In my organization, social media is not commonly used as a marketing tool to compete for brand recognition or to advertise products for sale. The space technology industry consists predominantly of government funded projects with long cycle times and we have found that there are more successful and direct ways of reaching government agencies outside of social media. Instead, we primarily use social media to promote the benefits of government investment in the space sector and the benefits of space technology to everyday life here on Earth. Because we’re trying to lobby public support and promote the benefits of space tech, listening is very important to the success of our strategy.
Favourite Listening Tools
Two of my favourite social media monitoring tools are Twitter Search and Google Alerts.
Twitter Search: Twitter is widely used by Government organizations and public figures to broadcast their message. It’s an easy place to follow all of our stakeholders, competitors and influencers and to monitor things like comments on the allocation of public funds to space activities. Using Twitter Search, I can easily look up competitors, program names and stay on top of events like launches, space walks and International Space Station activities. Twitter search is also an easy way to keep an eye on what is being said on social media about my organization.
Google Alerts: Google Alerts is a free tool that allows me to monitor what is being said online about certain key words. Google Alerts monitors the web for keywords I have followed, compiles them and sends me a daily e-mail with the results. Because so much of our social media content is sharing articles and news on space activities, Google Alerts is a colossal time saver for me. I have set alerts for my organization, competitor products, government space agencies, space programs and more. It takes a huge amount of searching and work out of listening so I can focus on promoting our goal.
I use Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date on news and topics of interest to me. I follow several different online news sources on both Facebook and Twitter so that just browsing through my news feed provides me with up to date information on what’s happening in the space sector and the world in general.
For social media news and trends, I’ve subscribed to the Social Media Examiner so I receive e-mails with tips and articles like this one on social media listening tools. I also manage and maintain our corporate websites and subscribe to several WordPress “how-to” e-mails.
As a relatively small organization with no real budget for marketing activities, I’ve had to be resourceful in finding ways to monitor and keep on top of our social media while ensuring I am making the best use of my time and managing competing priorities. I like to keep it simple, and so far it’s working!