MSM 10 – How to Become a Listening Company

Cory Hartlen, a community manager and former agency strategist for Radian6 (and a Movember participant, wearing the same three days of mustache growth that I’m wearing) spoke on building a better listening organization. He described social media as the new telephone. Are you answering the phone or at least checking the occasional voicemail message?

Why are you listening? Who’s talking about you? What’s being said about you and about your competition? Hartlen noted that listening has layers. In addition to monitoring conversations about you, you should also be monitoring the industry vertical in which you lie. This will give you information about your competitors and let you know your share of voice in the market.

There are several levels of designing a listening strategy. At the first level, it may be as simple as an individual or two using tools like Google Alerts and reporting on a weekly basis. As you evolve to later stages of deployment, you can develop new strategies and add more people and more advanced tools. It’s critical, however, to keep it simple at the beginning.

There are many key metrics that you can track in a listening strategy:

Ultimately, it all comes back to learning. You should focus not on the numbers, but on the storied behind them.

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