The 5 Social & Community Essentials

Just wondering – has anyone noticed the social & community space is awfully noisy?  Seriously, I was not being sarcastic at all!

It seems like many of my friends, co-workers, and business partners have been asking me lately how I keep ahead of the curve on what is hot in this market and all the new trends.  Well, the reality is it is not easy to manage with limited time.  If I were to follow and read every so called social media expert, I would need to ask Michael J. Fox if I could borrow his old Delorean to go back to the future daily.  I simply don’t have time for them all.

Therefore, I try my best to only consume the information that is most relevant to my needs.  Do I miss some really brilliant stuff?  No doubt, but that is fine.  Over the years, I have come up with some clear favorites and keep a close eye on 5 sources of social and community information, market intelligence, and insights.  Here they are:

My Top 5 Social & Community Essentials:


2012 State of Community Management - The Community Roundtable

A free report from The Community Roundtable

1.  The Community Roundtable – I have been a member of the Community Roundtable, @thCR since it started.  Jim Storer and Rachel Happe are not only friends, but they run a great service.  They connect me with smart social and community professionals, great case study content, and insights.  Their State of Community Management Report 2012  is absolutely fantastic and if I ever have an important question, I always turn to them first.

2)  Comscore – If you need data for a report, to sell the C-suite on why they should consider trying something new or validating a current initiative, start with Comscore first.   Nine times out of ten you will quickly find what that crazy stat to take your presentation, proposal, or pitch to the next level.

120 Awesome Marketing Stats, Charts, & Graphs - Hubspot 2012

Stats, trends, and more stats from Hubspot

3.  Hubspot – I was one of Hubspot’s customers back when they got started.  Over the years, I have relied on their content, web seminars, and blogs for terrific insights into social marketing.   You can’t possibly read all the good stuff they produce, but I rely on their stats to make presentations rock and better marketing decisions.  And, their 2012 120 Awesome Marketing Stats, Charts and Graphs for You has some of the best social and inbound marketing stats you will find in one report.

4)  Altimeter Group – By subscribing to their stuff you get a continuous flow of relevant information about new companies out there, trends, and data.  They have a lot of smart people and informative blog posts.  Like many people, I tend to follow Jeremiah Owyang more than the other analysts there as I have always enjoyed his style and insights.

Social Media Examiner - 2012 Social Media Report

2012 Social Media Marketing Report Courtesy of Social Media Examiner

5). Social Media Examiner – For 4 years now, Michael Stelzner has been producing the Social Media Marketing Report.  The 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report – How Marketers are Using Social Media to Grow Their Business shares some great research and stats from 3800 marketers.  The web site always features very relevant information too.

There are a couple of other fantastic sources of information for news too.

I try to read Mashable as often as possible.  And recently, I have become fond of Social Media Monthly which serves business professionals from large companies with focused and valuable content.

My apologies to all the great sources of information that could not fit in a top 5, which I guess you could argue became 7 with the above paragraph.  However, the more numbers on the dial, the noisier things get.

Wouldn’t you agree?