When it comes to monitoring trends and the latest news online there are plenty of options. Some programs gather all the information of all (most) of your social media platforms in one lovely package to glance over. Others keep all your favourites sites or blogs gathered together so you can read all the newest news in one place! All of them have their uses but they may not be the best thing for you. Let’s take a quick glance at two of my favourite, and explain the reasoning as per why I use them.
I am a consultant for a direct sales company that sells cooking products. Not only do I need to keep an eye on the trends that competing companies are offering but I also need to observe and listen to what fellow consultants are doing. And because I am a mom of two young children I need micro-information that is quick to monitor and read up on. That means that pages of blog posts, up to date emails, and massive data packages are of no use to me. I just do not have the time.
The one place where you will most likely find me is on Facebook. I love looking at the insights. They make it quick and easy to look at (pretty graphs make me happy).
I mostly enjoy the “Pages to Watch” option. This allows me to select fellow consultants or competing company ones and allows me to see what is working for them and what is not. If I want to see what they are posting, all I have to do is click on their pages to go check them out when I have the time.
My second favourite is the microblogging leader: Twitter. I can access my twitter on mobile wherever I am and at any time. I can also keep a more watchful eye on accounts or persons I believe I need to monitor. I love their lists feature. I can keep them private (so no one needs to know I am spying on them – I mean…no I mean spying), or group them in a public list that others can see. Twitter also allows me to see what is trending (locally, countrywide, etc…) and also lets me do a hashtag search (also known to us old folks as the pound or number sign #). Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
Quick shout out to Instagram that allows me to see trending hashtags in the foodie and cooking world!
For my current lifestyle, portability and quick looks are what I want. I have found that Facebook and Twitter are those who work the best for me. The best tools to use are the ones that you are going to use. No point spending money or assembling great RRS feed lists if you are not going to use them. Find what works for you. Just remember to be adaptable and pay attention to the tools that are available as something better may show up.
What are you using to pay attention to the latest news and updates in your field?