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Posted by  in General Marketing

Well, today’s the day – you’re going to begin the journey of discovery that is Social Media.

If  you’ve never participated before, this is going to be a lot of fun.  However, to do social media well, you need to learn to listen and apply what you’re learning to your own social media efforts.

“Let’s start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin with A-B-C
When you sing you begin with Do-Re-Mi”
(Sound of Music)

The place to begin in social media is setting up your own listening station.  Here are the steps.

  1. Get a free Google Reader account. Here’s a video that shows you how to do that step-by-step:

  2. Once your account is set up you need to load up some feeds. Ideally you want to follow the feeds from your competition – pick the top 5-10 competitors to follow
  3. Once your feeds are in place you want to create google alerts to follow important words. This article will tell you How to Create a Google Alert. Here are some ideas for alerts that you need to set up:

    a. follow your keywords
    b. follow your name
    c. follow your company name
    d. follow brand-related mentions
    f. follow your website addresses (URLs)
    g. follow your competitors’ names
    h. follow the people or representatives on your team that are active online – follow their conversations and their names
    i. follow industry and opportunity phrases: if you’re selling insurance, you might look for phrases like “need insurance coverage” or “shopping for car insurance”. If you’re in weight loss, look for “I need to lose a few pounds”, etc.

  4. Now, once this is set up, you need to use it! If you have no social media set up just yet, use this to find out what folks are already doing in your industry. Where are the holes? What are the questions that need to be answered? What are the issues that come up over and over and over? Start thinking through these things and begin to design a strategy for meeting the needs that are coming up in your listening station.

    If you’re already involved in social media, in addition to doing the above, you can use this as a resource for connecting with the right people, entering into conversation, building relationship through re-tweets and sharing, and for becoming the expert in your industry.

    Do you already use a listening station? How do you use it? What works? What doesn’t? Post your comments below and let’s brainstorm some great and creative ways to use this!

    Darlene


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