Understanding the latest trends is critical in the world of social media. You need to keep up the ins and outs of technology and social media.
You need the tools and sources for you to become a thought leader in social media (or at least appear it).
Fortunately, there is great tools and websites to keep your knowledge on tap within our ever changing world.
Regarding tools, my favorite social media monitoring tool is Google Trends. This offers me a lot of information on what is hot, or what impact a topic has in today’s social media world.
Google Trends allows you to check on how a topic trends over a period. You can check to see how well a topic did back in 2011. This allows for better planning and why I like Google Trends.
The other social media monitoring tool I enjoy using is Bit.ly. What Bit.ly does is shorten website links to make it manageable for Twitter. However, Bit.ly also tracks clicks on your links. Useful for understanding who is clicking towards your work.
While tools are great, you need great places of information to compliment tracking tools. Again, in this digital social media age there are many.
My first favorite is Mashable. I love Mashable. I call this site the “CNN for millennials.” It offers excellent coverage of news, technology, and science, through the lens of millennials. Excellent coverage on social media, as well as technology trends is why I prefer this site over the real CNN.
Gizmodo also is another site which keeps me up to date on all the latest tech and social media trends. It has daily updates on what is coming in new products including tablets, cleantech, and other products. This is good for understanding here future trends will lie in social media.
A wildcard source I often go to is Author Thomas Friedman, who is perhaps one of the best writers on Globalization on technology trends. His books including The Lexus and the Olive Tree, The World is Flat and Hot, Flat and Crowded all have been New York Times Best Sellers. His way of synthesizing complex political, social and technological issues all into a simple to understand books on trends is why I often go to for the source of information on where we were, where we are now, and what the future holds.