Listening with 3 Ears

It is clear that companies should be listening to social media conversations, but what exactly should you be listening to? Over the past two years I have developed the following approach that has really helped the companies that I have worked with think about listening at three broad levels:

Brand Level listening – Chris and others have blogged about this often. Organizations need to be listening to what is being said about their brands in the social marketplace and to listen in on competitive conversations. Powerful listening platforms such as Radian6, Techrigy SM2, and at last count I found over 80 of these social analytics tools… all can help your organization digest the huge amounts of conversations into more meaningful data that you can react to in a timely manner.

Targeted Influencer – But battles are not won by reacting, but instead by being proactive and engaging. Developing a targeted list of relevant influencers that you listen to and engage with via Twitter, blog comments and FriendFeed is essential to demonstrate not only that you are listening, but that you are proactively engaged and want to comment on their conversations. By creating that dialog with key industry influencers, they will start to engage and notice you as well.

Project Centric Listening – Project level listening is frequently overlooked, but can have a huge impact on the overall return of a project. An easy example to consider, if your company is participating at an event such as CES, listen for the relevant tweets, blog posts, YouTube videos, Flickr images and more. By leveraging this information through your company’s blog and Twitter account, your company is further engaged with your targeted audience and you will increase your overall ROI from the event.

What have you done that helps you from a listening perspective? What tools help you? Always eager to hear and learn more!

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