When it comes to listening and monitoring for Social Media trends my two go-tos are Twitter and Linkedin/Google+ groups.
Twitter can be a great source of not only up to the minute trends but what people in the industry think about them. I find it’s the best for first insights into the world of social media marketing. For listening and monitoring, I follow various social media leaders (local and global) and marketing companies as well I use the Twitter search for anything that may not be filtering through those sources. Hootsuite is a great dashboard for constant monitoring of conversations around specific topics and trends. I do find that there are a quite a few social media twitter accounts that either really recycles their content or they just fill your feed with useless information, it is always good to look through their recent posts prior to following.
Communities created around social media are great for watching the industry, because this is a continuously evolving field you need content that is in the moment and relevant… like something written in 2013 now can seem old and irrelevant. Two places to find such communities are on Google+ and LinkedIn, I find LinkedIn more useful than some Google+ communities as there is less ‘spam’. I find that LinkedIn content can be more professional and written for application within a business environment.
As with all things on the worldwide web, it’s best to consider the validity of information and double check sources. The two mentioned above are helpful for staying in the know but I recommend looking for industry trends everywhere for example I look further into stories on my Facebook feed, I follow blogs daily using bloglovin’, news sites, magazines, etc …there endless sources. Social media is a pretty hot topic and is used daily by the majority of the population so staying on top of the industry is not too hard to do with a few helpful tools!