobile marketing. Just because you manage your clients’ Twitter and Facebook accounts doesn’t mean that at some point mobile marketing won’t be an option.
  5. Create a separate Facebook account solely to manage your clients’ accounts. It keeps you from having to tell your friends you can’t talk when they enthusiastically instant message you.
  6. Master Hootsuite ASAP. Not only is it probably a requirement, but understanding it will help you learn how to do handy things like schedule posts for certain times.
  7. Research who the leaders in social media are and read their blogs. Follow them. Learn everything you can about what they’re doing right. Do you work with consumer brands? Which consumer brands have been the most successful with social media? Work in sports? Which teams/athletes/brands have been the most successful with social media? And so on. Savvy?
  8. Teach yourself social media ROI backwards and forward. Don’t just learn it so you understand. It’s even more important to learn how to explain social media ROI to your client. This is constantly changing so it’s important to stay abreast of.
  9. Create a Facebook page just for research and for managing brand Facebook accounts. I’ve liked a lot of pages on Facebook strictly for to study their engagement which might be a tad embarrassing if friends thought I was a hardcore fan of. Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian’s pages are great examples of this. By creating a “work” Facebook account, you can separate your work and personal lives on Facebook. It’s almost the same as putting on a suit for a video conference when you’re at home. You might not be going anywhere but just dressing yourself right puts you in the right mindset.
  10. “Never lose your beginner’s spirit.” – Lance Armstrong. In other words, never lose your passion for social media. Stay engaged by blogging, retweeting, tweeting — whatever you need to do to keep learning and keep growing to be the best social media expert you can be.

These are some tips that have worked for me. Do you have any you would add to this list? Let me know. Comment below or shoot me a mention on Twitter @SarahBonkowski. Or just follow me and I’ll follow you back. 🙂

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