Last week I had a great chat with a retail client about what really makes his store special. It is not the incredible designs or the quality fabric. Anyone can buy quality fabric and there are many great designers. What makes his store unique is the passion that he pours into it. The way he gets to know his clients and how those relationships inspire his designs. It reminded me of a post I wrote 10 years ago, The Corner Store in the Global Community. I shared that story again on Linkedin.
I do a lot of content marketing both for my own brand and for that of our clients. To be effective the content I write has to be relevant, timely, and informative. In a world that introduces new tools, changing platforms, and emerging memes a good portion of my time is spent just staying “in the know.” Here are 5 ways I find the information that we need to know.
1. Use RSS Feeds to Subscribe to the Change Makers
Back in the day, everyone who was doing anything on social media was using RSS feeds and there were many readers. Today there are many working in social media who probably could not tell you what an RSS reader is. That is ok because as the technology became more user-friendly, the need to understand RSS faded and many other ways to subscribe to content became available. I still like to user Feedly, where I can subscribe to the blogs/newsrooms of the various platforms (such as Facebook’s newsroom) to stay “in the know” of what has changed, what new features they are rolling out, and any tips and tricks that they share.
2. Curate Your Interests on Facebook
update – Facebook has “retired” Interest
I always have a tab with Facebook open and jump over to it just to see what is going on. I have followed all of my favorite media sites and oftentimes I will catch the latest news in my general feed. But to make sure I do not miss anything, I have also created an Interest list. Look on your left panel you should see a section that says Interests. When you click on that link you will be taken to a section where you can add the categories or actual pages that you are interested in following.
3. Stay Alerted with Google Alerts
Google Alerts has been my source of information for nearly 10 years. I have an alert set for my name and I was once alerted that I had a speaking gig coming up which I had completely forgotten about…so there is that. I set up alerts for each of our clients, not just their brand name but also keywords related to their industry or forces that affect their industry. I have alerts set up for every social media platform as well as future trends such as the Internet of Things and Bitcoin. The information comes to my Gmail account and is filtered into a folder. I set aside an hour a day to skim through all the headlines and save the articles I need to save and read later and read the articles that demand my immediate attention.
4. When News Breaks, It Breaks On Twitter
There are 2 ways I stay “in the know” on Twitter. I create lists of accounts that tend to break news that I need to know and I set up and save searches based on keywords. The keyword search is a bit noisy. People are not necessarily tweeting what I need to know just because they are using the words I am monitoring, but the search does allow me to find like minds to engage with. Lists are the more valuable feature. You can make your lists public or private and you can put accounts in your lists that you do not necessarily want to follow but you want to watch, such as your competitors.
5. Read It on Reddit
If it is worthy of reading it will be posted on Reddit. If you are new to Reddit your first several visits may seem overwhelming. The trick is to know what you want to know and find the subreddits to follow. In the search box (on the top right) type in what you are interested in. The results will show you the subreddits first which will include how many subscribers on in the subreddit and how old the subreddit is. You can then subscribe to the subreddits that will keep you in the know. When you decide to start participating in the community, be very careful to follow rules and guidelines or you will find yourself shadowbanned.
Do you have anything to add? Tell me in the comments.