COM0015 – Blog 1: Social Media Trends and News Sources

Social media trends

There are two ways in which I keep track of social media trends. First, I am subscribed to daily newsletters from Social Media Today, SocialBakers Blog, Hootsuite Blog, and Influencer Marketing Hub. Newsletters from these platforms go directly to a dedicated folder in my email inbox. I look at these newsletters daily to get a sense of major developments around social platform updates, social media marketing, digital marketing, etc.

On a typical work day, when I am glued to a computer screen, receiving a newsletter via email is the best way to make sure I pay attention to it. Source: Giphy

Second, I use LinkedIn and Twitter search functionality to find content that contains keywords and hashtags of interest to me. This allows me to track what various thought leaders and influencers think about where the world of social media is moving.

I use these particular listening and monitoring tools because they provide a good coverage of the topics that I am interested in. I use insights I get through these tools to develop and tweak social media plans and content. I also use these insights to learn about what is happening in the social media world beyond my area of expertise.

News and updates sources

I use Google Alerts to stay abreast of news and updates of interest. I currently receive daily alerts for 18 keywords, and I change these keywords quite often.

I also use Flipboard, a free news aggregator, that fetches news from all the websites I follow and organizes them into “magazines” for my convenience.

Google Alerts and Flipboard help me stay up-to-date with news and updates of personal and professional interest. GIF source: @rjblomberg on Giphy.

I prefer Google Alerts and Flipboard to other tools because they are easy to use, reliable and free. They help me stay up-to-date with major developments that are important for the organization I work for and for my personal professional development.

And what tools do you use to track social media trends or news of interest? Let me know in the comments section below.

A Powerful Social Media Listening Strategy


Want to make make your marketing sing? Check out these social listening tools.

We have all heard that in order to be the most effective in our social marketing that we must engage in our communities. Sounds simple, but of course there is more to than that. While engagement does mean participation we must evaluate first of all if we are participating in the right communities and if our communications are appropriate for that audience. In order to evaluate we must study the different social media platforms to discover what best suits our purposes. As we familiarize ourselves with the platforms we can discover who the influencers are by the number of followers, shares and likes on a given profile; it will also become apparent what the best form of communication is and what topics appeal to the community.

But now is where the complexity can set in. What if the number of followers and the like are not the real indicator, then what? Siobhan Donovan suggests not taking much stock in these metrics as they don’t go deep enough.1  Siobhan explains that even when followers exhibit a high level of engagement through likes and followers etc., this still does not get to the heart of an accurate level of influence.2  Siobhan recommends a tool such as the Upfluence search engine that uses “relevancy and an influence score.”3  The relevancy score is measured by a broader range of criteria that include “engagement rates, community size, language, location, platform type, how often they post, etc.”The influence score determines the rank of the influencers based on the criteria as mentioned above and also pulls in number of monthly visitors for blogs. The Upfluence search engine will provide much depth that otherwise will be difficult to discern simply by listening. 

There are many other tools available for many social media measurement metrics. SmartInsights, Hootsuite, Hubspot are just a few of the social media management platforms offering various tracking tools. Hootesuite advertises monitoring filters to “find and filter social conversations by keyword, hashtag, and location—in multiple languages—to hear what people are saying about your brand, competitors, and industry.”6 SmartInsights and Hubspot offer similar tools for social media targeted listening.

Now that you have employed listening tools and developed an in depth understanding of the various social media platforms and discovered some key influencers, you are ready to dive into your own social media marketing strategy implementation. Your deep understanding of the audience will facilitate your engagement and relevant content that you will be able to share with the community.

What have been your social media and marketing breakthroughs that have really counted?

Are you looking to upgrade your social media strategy? Check out my latest blog:

Need a marketing boost? Find current social media tips here:

(nd). Follow key conversations with these monitoring features. Retrieved from

Donovan, S., (2018, Feb. 6). How Do You Measure Influence? A Simple Hack for Determining Value. Retrieved from

photo, shutterstock.

5 reasons why Social Listening is key to Company Success

In my initial blogpost, I questioned how companies are using Social Media to help build relationships and increase brand awareness and loyalty with their clients.

One way they are doing this is by actively listening to the dialogue happening on Social Media.

Following is an amazing example of a company using active social listening to help build relationships and increase brand awareness for their company.

KLM #happytohelp campaign:

KLM #happy to help campaign

The KLM #happytohelp campaign wonderfully illustrates the power of listening to the social media dialogue.  This active social listening is critical for building and maintaining company/customer relationships.

Being out-of-touch with customers can be costly

Bad customer service.  We’ve all experienced it.  It leaves a bad taste in our mouth and motivates us to let everyone know that they should NOT do business with the organization or individual that offended us.   

However, unlike the past, when bad mouthing by an upset customer was usually limited to one’s own neck of the woods, today,  a single “Tweet” or online posting by an irate customer can go viral – and in a short time, if not handled properly, has the potential to cause serious damage to an organization’s brand and reputation.

Comcast complaint goes viral

Nothing screams out of touch more than a company that disregards its customers or takes its clientele for granted.   In this day and age when consumers are increasingly savvy and competition is fierce, a company that remains out of touch with its clientele and the world around them is almost certainly doomed to fail.

That is why social listening is so critical to an organization’s success.   And listening doesn’t just mean being aware of what people are saying, it means responding to this awareness.  Put simply it allows a company to: Listen. Understand. Act.

5 reasons why Active Social Listening is key to Company Success

1.  It shows a company cares.

How often do we get frustrated when we don’t feel listened to?   My wife reminds me at times that I don’t LISTEN to her enough (ahem.touché.sigh)  While I hate to admit it, she’s often right.  Nothing is more insulting than having someone NOT listen to you.   But listening takes work, and to become good at it, one has to work at it (note to self).

A company that demonstrates caring through listening, has a greater chance of fostering increased customer satisfaction and loyalty to their brand.  Small gestures that show a company cares can go a long way to nurturing a longer term relationship with current and potential clients.   

In the following keynote address entitled “Care Immensely or Die!”, Gary Vaynerchuk, colourfully and passionately stresses the vital importance of caring in the new economy.

Gary Vaynerchuk %22Care Immensely or Die%22 Keynote Address

 2.  Listening allows a company to be aware of how people feel about their product/service. 

Knowing how people feel about an organization allows a company to react and adapt to changing circumstances and trends.  This knowledge enables a company to respond to peoples’ concerns in a timely manner.  A timely intervention with a client or potential customer can go a long way to holding onto an existing customer or acquiring a new one.  

3.  Listening gives insight into what people want/need.

Providing a product/service that people want or need is key to the success of any company.

Active Social Listening allows an organization to modify its current products or services according to the evolving wants and needs of the marketplace.  This ability to adapt to evolving wants and needs is critical for a company’s long term success.

4.  Listening provides knowledge about the competition and how others perceive them.

Social listening also enables an organization to know what its competitors are doing and how other potential customers are reacting to the competition.  This knowledge allows a company to adapt accordingly and potentially gain new customers who may be no longer satisfied with the company they have been previously dealing with.


5.  Consumers expect a timely response when they use social media to ask a question or post a complaint.

According to a consumer research study by Oracle, “more than half of consumers on Facebook expect a same-day response to questions and posts, where 52 percent of consumers using Twitter expect a company to respond within two hours.”  The study also found that 30 percent of Twitter users expect a response within half an hour.   

What does this all mean?   Quite simply, if a company wants to meet consumers’ expectations, they need to be actively listening and engaging in social media on an on-going and consistent basis.

How to listen to the social media dialogue

The following articles provide some great tips on how to listen to the dialogue on social media.

Are You Ready to Listen Differently in Social Media?

How to Gather Fan Feedback on Social Media

How to Deliver Exceptional Social Media Customer Service

Food for thought

* In your personal or professional life, do you spend enough time actively listening?

* Have you ever personally experienced a company that did not listen to what you had to say?

* Do you know of any other examples of companies doing a great job of active social listening?

I want to hear from you.    Please join me in the conversation.

Connect with me on LinkedIn.