Social networks are no longer just a way to kill time. These platforms can help you find jobs, market your products, and connect with valuable contacts. They can even spark business ideas.
Instead of scrolling aimlessly through your Facebook news feed and Twitter feed, here are eight nifty ways to use social media to come up with new business ideas.
1. Look for questions in the captions.
If you’re in the market for a new idea for a tech product or service, head over to the news and entertainment social media site Reddit and start surfing subreddits (domains). In particular, people looking for new business ideas should check out the captions and make use of the Ask Me Anything feature, where users can ask questions of experts and celebrities who might uncover potential ideas for kids or girls. medium-sized enterprises.
If your talents lie in identifying or creating the next must-have product, create a Pinterest account. The image-based social media site provides a constant stream of new images to get you to think creatively about new business ideas.
“Of all the social media sites, Pinterest is one of the best for seeing the next hot product trend,” said Gail Oliver, small business consultant and blogger at Attention Getting Marketing. Oliver said she has seen a lot of wedding, home decor and fashion trends take off thanks to Pinterest.
Pinterest users can monitor comments without alerting other users and gain a site-wide overview of what people think about each Pin. Oliver said the oft-overlooked comments section provides more inspiration for new ideas than some other social media sites.
“The comments are also visible to everyone, so you can see what people are saying,” Oliver said.
Pinterest recently started supporting hashtags on Pins, which is a win for business owners and people looking to start a business. You can now insert a relevant hashtag in the search bar to quickly find relevant Pins. You might be able to find some popular niche pins that could spark an idea.
For another largely untapped social media source of insightful content, use your smartphone to browse one of the lesser-known mobile social networks or visit a social shopping network. If apps aren’t your thing, try visiting a few niche social sites for inspiration.
“I think social sharing sites like Wanelo [an online world shopping community] and Lovers [dedicated to shopping for weddings] are better at identifying business opportunities, ”Oliver said, because they gauge people’s interest and approval with the whole“ likes ”system, rather than just measuring your followers’ reaction.
4. Check your competition.
A stealthy way to come up with new business ideas is to quietly monitor the social media activity of big players or competitors in your potential industry.
“The trick to using social media to come up with new ideas and stay on top of current trends is to watch your competition,” said Matthew Reischer, CEO of LegalAdvice.com.
When you see the totality of your competition’s engagement in the market, you have a better idea of an overall model that allows you to connect the dots to discover new ideas, he said.
“Read your competitors’ content on the industry and their tweets about new initiatives in their business,” added Reischer. “Pay attention to social jokes between everyone involved and you can begin to better understand the ecosystem of the market in which you operate. “
5. Pay attention to complaints.
Social media is the perfect place to complain about anything, including products and services. While reading complaints might not be a fun afternoon, if you see multiple people complaining about the same thing, you can identify shortcomings in a market.
“People don’t always know what they want, but they know what their frustrations are,” said Dayne Shuda, founder of Ghost Blog Writers. “A good indication that you are on to something as an entrepreneur is when you see very common frustration. Social media offers the opportunity to observe this like never before in history.”
Nicky Barua, co-founder of Nidel Dresses, also recommends looking at complaints and how people are receiving the different products you are interested in.
“You can take it a step further and search the forums if there is a large market with the same issues,” Barua said. “Now is a great time to generate your business idea and get started with a solution. “
6. Look for trends.
As you scroll through your social media feeds, be aware of what you are seeing and start looking for trends. When Lilia Karimi, co-founder of Wedwell, searched the internet for wedding ideas, she noticed that most of the wedding industry is focused on planning and weight loss, rather than wellness and fitness. emotional health. So she decided to fill the void in the market and start a business that brings well-being to the wedding industry.
“I recommend people take a closer look at their news feeds and see if it motivates and inspires them, and if not, [decide] what they would like to see more, ”said Karimi.
Barua suggests starting by researching hashtags and keywords that resonate with an idea you’re passionate about. This return could spark a new idea.
“Consider following key hashtags on Instagram that are relevant to your particular industry,” added Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation. “It allows you to find out what your target audience is talking about [and] also discover new trending topics. “
8. Join Facebook groups.
Facebook groups are growing in popularity and are a gold mine for business ideas. Find and join groups relevant to the industry you plan to join, then monitor what people are saying in the groups.
Hopefully people are active in groups and will provide you with lots of ideas. When people complain, write down their pain points and think about ways you could help them. When they praise something, take note of it and think about how you can add to it.
Large Facebook groups typically include both potential consumers and competitors, and it’s important to know what they’re all saying.