Despite the fact that the number of responses are not enough to generalize, we have been able to stablish an order from the most to the least used methods:
1. Read daily about the topic, assist conferences and applying all that knowledge in real life scenarios seems to be the most common way in which a Social media specialist “is made”. And I do share this opinion 100%. Progress, changes and news on this field come at an amazing speed which makes it a must to be on top of all this information for news.
It sounds like hard work but it isn’t really. If you are an organized person it will be easy for you to spend 20 minutes perhaps while you are having your morning cup of tea and read the 4 or 5 most interesting posts of the day. In order to do this, you will need the necessary tools:
The first thing I check every morning, my list of social media references comprised of a group of 30 to 40 top trend publications. If you follow the link you will see the list that I use daily, and that you could use as a starting point. The list contains publications from great minds of the social media world such as Pete Cashmore and Mashable, Michael Stelzner and SM Examiner, Andrew Grill, WWWhatsnew and Brian Carter among others.
An upgrade added by Twitter in December 2011. It is based on the global trending topics list and in what are the contacts of each user sharing. From all these, Twitter selects what’s more suitable for your interests. Don’t forget to take a look every morning to discover any exciting news!
Don’t use them like the LIKE Facebook icon (A practice that seems to be quite common) but to save articles that are interesting for you but don’t have the time to read. You will save them all on your profile under Favourites in the menu on the left of your screen.
LinkedIn is not only great to display your professional profile and those of your contacts but also to be very well informed about your interests. On this regard LinkedIn Today follows the topics that you have suggested some interest in (Online Media, Marketing and Advertising, Internet, Public Relations, etc.) Spend a few minutes a day to read the most outstanding articles.
I have never been the biggest fan of Google+ but I have to admit it is very useful to have the choice to segment the information. All the most famous publications about social media marketing are in G+ and among other advantages, their interface allows the user to access the information in a more “visual” way than Twitter. It makes for a more entertaining read.
2. To create a blog and enter the social networks is an excellent way to learn as long as you are also driven by some theoretical knowledge. This was the second most used option by the specialists that participated in the poll. But for this really to be helpful you would need some previous theoretical knowledge that you could apply to your own blog and the social networks.
3. Complete a course could be interesting if you have some individual learning on the side where you apply all you learn and you use all the tools that have been shown to you. You need to be very aware of the fact that you should not stop learning. Your studies in social media might have a beginning but it does not have an end.
Choosing a course to study would seem easy but when you find hundreds of results from a Google search “Community manager course”, well then things start to get nasty.
4. Reading a book about the topic it’s in my view the least useful way (Please let me know if you think otherwise) All the new technologies, news and latest applications that surround the social media evolve so quickly that everything that you are learning in that book could become obsolete before you finish it.
Even though, if you still want to use a book as a point of information with tips about key behaviours in the social media to make your campaign a success, you can access this list made by journalist Irábert López with more than 180 free books in the topic.
Now your turn! What option did you choose? Let us know your story on comments or via our fanpage! We really want to know about you!
Also, follow the latest trends and info about social media via our Twitter or Google+ accounts, find new pictures and infographics on Pinterest or join our interesting conversations with other specialists on the fanpage and LinkedIn Group. I’ll be waiting for you!
Special thank you to all of you who help us out to spread the poll across social networks