Listen well…


I have been thinking lately about listening. Specifically about the tools we use to make our lives easier when trying to listening to what is being said or published out there in the world. My two favourite social media trend listening/monitoring tools are Hootsuite and Google Alerts.

Hootsuite will allow me to consolidate information from several outposts in one place on a number of subjects. I can create a custom stream of social content, integrating information from Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter. This allows me to stay current on what is happening in social media in all of your areas of interest.

Posting: I can schedule all of my posts on all my social media platforms, with options to plan weeks or months ahead of time. The application also takes into consideration time zone differences.

Measurement: Hootsuite will gives me a clear snapshot of how users are interacting with and using my content, tracking trends and measuring growth. Hootsuite analytics allow me to track Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in real time, allowing me to assess the effectiveness of social media campaigns as they roll out, and make adjustments.

One of the advantages of Hootsuite is that I can start using the tool for free, and as my enterprise develops, there are paid subscriptions at the professional, team, business, and enterprise levels that give me access to more and more information

Google Alerts is a free “content change detection and notification service” (Wikipedia, 2017) that delivers content via notifications to my email or RSS feed. I can set up to 1,000 search terms, and the service will search through news articles, blogs, websites, video and Google books and forums. (Zimmerman, Ng. 2017)

My preferred News sources are Feedly and Google News:

Feedly is a news aggregator that allows me to collect information from a variety of sources based on my search criteria. My results are delivered via RSS feeds from the sites, so I don’t have to go searching for the articles myself. This is a listening tool that lets me see what people are saying about my industry or organization on a variety of blogs and websites. I simply subscribe to the RSS feeds of each site, and Feedly does the rest. Any time there is an article or blog posting of interest to me (based on key words I have set up), Feedly loads it into my account. This news aggregator allows me to share to my Hootsuite account too.

A good addition to this is Google News. This free service allows me to search for content on Google using keywords. This service ranks stories according to timeliness and relevance. It is very easy to use, and the search parameters can be changed and refined.

I like these four applications because they are easy to use and allow for growth of the business. I also like the fact that the Hootsuite and Feedly applications are compatible – allowing me to upload information from Feedly to Hootsuite so that everything is in one place. As an aggregate, the four applications allow me to see how users are interacting with my social media platforms and to stay informed about what is being said about my brand, your community and the market at large.

As a startup, I need to implement tools that will not overwhelm me from a time management or technology perspective. This will save me a LOT of time.

Do you have a listening or news application that you really like? Tell me about it.




Wikipedia. (2017). Google Alerts. Retrieved from

Zimmerman, Jan, Ng, Deborah. (2017). Social Media Marketing for Dummies. 120.

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