COM0015 – Blog #1: What’s In My Toolbox?

Photo by Anete Lusina |

Listening & Monitoring Tools

If there’s one thing that I love about living in the digital age, it’s that we are now able to track so much more data. Whether it be determining the trajectory of an asteroid passing in earths atmosphere, or in the case of Social Media experts; listening to the users and tracking trends in analyze in order to create a social plan that will build a bigger audience, the continued growth of data analysis is simply impressive.

When it comes to choosing a listening and monitoring tool, the first item on my checklist is to make sure it has an extensive dashboard. I feel as if dashboards are so vital to the success of a good social plan, and while the data is the most important part, so is functionality. With how many data points there is available, it’s critical that a dashboard is designed in an organized manner that makes searching for and accessing that data an easy task.

That said, my two favourite listening and monitoring tools at the moment is HootSuite and Sprout Social. Some of the main complaints others have with Hootsuite, is they find the interface to be confusing. I have to disagree, like anything there is a learning curve, but once you understand what you’re looking at and how to navigate the tool, it’s easy peasy. The reason I enjoy this tool is because it can track data points across more social networks than a lot of these competing tools offer. That gives us more to work with, and helps us create a more detailed and thorough social media plan. I also enjoy how if there is more than one user on an account, you are able to separate tasks in an organized manner.

My second favourite listening and monitoring tool is Sprout Social. I really enjoy how easy it is to navigate, and how simple it is to analyze the data given in order to create growth and improve engagement. Personally, I think the addition of a Tasks tab is a great touch in terms of organization, as it helps separate the clutter, and essentially gives you a space to assign specific tasks to each team member directly. This ensures that each member knows their job, and can identify feedback as specific to them.

News Sources

When it comes to which news sources I focus on, it solely comes down to what sort of news i’m looking for. If i’m looking for gaming news or entertainment, i’m going to be checking Twitter, if i’m looking for something more professional and career related then i’ll be searching LinkedIn. If I want to search on Twitter for those career related topics, I will use a professional account and create a list of my favourite content creators. This will create a timeline of more mature and career focused content from individuals I have verified as being authentic. I will also only use that account for career related searches, so that the Twitter algorithm only shows me related content.

Another news source I use often is Reddit. Due to the vast amount of sub-reddit’s, you can easily search for any breaking news related to a category of your choice. For instance, if you want worldwide news you simple visit the sub-reddit r/worldnews and if you are interested in local news, you simply search r/ and the location you are looking for. I visit r/Toronto frequently to catch up with news in the city as it happens. You can also use the search function to type in keywords that will bring up a specific news article that you are looking for.

What’s in your toolbox? Let me know in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “COM0015 – Blog #1: What’s In My Toolbox?

  1. Hi Joshua,

    Your post was very informative and educational. I enjoyed reading your strategy around Twitter, and creating a list of your favourite creators. I also use Twitter in my toolkit, and as a breaking news outlet. I am able to view multiple sources when searching for a news item. I find it usually reports news before some media companies.



  2. Hi,
    I really enjoyed your post. I am just learning more and more about listening and monitoring. It is an area that I am not familiar with, and I feel a little out of my element. When I looked at platforms I too found that the information that was on the Hootsuite dashboard was great and I also thought that it would be great. I like what you said about there is a learning curve like everything else because its true but I do feel the pain of all the learning curves. At the rate that the digital world is changing I feel like I can’t keep up with all the learning curves.
    When thinking of the news outlets Twitter is also my go to. I check my Twitter account each day for articles of interest to me. I am not putting content out on Twitter but I do really enjoy reading the articles. I have never used Reddit but your article has intrigued me to try it.

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