Don’t blink! Or Facebook will leave you behind with yet another change in how business pages post or how the wall looks or who knows what… And Twitter might restrict access from all those helpful desktop programs like Hootsuite and Seesmic…And LinkedIn will add yet another feature with no documentation…

So how can you keep up?

I have 3 ways I keep on top of social media innovation—kind of a triangulation to figure out what’s going to make the difference for all my clients.

Number 1: I read read read—actually I scan headlines every day from people that focus on new features and actually get a secret heads up on new stuff coming down the line.  I pay close attention to Loic Le Meur on Facebook, TechCrunch on Facebook, ReadWriteWeb on Email, and Mashable—in that order.  For detailed tech innovation I track the startup news on all of those plus the Wall Street Journal Tech section, Mediapost, SmartBrief, and Seeking Alpha.

Number 2: I listen to the thought leaders in social media: Brian Solis, Jeremiah Owyang, Guy Kawasaki, Gary Vaynerchuk (GaryVee), and Charlene Li.  I look for places I can hear them speak.

Probably the best value for this is the Success Summit series that Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner.  Social Media Examiner events are ALWAYS high quality and full of actionable information from experts that are actually using the tools themselves.  In one place over the course of several weeks the Success Summit has usually about 10-12 webinars, transcripts, and presentations that you can download and save for later.  They feature all the thought leaders for the big picture AND the people who have used the tactics to create big success.

Number 3: Lastly, I try things out that I find out about.  Here’s the key to that—many of us don’t want to try new stuff out and then have our business look bad, right?  However, if you try something out that’s brand new in social media—that means in the first week—you look great!  You look like an innovator (which you are), you look like you’re with it (which you are) and you look like you are committed to staying on top of new features and ways to keep your community engaged (which you are and they’ll love).

So just do it!  Practice in virtual conversation with your online business community—you need to have a small circle of business that support each other online for this purpose and to also keep each other in the news feed!

So now you know my secrets!  Let’s learn together—let me know what you’ve discovered.  You can share here or on my Facebook page—I always love to play with new features there…

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