When you first get ready to dive in to social media for your small business, it can feel like a pretty daunting task. Unlike 5 or 10 years ago, when the social landscape was still rapidly developing and everyone was learning together, these days there are a lot of people doing social media for business, and doing it well. So how can you ever catch up? By following the right companies and people, also known as social media influencers, and following them efficiently.

Where: There are lots of places to find information about social media for business. And not just on the internet – remember bookstores? But since the social media landscape does change so rapidly, the internet is probably a better resource. Rather than searching the web ad nauseam, find some reliable resources and follow them via:

1. Twitter
2. Facebook
3. Blogs/Websites
4. Newsletters

How: Once you locate the media you want to follow, you need to find ways to make that information come to you. After all, when you run a small business, time is always in short supply. Some great ways to get information efficiently include:

1. Set up an RSS feed from their blog
2. Get an account with a social aggregator like Hootsuite and create lists
3. Subscribe to newsletters and updates from influencers
4. Set up Google Alerts for an influencer’s name, company, or common topics

Who: It’s definitely advisable to do your own research and find some thought leaders whose advice you trust. One way to do this is to check out aggregator sites like Alltop.com and see what authors provide solid advice you find useful. Spend some time on this – it will pay dividends in the future. For now, here is a list of some of our favorites to get you started:

1. Hubspot
2. Social Media Today
3. Mashable – Social Media
4. Social Media Examiner
5. Mari Smith
6. Social Media Explorer
7. Pagemodo Blog (of course!)

What are some other great sources of advice you have found?

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