As a person who has not yet fully delved into the different capabilities of social media, and who does not have a career in the industry, my knowledge of trends and good news sources is limited in scope and possibly not always appropriate for a workplace setting. However, like any area of weakness, I am gradually learning how to monitor social media and manipulate the data within it to later put to good use in my industry.
One tool that I have recently discovered, and which I really like, is Nexalogy. This tool is free to use and presents the information you are looking for when monitoring trends in a user-friendly and highly visual manner. Graphics include charts, diagrams, and colourful bubbles in a matrix. As a person who is very much a visual learner, this format is very helpful and allows me to process the information much more quickly than when it is presented in a text-only layout.
Another useful tool is Tweepsmap, which focuses more on Twitter. This tool is less visually appealing than Nexalogy, even though it does incorporate some graphs to illustrate its data. However, the overall dashboard interface is nice and clear, which makes it a consumer-friendly method of following Twitter trends and seeing how and how far topics are travelling around the Twittersphere. This can be very useful in my industry, as it allows me to monitor the topics that are currently trending with my students. I work as an ESL teacher and staying on-trend is very important when choosing themes and topics of interest to the students. If they are interested, they are engaged, and if they are engaged, then they are learning.
In terms of news and updates, one of my main sources of information is Facebook. Although it can often be dangerous to take to heart the information disseminated on this platform, as with most social media, it is often the first place to report news. Even before the news cameras have arrived on scene and the reporters are giving their perspective on events, there is always somebody who has uploaded a video of the incident to social media. Very often, this finds its way onto Facebook very quickly. As many of the pages I follow are relevant to my industry and most of the friends I have are fellow English teachers, the types of news that people pick up on and share are usually of relevance or interest to me. Once I have become aware of a piece of news, I am then able to use more reputable news sources to verify the information and read the full story. By gaining my news largely from industry professionals, this allows me to network and develop my knowledge within my field.
While Facebook is useful for a broad variety of information, a more specific source of industry updates and news is LinkedIn. Although it is not as widely used for sharing information as other social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn still provides a lot of up-to-date information about the development of various industries. The information is often shared in the form of posts by colleagues, peers, and potential employers. As this site is geared towards the professional sphere, there is a lot less clutter with the information and the news is often useful in terms of professional development and staying on trend when it comes to potential interview questions.
All in all, there are a plethora of ways to monitor social media for trends and updates, as well as finding out relevant news that can help you in your professional development. Finding the right source can include making sure the information is of use and relevant, as well as being in a format that is user-friendly, and which targets your personal learning style.