“I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” – Albert Einstein

Almost always I will start off saying, you must first LISTEN before you are able to do anything else. A master of any art, from oil painting, creative writing, to a ballet dancer, must understand the importance of listening in order to learn.

Here is a fresh basket full of your favorite bakery pastries, fresh right from the oven, ready to be shared. This world of information is rich, colorful and inspiring. Take a moment to research, listen and appreciate this moment of truly unlimited creative potential.

In the age of high speed internet, smart phones, blogs, and social networks online marketing specialists are immersed in a waterfall of information and opportunity. It’s overwhelming to comprehend all of the information that is at our fingertips. At any moment of the day and just about anywhere, we are blessed with the ability to connect with our friends, families, communities and even customers like never before.

Learning is acquiring new knowledge, behaviors, skills, values or preferences. – Wikipedia

Learning in reference to online marketing means taking what you have heard and being able to join in on the conversation. Knowing the language, the nature, the intentions and understanding the culture of the online world is essential to understanding how to engage your target market and communities.

Who are the key voices? Are there specific people you see often talking about your industry? Maybe they have become a popular product or service reviewer on places like Yelp or  local business reviews? Maybe even someone who blogs specifically about your company’s products. For example Costco Wine Blog, is written by a person with no affiliation to Costco, however he is a Costco brand champion.

Keep a look out for these kinds of brand champions as they are people to reach out to when you are ready to engage.

Find people online you can follow, whether it is through Twitter, RSS or email subscription; sign up to learn from their experiences and how they use their talents.

For example: Top 10 B2B Twitter Lists To Follow , 25 Entrepreneurs & Businesses You Should Be Following on Twitter and 40 of the Best Twitter Brands and the People Behind Them.

What are the top hot topics? After you find resources online to read and subscribe to, your job of hunting down the buzz in your industry really is just beginning. Google still has me impressed with their seemingly unlimited news. Try searching Google News for specific topics. See what has been published most recently from places all around the web.

Also check out organized keyword research:

“Do some keyword research. Keywords are the words and phrases which people type into search engine boxes for searching. If your site is based on those words you will naturally get more hits. To find out how much searches happen for a word go to http://www.google.com/trends and type in a keyword and you will get the results.” – Stunning Mesh

Let’s talk nerdy! With everything you are listening to and learning about it is impossible to remember it all. Dabbling within the world of online conversations means being able to organize it with the key being keeping it organized. That is why bookmarking and good old copy and pasting comes into play. Also consider Twitter organization tools like HootSuite, and Tweetdeck.

Create documents that are specific to topics you have found. For example, make a document about all the tweets you found mentioning your products, and another document including all tweets about your company, competitors and so on. Include all the information from Twitter: screen name, tweet, date and time.

“Out of intense complexities intense simplicities emerge.” – Winston Churchill

Sure this is a lot of information and it is only the beginning of the conversation about getting to know the culture, language and world of social media. However, I assure you that with great patience, a clear objective and a little coaching from your online marketing friends you will excel in finding information you need to make wise online marketing decisions.

Photo credit: Lyndit

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About the author

Lyndi Thompson wrote 114 articles on this blog.

Online startup marketing strategy & solutions. Customer focused, high energy, creative & thankful. I love connecting good people to create great communities. New Mom. Fan of chocolate & the smell of horses.