Now that you are all clued up on the reading front, it's time to move on from old school methods of learning to something more fun.
One of the issues I've found is that things move so fast in the search and social world. This means that most printed materials get dated, and quickly. Even news that appears in an industry magazine ends up being "So two days ago". In this environment we need a real-time way to keep up to speed.
With this in mind, here are 3 tips to help you stay up-to-date in search and social media marketing:
1. Get Yourself on Twitter
Where better to learn about search and social media than in the place where the Industry cool kids all hang out? A place where news travels faster than earthquakes. I'm talking Twitter of course!
Contrary to popular belief, it isn't just about what your neighbor had for breakfast or the bowel movements of your colleagues. Twitter - by far - has been the most valuable learning tool for me.
The trick with Twitter is about following the right people. Try to go for quality over quantity (both in terms of followers and followees). Here are few great people to follow. There are many, many more, but this list is based on the people whose tweets I have "favorited" the most, of late:
The mashable machine just keeps pumping out real-time search and social news. Myself (and quite a few others, I've noticed) are guilty of retweeting a hell of a lot of mashable!
Jeremiah shares a ton of good insights, particularly in terms of what to expect from the future of social media. He also provides examples and case studies of companies successfully using social (lucky people!).
Matt is the Google Guy - we must play by his rules! He shares links to helpful Google Webmaster videos on YouTube that explain things like "Why are .com sites ranking highly in UK SERPs?"
Lots of interesting social media tweets, with little fluff. Just the way it should be!
Simon was a great find on Twitter. He's full of news and facts that span search, social and beyond. What's also nice is that he says thank you when you retweet him, and I'm a big fan of nice manners!
@eMarketer and @comScore
These guys provide useful data analysis reports on search and social. And as we know, facts and data are essential when backing up your points.
Finally, a special mention to Logan - an up and coming social media dude, who shares good ideas, advice and encouragement.
2. Subscribe to These Blogs
Biznology (Mike Moran)
Mike's on holiday right now until September (lucky bugger) but when he is about to write, he talks sense. He knows search engine marketing and he's all about using data to become better.
- Mike's Blog: http://mikemoran.com/biznology/blog/
- Mike is also on Twitter: @mikemoran
Occam's Razor (Avinash Kaushik)
Avinash is the master of web analytics. What may seem a boring and complicated subject, is suddenly transformed into something understandable and (dare I say it) quite fun when Avinash is around to explain it.
- Avinash's Blog: http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/
- Avinash is also on Twitter: @avinashkaushik
3. Go to this Conference
There are a bunch of conferences out there. But when times are tough and travel budgets get slashed, the one conference I choose to go to (if I can choose only one) is Search Engine Strategies (SES).
They provide multiple session tracks, so you can tailor sessions depending on your level and interest, and they always bag superstar speakers (superstars in "our" world, at least!). They also hold events all over the place, not just America.
- SES Website: http://www.searchenginestrategies.com/
- SES is also on Twitter: @SESConf
- Read tweets from the last conference in San Jose by searching on hashtags: #SESSJ and #SES