Can you hear me now?
I fully admit that I, like many people, struggle with the listening part of social media. At first I tried everything all at once and ended up bombarded with tons of information. Far too much and most of it duplicated to the point that it overwhelmed me and became completely redundant. It was like trying to listen for a single cello, when the entire orchestra was playing.
There are hundreds of listening sites out there and all of them are very similar and have their pros and cons. The better sites you have to pay for but that it out of my media budget so I stick with the free ones.
Google Alerts is good but getting a few dozen emails every time you look at your computer is a little frustrating. It’s a lot of extra work to sort though when you’re alert is set up to something generic about your business. Having them all flow into a central RSS reader like Feedly makes it easier to sort them out. You can skim the digest and ignore the ones that don’t really pertain to you. Be prepared though because it takes time to set all these alerts up. The trick to everything is figuring out your hashtags and what “monitoring” words work best.
I really like Hootsuite, I find it a bit more user friendly and organized. It’s free for two user profiles, I chose Twitter and Instagram since I’m active on both of them but not constantly. But, you can upgrade ($$) to monitor more accounts, like Facebook, Google+, WordPress or Linkdin. Everything is laid out in “streams” and I can quickly scan and see if I need to comment or address and questions.
The trend right now in my business is a need for one on one communication. Readers what to know what you are working on and when it will be done all in real time. I’m on Facebook all the time so there is no need to monitor it because I see the notifications right away and I don’t have to worry about missing something.
Those are only two monitoring sites. There are tons more and a lot are free….at least 69 to be exact. This link will take you to a long list to explore and see what works best for you and your needs.