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Keeping your finger on the pulse of social media

Over the past decade, social media has changed the way that businesses communicate with their audiences. Research shows that a significant number of people use social media to follow their favourite brands. This medium of communication has proven very effective and dynamic. Shifts occur so often in the world of social media that whole websites exist just to keep track of them all.

Needless to say, B2C commerce has changed a lot in the past decade. For a long time, businesses depended largely on traditional advertising mediums, celebrity endorsements and other gimmicks to get their message in front of potential clients. They would then initiate the hard sell in order to close the deal. While these tactics still have their place in the business world, today’s consumers desire information and two-way communication more than ever.

Exchanging ideas

Consumers want to know all about the products and services they’re spending money on, and they expect businesses to oblige them. Social media facilitates this by creating a platform for exchanging ideas. Information flows freely and easily across social media platforms and allows brands to reach a large number of people with little effort. It puts everyone on a level playing field. Both large and small companies can reach their audience using the same technology. Social media is also free to use, and you can’t get more cost-effective than free.

The downside to all of this is that since social media is so accessible, literally anyone can create a Facebook page and call themselves your competitor. Also, as mentioned above, social media is ever-evolving and sometimes difficult to keep up with. Terms like ‘social graph’ and ‘sponsored tweets’ often pop up literally overnight. Staying ahead of the curve can seem daunting, but there are a number of ways to effectively keep on top of social media for your financial advisory business.

Follow the right accounts

Using social media to stay on top of social media is pretty intuitive and also quite effective. If you know who to follow on Twitter, then you’ll have pretty much all the news you need in your Twitter stream.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a great tool for keeping your ear to the virtual ground. All you do is enter the keywords you would like to track (for example, ‘social media for business’ or ‘social media trends’) and you will receive regular emails with the top results for your keywords. You can choose the frequency of the emails and control how many results get returned to you.

Attend conferences and expos

Catching up on news from the convenience of your home or office is all well and good, but nothing beats going straight to the source. Conferences and expos give you the chance to do just that. Plus, they give you a chance to network with social media insiders and other business owners.

Intra-office updates

If you have a team of people involved in your business’ social media efforts, then it’s a good idea to hold regular meetings so that everyone is on the same page. It’s a good time to talk about the company’s digital marketing campaigns, as well as update each other on the latest news. This is also a good way to clue other team members who may not know much about social media marketing.

Social media is booming and shows no signs of slowing down. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ allow firms to share information and increase client engagement on a whole new level. Luckily, you have lots of ways to stay on top of the latest social media developments, though the best way to learn will always be to dive in and try it for yourself.

Paul Bearman, Senior Editor, Goldmine Media

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