My two favourite social media listening/monitoring tools are google alerts and twitter search. Other than the obvious reasons of following keywords through google alerts, there are certainly a few other benefits that I like to mention. My primary purpose is generally to track discussions or news articles on topics I am interested in such as the current provincial and municipal elections. It’s quite helpful when wanting to read articles and opinions on all sides of the political spectrum so getting alerts on whichever candidate or party I am interested in, google alerts is certainly at the forefront when it comes to listening and monitoring. It’s also helpful to monitor your own brand if someone online were to write up a positive or negative review and it’s also helpful to know when you are your brand is being mentioned. It’s also a great way to keep an eye on your competition and to follow relevant information in your business or industry by tracking keywords.
My favourite is hands down the twitter search as you get instantaneous updates and alerts on breaking news and stories. There are hundreds of millions tweet per day so it’s not only a great tool to promote your own content but also valuable to discover relevant information. Also, another great benefit of the twitter search is that generally topics of discussion are grouped under specific hashtags which really assist with breaking down your search results. For example, city of Ottawa issues would be #OttCity or Ontario politics would be #Onpoli. As you start to get a feel of the twitter community, who you should be following, which keywords and hashtags to search, it becomes a very powerful tool to listen and monitor in a very efficient manner.
When it comes to the best sources of news and updates of interest for me, I must hand it over to twitter once again and I will add YouTube as my second option. Starting off with YouTube, millions of videos are uploaded daily so you will always find what you are looking for, even if it’s a poor quality cell phone camera, somebody is always watching. And at the end of the day, all news stories and clips get uploaded to YouTube one way or another so it’s inevitable to always be using this source. Now going back to my favourite social media platform, twitter is my go to tool for the most up to date information on anything I am looking for. Based on my needs and wants, I find myself following the right twitter handles to get information from anything to community events, traffic, breaking news, whats going on in Ottawa, closures all of sorts, etc.. Someone is always retweeting, or adding in more information, and you can monitor full conversation threads to get the inside scoop. Also, twitter is used heavily by journalists and politicians who go hand in hand with my line of work so it’s great way to stay up to date on Council motions, votes, protesting, appeals, public’s reaction, etc.. Social media has its up and downs since information today is processed and filtered so quickly and our attention spans are shorter, who knows what the next trend or scandal will be.