The social media trend monitoring tools that I use are Google Alerts, my Twitter feed, LinkedIn, Vimeo, and Youtube.
I do advanced searches on Keyword Planner on Google Adwords with an eye to keywords on topics I want to follow. From there I create Google alerts (although some are saying Mention is better, and Alerts might disappear), and content feeds in my TweetDeck. I spend time on LinkedIn and use Groups and Interests to monitor influencers and join groups that can provide me with interesting information on trends. It’s a bit of a feedback loop as I find that they all feed into, and amplify one another—subject matter can influence who I follow and who I follow can lead to a deeper dive into subject matter. I also use keywords, and other search methods, to subscribe to relevant channels that interest me on YouTube and Vimeo.
I am a freelance digital content provider specializing in video production, and I am usually working to monitor trends in two main streams. I follow subject matter and influencers relevant to my clients, and I follow specific marketing content niches, like branded content and video marketing in branded content.
In terms of news sources and updates, I don’t know if I can isolate that from the trend monitoring tools. I do use Flipboard and follow topics and people there. Why Flipboard? I like it is ease of layout and user interface. I would say it’s a bit of a proverbial feedback loop between listening tools and news and updates. Am I missing something? Does anybody else have some ideas on that one? I haven’t really made a lot of use of RSS streams and I think I might be missing out there.
Why these tools and not others? Well I think part of it is that over time I have found there’s a simplicity to my method that works well for me. I need to be a generalist and a niche specialist when it comes to information so the broad search and then the drill down is effective.
I haven’t found much use for Facebook, but I am not sure that is because it isn’t useful, or I just haven’t put energy into figuring out how it might be. I use Facebook on a personal level, but not so much on a professional level. Again I welcome thoughts.
I also have found that to date I can make my world overly complex with monitoring, and when I have it hasn’t served me well. I prefer to niche, niche, and niche some more. The other way leads to information overload and diffuses the desired results.
I think there is probably a lot more strategy and intelligence I could do with paid tools. I would be keen to mine more insights with options available from companies like Radian6, but I would perhaps be more likely to run into it through a client using it.