It is quite disappointing that a lot of individuals and companies are complacent that they’ll be able to build and maintain their online reputation by merely joining the Social Media bandwagon. The thought that they have already assigned a Social Media marketer to take care of their web character is enough for them, without knowing that they really need to do more. Especially when almost everyone’s decision is influenced by what they hear on Facebook, Twitter, and other Social Media channels.
What makes it more interesting is that when they realise this opportunity to get themselves involved in the Social buzz, they still cannot grasp the basics of it, yet still missing out on how they can respond on their own Social Media challenges.
But how does one ever listen to the Social Buzz?
How do you not get left out and find your own way of being an influential individual or organisation in the middle of scathing reviews and comments others have when they start building their online presence?
Let’s try and uncover the mysteries of social listening and find out that there’s actually more to JUST interacting with your Social Media followers. That there’s even more to merely blogging and submitting a press release to an online promotion channel for you to become a reputable person or company on the World Wide Web.
You can create your own Social Listening board by doing these five things that are proven to be effective.
GATHER YOUR KEYWORDS AND KEY PHRASES
Google’s Keyword Planner does not JUST allow you to create your content when you want to build your web presence. You can actually do more with it – like finding the mostly used words and phrases that people talk about on Social Media. By effectively studying these keywords, you can list down several of which that people bring up on their Facebook, Twitter, and other social conversations.
PAY ATTENTION TO TWITTER
Considered one of the busiest Social Media channels, Twitter is buzzing with real-time and quick conversations. If you use an effective Twitter application like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, you’ll be able to have a board or a column for they keywords that Twitter people use (usually the hashtagged words).
When you’re quite familiar with the topics, and you realise that a lot of people are actually on the conversation, start paying attention to who’s often in it and who makes the most sense, then start following them. Chances are you’ll get the best insights and not miss out on anything important. Just keep in mind that not all trending topics and searches are relevant to what you do. Carefully choose those conversations that you want to monitor and the people involved in them.
READ BLOGS AND BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR GOOGLE SEARCHES
If you or your Social Media manager is adept with RSS feeds and RSS readers, might we suggest that you start looking for relevant blogs that you can follow and get a lot of insight from by subscribing to their RSS feeds. A number of RSS readers are available on the Internet.
Some can be browser extensions whilst you can also find standalone readers that you can open on a separate browser tab. Also, be on the lookout for the blogs that are often making waves on Social Media channels. Together with that, you also need to pay attention to the trending keywords that people use to search for stuff on Google.
When you do your own Google Search, notice how it suggests that you receive an email alert for search results based on the keywords you used. Make this work to your advantage by setting up your own Google alerts and adding them to your RSS feed reader.
BUILD A VIRTUAL COUNTER FOR BLOG COMMENTS, DISCUSSION BOARDS, AND Q&A CHANNELS
Monitor all discussions happening in different platforms to be able to verify its relevance and determine the number of people linking back to it. There are a few premium apps on the web to help you do it. Channels like Topsy can back track all previous discussions and tweets from years ago – giving you the chance to find out how bad or good the discussions were and how it could directly affect your own online reputation.
Boardreader, on the other hand, scans a sea of forums and discussion boards for the same purpose. Having these web tools can let you be on the lookout for conversations amongst people on the Internet that could influence your own web presence – and how you can deal with it.
You also have to be on the lookout for Question and Answer channels like Yahoo! Answers, Quora, WikiAnswers, etc. These platforms can give you a brilliant insight on what people usually ask about – whether it be the best stuff or the worst.
ORGANISE THE STUFF
You don’t necessarily have to build and develop your own complex dashboard to put them all together. Just organise them in a way that you or your online reputation specialist will not miss anything. You can dedicate a single browser window for all the web applications you will decide to use to listen to Social conversations, while assigning a different one for the other stuff you need to do.
To give you a better idea, here are a few of the tools you can use – majority of which we have already mentioned in each item.
For monitoring and saving Twitter topics
For your RSS feeds – This will organise all the blogs and websites you are following
Use this premium web service to monitor current and past discussions and comments.
Use this to monitor forums and discussion boards relevant to what you are doing.
These are just few of the basic things you need to remind yourself of if you want to know what’s buzzing in Social Media. Putting these into practice does not guarantee a huge amount of traffic to your own pages and Social profiles. But the most important takeaway in all of these is the fact that you’ll be able to listen to everyone and find out how you can create your own online reputation strategy, so you can be more effective in reaching out to people. Getting yourself involved in Social Media listening allows you to make an intelligent decision and a give out a brilliant piece of your thought in a discussion, especially when people are talking about you, your company, or by any chance your competition in blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and other online conversation channels.