As I have been delving further into the world of social media and blogging I am learning more and more how important it is to listen to what your audience is saying (or not saying.) Here are 4 tools I use on a regular basis that help me listen.
My favourite listening tool may not fall under the classic definition of listening tools at all but rather under that of a feature available on Twitter and Facebook; the “Trending Now” section. I find this feature of the social media platforms particularly useful to know what topics would have the largest built in audience. Most recently the obvious topics of interest are Donald Trump, the hurricane aftermath in the Caribbean and southern states or yet another specific to Canada the legalization of marijuana.
Of late I have been working on developing a lifestyle blog focusing on fitness, health and wellbeing, consequently I have been doing a lot of research on these things. My reason for doing this is that I have been trying to lose weight for a long time always focusing on the nutrition side of things and each time I would fail. This time around I am also working on my fitness level in addition to focusing on nutrition. It is my understanding that working on both elements in addition to writing about my experience on a blog, Twitter and Instagram will allow me to find other individuals going through the same experience and share with them what challenges I face everyday in addition to my victories. As I use Twitter and Instagram with this independent project of mine, I find the use of hashtags very useful while trying to increase my number of followers and direct traffic to my blog. Hashtags that I frequently used and that have proven to be rather useful have been #weightloss, #fitness, #fitbit, #nutrition, #healthy, #weightlossmotivation, #weightlossjourney, #fit, #strength. Using these hashtags allows me to build my brand but also build a network of likeminded individuals who write about similar topics.
Another tool I use regularly for monitoring and listening is Google Analytics. I find that searching for the keywords I listed above in Google Analytics is a good way for me to get a broader glimpse of the online action of related topics. I can see what keywords had the most traffic, where on the globe they were most used and what keywords were used in relation. This allows me to broaden my keyword search and further understand how the blogosphere functions.
RSS Feeds & Subscriptions
I have created a few RSS feeds that allow me to further track topics related to my lifestyle blog without having to do exhaustive research on the internet. Using the RSS Reader app I am able to stay up to date on a series of topics including but not limited to those I write about on my blog and others of interest. In addition to RSS Feeds, subscribing directly to different blogs has proven to be a great resource as new content is delivered directly to my inbox when it is published, this also keeps me up to date on events or promotions/contests the blogs might be running.
Have you used any of these tools? Do you think you will from now on? Let me know in the comments section below.