Published 22 February 2018 Category: Entrepreneurs, SMEs, Startups, Business, Social Media

The Social Media Spark

How To Find New Business Ideas with Social Media

Social media is no longer just a way to kill time. These platforms can help you find a job, market your products, connect you with valuable contacts - it can even spark business ideas. Instead of aimlessly scrolling through your Facebook timeline and Twitter feed, here are seven ways to use social media to spark new business ideas.

1. Search questions in subreddits
If you're on the prowl for a new tech-related product or service idea, head over to news and entertainment social media site Reddit, and start surfing the subreddits, or subject areas. In particular, people looking for new business ideas should review subreddits and use the Ask Me Anything feature, where users can ask experts and celebrities questions that may uncover potential ideas for small or midsize businesses.

2. Look at the comments on Pinterest
If your talents lie in identifying or creating the next great must-have product, get a Pinterest account. The image-based social media site provides a constant stream of new images to get you thinking creatively about new business ideas.

Of all the social media sites, Pinterest is one of the best to see the next hot product trend. Many trends take off because of Pinterest.

Pinterest users can monitor comments without alerting other users, to get a site-wide look at what people think of each pin. the sometimes-overlooked comments section provides more inspiration for new ideas than some other social media sites.

3. Uncover under-the-radar social media networks and apps
For another largely untapped social media source of idea-rich content, use your smartphone to cruise through one of the lesser-known mobile social networks, or visit a social shopping network. If apps aren't your thing, try a visit to a couple of niche social sites for inspiration.

4. Check out your competitors
A stealthy way to find new business ideas is to quietly monitor the social media activity of the big players and/or competitors in the industries in which you're interested.

The trick to using social media to find new ideas and stay on top of the current trends is to monitor your competitors.

When you see the totality of engagement from your market competitors, you get a better sense of an overall pattern that allows you to connect the dots to discover new ideas. Also, read your competitors' content about the industry and their tweets about new initiatives in their company. Pay attention to the social banter among all participants, and you can begin to assemble a better-informed understanding of the market ecosystem in which you operate.

5. Pay attention to complaints
Social media is the go-to place to complain about everything, including products and services. While reading complaints might not make for a fun afternoon, if you see multiple people complaining about the same thing, you can identify gaps in a market.

People don't always know what they want, but they know what frustrations they have. A good indication that you're on to something as an entrepreneur is when you see a very common frustration. Social media provides the ability to observe this like nothing before in history.

In addition, You can take it a step further and search in forums whether there is a big market facing the same problems making it the perfect time to generate your business idea and swoop in with a solution.

6. Look for trends
While scrolling through your social media feeds, be cognitive of what you're seeing and start looking for trends. Take a closer look at news feeds and see if it's motivating and inspiring to people, and if not, that what they would like to see more of.

Check out some of our business ideas for 2018

7. Search for hashtags and key words
search for hashtags and key words that resonate with an idea you're passionate about. This feedback could spark a new idea. Consider following key hashtags on Instagram that are relevant for your particular industry. Doing this allows you to discover what your target audience is talking about. You will uncover new trending topics, too.

By paying attention to the social banter among all participants, and you can begin to assemble a better-informed understanding of the market ecosystem in which you operate.