How much time do you spend listening and reading online? How do you monitor what is being said about you and your company? How do you find out about new, exciting ideas in your industry? How can you find out about online communities of interest?
In just 30 minutes, you can set up a social media listening post – which is simply a collection of RSS subscriptions sent to your feed reader program. Creating your own listening post is one of the most effective ways to tap into the never ending stream of valuable, online information. Listening is a key component of most social media strategies – but often it is under utilized. The benefits of a listening post can be significant:
- Automates the task of monitoring online conversations and information
- Big time saver by allowing you to focus on reading information rather than searching for it.
- Allows for quick engagement with people in your targeted communities, like key industry influencers, content creators and critics of your products.
Steps to Create Your Own Social Media Listening Post
1. Content: Finding good content starts by determining what are the best keywords to use for your listening post. Start with your name – but if you have a common one, you will have to use additional keywords to make the search unique. Add in business terms; your company, competitors, industry, products and services. Use Google AdWords to find additional keyword terms.
2. Monitoring: Now that you have decided on the correct keywords, you need to create RSS feeds. Google Alerts is a good first option. Enter in your keyword phrases and choose the option to deliver your content via feeds or by email. Twitter Search can be valuable source for getting real-time content, just scroll down to RSS icon on the right side.
3. Tools: While there are a number of RSS feed readers, Google Reader is one of the best. If you chose feed delivery in Google Alerts, your feeds will already be populated in Google Reader. Start by reading the content from the feeds and keep only those feeds that you find valuable. Use Google Wildcards to refine your searches.
4. Process: Categorizing your feeds into different folders within your feed reader is helpful. Folders can be named by subject or even day of the week so you can manage your reading process. If you want to share important content that you discover, tag these posts to create a new feed which can then be subscribed to. After a couple of weeks, you should be able to figure out what is the best process to monitor and share your feeds.
Listening posts are truly for everyone – whether you’re just casually interested in something or already a subject matter expert. It is virtually impossible to manually monitor all the online content and conversations that are important to you unless you have your own crack research team. Trust me, if you don’t already have one, a listening post will become one of the most powerful tools in your social media arsenal. Let me know what you thought of this post and your tips for using a listening post.
October 19th, 2010 in Tools by Olivier Sartor
Our social media starter plan is a low-cost, high impact service which allows companies to secure a strong social media foundation. We incorporate elements from three of our services; content, social media and optimization to create your company’s social media biography for placement on the top search engines and social media platforms. The content portion is an investigation and ranking of all of your top keywords and review of your company summaries. The social media portion is updating or registering your company information on top social bookmarking and search engine sites. The optimization portion is the updating of your home page to increase the search engine results for your top keywords. The result of this exercise for your company is increased website traffic and the first step in establishing an effective social media presence.
October 18th, 2010 in Elbow Grease Marketing by Olivier Sartor
1. Bring everyone together and have a discussion about social media. Let the employees who are experienced in social media share their views with employees who are newbies. Get everyone to share their thoughts on the topic.
2. Appoint a cross-functional team to start building a social media policy based on both business and social media goals. Social Media Governance has over a 100 examples of social media policies from such companies as Cisco, Dell, ESPN, Kodak, Microsoft, the US Government and Yahoo. Focus on guidelines rather what you can and cannot say.
3. Launch the policy, but have periodic review of what is acceptable. Use missteps as learning experiences not as an opportunity to punish someone.
October 10th, 2010 in Thought Leadership by Olivier Sartor
54% of CIOs prohibit any social media use in the office according to a survey of 1,400 CIOs from across the country conducted by Robert Half Technology. Another 36% of companies limit usage by employees to either “business only” or “limited personal use”. And only 10% of companies allow any type of personal use of social media.
Wow. Those are staggering numbers and a big, big mistake.
While rampant use of social media by their employees could be unproductive for companies, it is a missed opportunity for your employees to connect with your customers. It is important that employees have an opportunity to play with social media in a business setting in order to understand the tools and then they need to be properly educated about how to effectively use the tools to promote the company’s brands and culture. Banning social media just puts your company behind all the other companies that are using social media and diminishes your chances for long-term viability.
October 16th, 2009 in Uncategorized by Olivier Sartor
A good analogy for social media is like sitting around the campfire. There are stories to be told and no one feels the urgency to fill the pauses. There is a good deal of listening and reflecting. You get to know the people as everyone shares and contributes.
March 2nd, 2009 in Elbow Grease Marketing by Olivier Sartor