Did you know you can listen to the internet?
October 9, 2009 Leave a comment
When I decided to start this blog, I wanted to keep it simple and understandable for everyone, especially those new to social media. I have had tons of people ask me what new media is all about, where can they go to learn, etc. This was why I chose to write this post about internet chatter and how it all comes together. Let me preface it with a disclaimer that the information is not new to those in the interactive marketing and social media space.
I was having a conversation the other day with a friend who didn’t know very much about social media. I was explaining what it is, how it can help companies and individuals. I brought the word “listen” into the dialogue and he seemed puzzled and asked me, “What? You can’t listen to the internet!” “Surprise! Yes you can!” (Not that I am trying to sound like a political campaign, because I’m not.)
There are tools out there that help companies listen to internet chatter. Some services are paid for, others are not. I forget sometimes the idea of it is new to many people. They have actually been around for a while. In social media terms, listening means going to social media platforms like Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, etc. These are places your consumers are already having conversations. There are ways those conversations, key words or phrases can be monitored and measured. You can even set it up to have emails sent to you daily, weekly, etc to help.
Here are some free tools you can use to “listen.”
- Google Alerts: This is an email subscription you sign up for. You can choose key words or phrases and select the frequency of how often you receive the emails. This can be a good way to start with your brand name.
- Google reader: Use it to follow blogs and get the most up to date information on topics important to you
- Blog Searches: This is similar to Google Alerts in that you can receive alerts and updates through search like Google Blogsearch, Technorati, Bloglines, Blogarama and BlogCatalog. What differentiates this from Google Alerts is that here you are searching blogs.
- Twitter search: Twitter is like a bunch of micro-blogs, 140 characters at a time.
- LinkedIn: Although LinkedIn is not a social media site, you can search for your organization or brand name here.
- Facebook: You can search for keywords, your organization or brand in Facebook.
- Social Mention – Real-time social media search and analysis
- Compete.com – Compare traffic on your website compared to competition
- HootSuite – An all in one tool to manage Twitter
Clearly, tools like this can make something that seems overwhelming, a bit easier for many. LISTENING is a really important place to start with a social media strategy.