Today, most of us are on various social networking sites, posting pictures of family, friends, pets, lifestyle, food and many more. There would be a small percentage of the population who would not be on social media, today. I don’t think it will be wrong to say that the boom of social media has invaded our personal space.
Social Media – The Online Market
If the majority of the population is on social media, wouldn’t it be an ideal market for all kinds of business? Indeed, it has already become a marketplace for many businesses, right from work from home businesses to luxury brand products are promoted on social media. It is an essential place to market products. Every company must have an innovative strategy to market their products. You need to establish who your customer is, target the right age group and the location where you want to market your product. It is essential to post information about your product and services online at regular intervals. A post has to be informative, entertaining, and useful for the customers, so they interact by liking, sharing or commenting on it. No wonder, a lot of effort goes into creating such posts or videos.
Finding your customer
Social media users’ profiles and posts speak a lot about their shopping habits, preferences and spending patterns. The searches on Google and YouTube seem to be tracked by social networking sites to understand what customers are looking for. For instance, I searched online for baby clothes and ever since, my social page has been promoting shopping websites and articles about various baby products.
What does a businessman want? Customers to see his product or rather, that his product is displayed where customers are hanging out on social media. It’s imperative to understand where your customers are online, for which you have to do a lot of research and interaction with the customers.
There is an explosion of data on every social networking site. You may not have enough time to go through each one of them. However, you will have to maintain your presence online by interacting with your customers or potential customers. You have to read a lot of information about your customer’s preferences, blogs and articles related to your industry, and market trends. Reading online information becomes a tedious activity for you. Time is a challenging factor too if your average reading speed is between 200 to 250 words per minute. You need to have a knack to run your eyes through information and pick up information that is just important for you.
Speed reading and techniques
Speed reading is a crucial skill to have in this social media age. I can’t stress enough to say, the information that is available online is massive. When you go through promotional posts and blogs relevant to your business, it will give you an exposure on to how to present information on social platforms. However, the information available is huge and reading every bit of online information will consume a lot of your time. Some of the techniques like skimming and scanning, chunking and avoiding sub-vocalization can help you to train on speed reading.
- Skimming and Scanning
Skimming is looking for ideas or crucial information from a page or paragraph. For e.g.; if you’re reading a blog, you need to look for the main ideas or details that are relevant to you. To further break it down, if you are reading a paragraph, you only read the first line to get an idea of what the paragraph is about, and then look for words or details that interest you in that paragraph and lastly, read the last line of the paragraph. Generally, when we read, we read every word by word. When we skim, we only read the relevant information.
In scanning, you’re looking for specific information. You’re not required to read through all of the available data. This method is useful when you’re looking for information in a specific category, reports or figures in trend analysis. You won’t be happy spending your time reading through an entire report when all you need to know is some relevant facts and figures. Hence scanning is just picking up relevant information without going through reading a whole lot of texts. Thus, it is saving a lot of time which you would have otherwise spent in reading every word in an article.
Chunking is the reading of a group of texts than word by word reading. It is a technique to read in phrases. When you’re chunking, you not only save time but also retain a lot of information in your memory. This method is ideal when you have to memorize information like strategies used by competitors, remember some feedback from customers to implement or make changes in your product, and when you’re studying about different products and features.
- Minimize Sub-Vocalization
Reading every word by word in your mind is called sub-vocalization. We are by nature, habituated to reading every word. However, this impacts our speed. When we have to deal with a huge amount of information, it is not possible to read everything that is presented to us. You have to practice not to read every word but only the relevant ones. For e.g., “Social media is an excellent platform for business”. This sentence has 8-words. We should train ourselves to only look at the important words, that is – ‘Social media platform business’. When we stop reading in our mind and glance through information that is relevant, we will be saving a lot of time.
The techniques of speed reading require practice and patience. Once you’re determined to devote your time into speed reading, I am sure you will master this skill. It is not possible in today’s times to spend a huge amount of time reading every bit of information. Time is required to plan, make strategies, market products, look at sales, and growth of the business. You could also try a speed reading course. We have reviewed one of the top speed reading courses called 7speed reading here.
Social media brings you closer to your customers. Customers do give comprehensive feedback on products and services which is visible to everyone, especially other potential customers and competitors. It is crucial that you don’t miss out on these details. You would also have to reply back and make immediate changes to your product and services. If you don’t respond, it can impact your brand and your presence in the market. The online interaction is not just limited to very few customers; it could be a huge number of them. Hence, it is important that you speed read through your customer’s feedback and questions and respond back as quickly as you can.
Social media platform is used to increase brand awareness, launch new products, communicate with customers, and boost your sales. Today most companies have a dedicated social media team to handle their online presence. If a company or business is not on social media, they are missing out a huge chunk of the market space.
There are so many different social networking sites that it would be quite intimidating to handle and market your products and services on the right platform. The most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Linkedin, YouTube, and WhatsApp. You have to figure out on which platform you want to market your products and services, as features of each of these platforms are quite different from the other. So start exploring, read rapidly and create wonderful, entertaining and useful posts.