With 2022 around the corner after a time of so much change and upheaval, what trends and behaviors will you need to know about? In a world of information overload, it can be hard to know where to begin, so here are my top six tips to stay on top of all the most important trends in the new year.
1. Follow newsletters you’ll actually open.
Platforms like Medium, Linkedin and Substack make it easy to find newsletters you might be interested in by searching key terms, hashtags or industries. Whether you want to keep up with marketing trends, startups, organizational psychology, financial happenings or current news, someone thoughtful is writing about these topics.
Here are a few I highly recommend:
- CANVAS8 Insights: Stay on top of the latest insights across micro and macro sectors and behaviors.
- Future Today Institute: Rounds up the most significant observations across industries and provides different future scenarios for how a trend could play out.
- Futurism: Known for “bringing you the world, the news, products, and narratives of tomorrow, today.”
- The Marginalian: Find mind-broadening and reflective pieces that span across art, poetry and philosophy.
- MIT Tech Review: One of the most sophisticated technology review websites around, bringing scientists, engineers and founders together.
- Morning Brew: Offers daily recaps and roundups by topic.
- The Morning: Provides a morning briefing of the latest news, from the New York Times.
2. Create feeds.
If the thought of more emails from newsletters overwhelms you, then tools like Inoreader, Flipboard and Feedly could be a great option. They allow you to create your own feeds focused on topics or industries you want to keep up with, but outside of your inbox.
Simply create an account, build feeds with internal search tools that sift through newsletters and blogs, and then browse through the feeds at your own pace. What I love most about this option is being able to dabble in topics, newsletters and worlds without having them filling my inbox.
(Here’s a roundup of feed creating tools you can browse through to find one that meets your needs.)
3. Use trend platforms to inform—or provide—key insights.
Paid platforms like CANVAS8 and Sparks & Honey Q, along with social listening tools like TalkWalker and Sprout Social can give you a rich, custom source of information on topics that matter the most to you. With TalkWalker or Sparks & Honey, you can scan social media and the web for key terms, save searches and get analytics—all of which can inform your insights. With platforms like CANVAS8, you can use their search functionality to find content that includes whitepapers, videos and expert perspectives—in other words, they’ve produced the insights for you. Check out their 2022 Expert Outlook here to dive into what to look ahead for.
4. Follow hashtags and lists.
While Instagram may have started the popularity of hashtags for tagging photos, now you can find—and follow—hashtags pretty much anywhere. So don’t just think about what accounts you’re following—follow hashtags related to topics, people, trends and industries to ensure you’re getting relevant information in your feeds.
On LinkedIn, click here to see what hashtags you follow, remove any you no longer want to follow and add new ones. For Instagram, here’s an article that shows you how you can find and follow hashtags on the platform. And of course, Twitter offers hashtags, topics and lists of people to follow that users have created.
5. Set alerts.
Google Alerts are another great way to monitor both positive and negative mentions of your brand, your competitors and key industry terms mentioned on blogs, forums, news sites, YouTube (which is owned by Google) and the wider Web. (Note: This tool doesn’t track social media mentions.)
To set up Google Alerts, go to google.com/alert, log in, and select the keywords you want to monitor, how often, and the sources you want to be scanned. Google will then deliver your results right to your inbox—or you can check them anytime at google.com/alert.
6. Be intentional about the voices in your feed and inbox.
Lastly, and most importantly, prune and mine for the voices you want in your feeds, inboxes and readers. It’s critical to diversify sources of information and stories so you’re capturing multiple perspectives.
For instance, if you’re reading about sustainability and climate impact, take a look at sources that include marketing and social impact blogs, as well as scientists’ and disability advocates' takes on the issue. Monitor adjacent industries that may end up being a driver for changes in your industry.
Content changes all the time, so if a newsletter, thought leader, alert or blog no longer serves your needs, unfollow and unsubscribe—so it’s not taking up mental real estate from another outlet that could be more useful.
Most of all, make sure your sources don’t feel homogenous and that you’re getting diverse perspectives.
This article is the first of a series spotlighting trends produced in partnership with CANVAS8.
Photo: Keira Burton / Pexels