Savvy Speaks - Favorite Listening Tools

Savvy Speaks - Favorite Listening Tools
Savvy Sisters - Wed Mar 23, 2011 @ 07:15AM
Comments: 24

We all know that a big part of social media success is "listening," or - as some experts like to call it - "growing bigger ears." One of the challenges with this directive is learning how to filter through all the noise to find the bits of content and data that really matter to your organization.

Today's "Savvy Speaks" asks the question: What are your favorite listening tools and how do you use them?




Like Jamie and Wendy, I get tremendous value from both Twitter and Google alerts (I also use HootSuite to filter on certain topics). I also set up RSS feeds for the blogs I follow and get regular updates of activity on the LinkedIn groups I belong to. All of these combined make it possible to stay on top of the latest ideas and opinions on the topics that matter to me.



I agree with the other ladies that the one-two punch of Google alerts plus Twitter searches are both easy to set up and (best of all) free! This makes them a great starting point for small businesses especially, but larger businesses shouldn't over look them either.

Like anything else, your success depends on your follow up; you need to actually check your alerts and your Twitter searches and have a plan for what to do with the results - especially on Twitter where things can unfold fast.

Check out my blog post on how Comcast uses Twitter searches in an amazing customer service campaign: "If You're Not Doing This Already With Twitter You Should Be."




It's a fairly obvious one, but also one I find people often overlook because they don't think their target audience/competitors/customers are engaged on Twitter. Imagine their surprise when they start listening and find all kinds of chatter on their industry, competition, and even their own brand. 

Listening on Twitter is easy and free. Just set up a series of keyword or hashtag searches and then keep an eye on what comes through on the search feeds. The most efficient way to do this is via a 3rd party app (like Hootsuite - my favorite!). These apps allow you to create and save multiple searches for constant monitoring. Quickly scrolling through the tabs a couple times a day can yield all kinds of interesting news, trends, and links to relevant content and events ... keeping you on top of what's happening, and making you look super connected and tuned in.

Wendy Thomas


Like Jamie I keep an eye on Twitter with searches and hashtags but I also use Google alert which I have set up for various word combination searches. I'm sent all of the web pointers that interest me in a nicely wrapped up daily email. Lets me know what is going on in my field and in what ways my name or the names of others are getting out there.  


So, those are some of our favorite tools - what are yours?


Comments: 24


1. Chris Frank   |   Wed Mar 23, 2011 @ 09:06AM

I use Google Reader as a centralized place for listening--giving it RSS feeds from blogs, twitter searches, and Google alerts. What it ends up doing is letting me monitor both competitors and important conversations in my vertical. It takes 15 minutes to scan through a pretty massive amount of sources. Very useful in powering social media efforts, speaking with analysts and media, and occasionally talking to prospects.

2. Stephanie Tilton  |  my website   |   Wed Mar 23, 2011 @ 03:39PM

Thanks for calling that out, Chris! I also use Google Reader to manage my RSS feeds but didn't realized I could use it to monitor Twitter searches. I'll have to look into that.

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