As social media continuously grows and evolves, many people struggle to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and changes. It doesn’t have to be that hard – here are some of the best ways to stay on the cutting edge of social media.
Follow a few leading news sites. I find that sites like Mashable, Social Media Examiner and AllFacebook are great sites for getting the latest social media news. Following the news leaders means that you will be the first to hear about the latest and greatest.
Create a Twitter list of industry leaders. In social media, as in any industry there are industry leaders who are scanning the news and sharing their perspective on the most important aspects of social media. Create a Twitter list with the industry leaders to get their take on the latest changes in the industry.
Follow industry pages on Facebook. Facebook is the #1 social network, and a lot of us are checking in a few times during the day. By following industry pages or news pages on Facebook you may find interesting news that you missed through your other sources.
Join LinkedIn Groups. Joining a social media group or two on LinkedIn is a great way to connect with news and trends in social media. Use caution though – not all groups are created equal. Some groups are not moderated well (or at all) and are full of spam. Others have useful dialogue. Explore a few groups and choose the best to join; you’ll receive email notifications about group discussions, which is a great way to stay in the know.
Use a social bookmarking site. There is a lot out there, and sometimes you find a great article that you want to get back to later when you have more time. Social bookmarking sites like Del.ic.ious allow you bookmark news that you find. Likewise, you can also view what other users have bookmarked. Follow some people you respect in the industry, and check out the things that they are bookmarking.
Join a Facebook Group. Similar to LinkedIn, Facebook groups can connect you with people in the know who are sharing news, experiences and even asking for help. For example I participate in a Cincinnati Social Media Facebook group where I can learn about experiences that others are having with new social media tools.
It may be old school, but don’t forget email. While we all get caught up in social media, I like to get my favorite news and blogs emailed to me directly. I only subscribe to email updates from 3 news sites (mine are eMarketer, Seth Godin and AdAge) but getting them directly into my inbox means I will actually read them most days.
Get some training! Often times as we get into an industry, we forget about the need to retool and continue to train ourselves. Social Media Training is a great way to stay on the cutting edge – I still attend many industry conferences and events, and I learn something new every time.
Learn Visually with Pinterest. I love infographics because I can quickly get information from them. I find that Pinterest is a great place to find infographics and visual information on social media. Follow other social media thought-leaders or simply do a search to find the latest infographics. For me, Pinterest is a great resource for news.
You are who you friend…. Finally, a great way to stay connected with leading news is to follow/friend/link to other smart people in your industry. Most of the best news and perspective I get is from other smart people who discover great content online. Connect with industry leaders and friends who are passionate about social media across all social networks so you are constantly exposed to the latest ideas.