10 Ways to stay up to date with Social Media (and other things)

In my previous post, I talked about how constant learning is key to survive in the social media realm (and really in an industry). As there are millions of sources for information, it’s difficult to organize everything and keep up to date. I’m going to share some tools I use to digest as much information as I can in the most efficient way. A future post will focus on sources I use to keep updated about my industry, in the meantime here are some tools you can use to stay fresh in yours:

Flipboard

A great app for the iPad and iPhone. You can add all your social streams like Twitter, Facebook, blogs, plus Google Reader (see below). You can also subscribe to content within the app from Conde Nast, TechCrunch, and many others. It’s great because it takes all that information and presents it like a magazine you can flip through. Kind of a one-stop-place for all your important sources of information.

Google Reader

A simple place to subscribe to RSS feeds of blogs and websites to keep track of what you’ve read if you don’t have an iPad to use Flipboard.

Google Alerts

Simply pick keywords you want to know about, and receive a digest of activity related to that keyword from across the web. Especially good to set one up for your own name to monitor your personal brand (a future topic).

Twitter and Facebook Streams

Simply follow or Like brands and pages you want updates from, and while you see what your friends are up to, you can see the breaking news about social media as part of your stream. I find Twitter is great to uncover content I may miss, I pop in a few times a day to see what’s going on.

Newsletters

The good ones amalgamate various sources to produce a great overview of high quality content you can digest quickly. The bad ones (and you can tell) are very sales oriented and provide little information that’s useful to the reader. I hate those and quickly unsubscribe. It’s really easy to subscribe to a few newsletters and find yourself with inbox overload. I say pick 2 or 3 at first and make sure you read them. If not, move on to the next.

Pinterest

The hottest site on the web these days. It’s visually based, making it a breeze to skim and get excellent information, infographics and inspiring images. Still in Beta, you can email me for an invite if you want to join the site.

Read in the bathroom

Seriously, how much time do you spend sitting there just doing your business? Why not utilize that time to learn a few things. Take a book you’re reading, magazine, heck, even your iPad. People may judge, but you’ll be smarter for it! Trust me.

Magazines & Industry Publications

Print is not dead. Sometimes it’s nice to read something printed on paper. Our agency subscribes to a million different publications and I will skim them as I chow down at lunch. Another opportune time to grab some information. If you don’t get the print editions, visit the websites. Most of the content is the same, even expanded on the sites.

Blogs & Websites

An obvious one, but still worth mentioning. Tons of information is available on everything you can think of. Great for late breaking news & multiple viewpoints and opinions.

Podcasts

In the shower, on your commute to work, while your working out. All great times to listen to marketing, advertising and social media podcasts. There are lots out there, many of varying quality. Find the ones you like and subscribe to them in iTunes so they can update automatically.

Needless to say, I’m ALWAYS absorbing information everywhere I go. I feel like the only time I’m not learning is when I sleep. You may call it information overkill, I call it staying competitive and on the ball for my career.

These sources are what work for me, but may not be optimal for the way you digest information. Let me know how you stay up to date in your industry in the comments below.

The key is to find out what works for you by experimenting. Also, realize that someone else will always know more than you and that’s ok. The key is to be well-rounded and able to have a conversation.

Make sure to check back for my next post featuring a cheat sheet of sources to stay up to date.

1 Response

  1. Great post Brad! One of the points that really stood out to me was being open to constant learning (as a key to survival in the social media realm). I’ve quickly discovered that a day doesn’t go by since entering the PR/Marketing/Social Media industry where I don’t learn something new – and it often comes in handy for both work and my personal life.

    I’ve recently started using Google Reader (using it on my comp and the iPad app) and it’s great for keeping track of all of the blogs I want to keep up with. I look forward to reading more of your awesome posts :)!

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