Communication Gets Better When You Are Listening
There are many reasons why a person or brand should consider being active on social media nowadays. In addition to the obvious claim that “everyone’s on social media”, the array of benefits and low-cost tools to advertise that you can make use of, the possibilities of connecting with an audience and engaging with customers, the perks of being influential, the awareness, the advantages of using social networks as a human resources tool, the rankings, etc., one of the most forgotten but crucial reasons why everyone should be “social” is for listening.
Communication is a two-way street.
In order to respond to a question, you must listen first and analyze what the other person is asking of you in order to give the most satisfactory response to the enquirer. In the case of customer services, for example, responses can take longer as long as they’re thought through and satisfies the customers’ desires or solves an issue.
That is why listening, or monitoring becomes essential once you step into the social arena.
Every single post that is being shared across the Internet has an impact on the audience, and we’re talking “global” when it comes to social media. Every single“impression” that you see on your analytics dashboards generates a reaction, but sometimes you never know what the reaction will be or where it will be. In order to find out, you have to look for it.
Monitoring can be an easy or a very time-consuming task. It will always depend on the amount of information that a certain brand, person or topic can produce and share across social channels, what’s new, the level of popularity, or the trends, among other factors. For this, there are myriads of tools and ways to keep the information in control and use it to your advantage.
The first and most obvious step is to google it. By introducing your brand in the search bar and a few keywords that represent your brand, or yourself, you can instantly find out whatever it’s being said all over the internet. Of course, this takes a lot of time because results are as accurate – or not – as you can be (let’s not forget we’re talking about robots), and the mix and match page after page can become a bit overwhelming.
But Google thinks about everything so they developed, some time ago, the Google Alerts which are comfortably delivered directly in your Gmail inbox. But since results come up in the same way as the usual Google Search, this can be overwhelming as well so, in addition to this tool, it is recommendable to add a few others to the equation.
The Internet is full of monitoring tools and new ones are growing under the rocks every day. Stronger, more accurate, more robust and for more specific purposes with added features to make them even more enjoyable.
The most popular monitoring services nowadays include: Mention, Social Mention, Topsy, Buffer, Hootsuite, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn,YouTube, Klout, Icerocket, Meltwater, Sprout Social, Sysomos, TweetDeck,Twitalyzer, Viralheat, Visible, Spredfast, Social Oomph, and the list goes on.
I’ve tried many of them and I stay loyal to a few of them; it is a matter of what you feel comfortable with and if it works well for your purpose.
But the important issue here is, after finding out what’s being said around a specific brand, person or topic that you are interested in monitoring, what are you going to do with the information?
The question lingers and sometimes can be complicated to answer depending on the results. That’s why it is also important to contemplate a response protocol, whether in crisis or not. Coming up with a satisfying reaction is decisive for developing great relations and an impeccable reputation.
So next time that you plan a social media strategy, don’t forget to include listening among the daily tasks to ensure good performance, commitment and awareness; performance of your brand, commitment to your audience and awareness of what is happening around.