trendsKeeping on top of the ‘new’ has never been as important as it is now in twenty first century business. The following tools can be used to get an idea of what people are talking about and where they’re talking about it, making these tools vital for any social media marketing campaign. To achieve a sufficient level of engagement with your followers it’s essential to be on top of what’s happening.

With that in mind here are 21 useful tools to help you stay on top of current trends:

Google Trends: Search by image, product, mentions on the web. Or choose to narrow it down by country, specific time period or by category.

Yahoo Search Clues: Search by demographic, age, gender or both. A fantastic news aggregator that gathers news only from quality websites.

YouTube Trends Dashboard: A great tool for tracking the popularity of, unsurprisingly, video content.

Buzzfeed: Organizes the most shared pieces of content on Social Media.

: A great resource for discovering the type of content that’s getting shared on social media.

Trendwatching: Watch the people who are watching the trends, free.

Springwise and Glean inspiration for that brand new business idea.

Topsy Analytics: Features a twitter analytics tool. Compare 3 subjects, look up to a month’s worth of trending links.

Twitter Trends: The list of hashtags doing the rounds. You can see them on the left hand side of your Twitter account.

WeFollow and FollowerWonk: Find out what the important people from your industry are saying by finding out who they are.

Pinterest: See which infographics and images are being shared. Discover the most popular shares.

Huffington Post: The home page will give you a good idea of what’s going on, on the web, every day.

Reddit: Huge social media news aggregator, It’s funny section gets around 6.5 million views.

Don’t forget your offline your resources: Read magazines, books and newspapers

Think with Google: A very useful newsletter to sign up for.

eMarketer: Subscribing to eMarketer isn’t free, but the articles are.

TopTenz: This list of articles will tell you what people are writing about at the moment, and it will give you tons of ideas on subject matter.

Google Instant: Take advantage of the drop down menu available on Google.

Most shared: Look at the most shared or most popular links on sites as you surf the web

By Richard P Best