The influences of social media on our language, our reading and writing habits, and our communications expectations have been phenomenal. Our blog has tried to help our readers traverse the SM landscape. And today we turn to a peer, Blackbaud, who has a and how-to concerning setting up a SM ‘Listening Post.’ But more importantly still, he explains why a Listening Post can help tailor your tactics of SM-outreach to help achieve your organization’s larger strategic goals. The key term for Chad is ‘Listening.’, Internet marketing manager for
While listening is critical at an event like the 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference, it’s also a key function back in the offices of our nonprofits. Listening to our supporters can help in so many ways, and social media has made it extremely easy to so. But how?
For the listening post, you want to develop a strategy of which terms or ideas your organization is wanting to hear and to follow. Then add those Twitter hashmarks (#mkcreative). He lists a number of ways to cull the SM universe for your terms, topics, and organization’s name. To name a few: iGoogle, Backtweets (to find who has posted tweets that link to your site), IceRocket (to search blogs that might refer to your name/organization, and (that searches URLs, blogs, videos tags, and more).
The point is to collect what others are saying about your organization and to get an understanding of what they like and, perhaps, don’t like about what you are doing. With these metrics, your organization can develop strategies to respond to questions, prepare responses to issues that people are discussing online, and enrich relationships with those who are speaking on your behalf.
Listen for things like: mentions of your organization or charity, staff members’ names (at least higher-level staff), any mentions of events you are hosting, and/or campaigns you are running. Be sure to have a chart of what is being listened to, so that staff can build on each others’ research.
The larger goal, though, is to move your overall SM strategies from ones of passive listening and response to proactive integration and development of a strategic plan that goes well beyond your social-media efforts. What Chad wants organizations and businesses to do is tailor their messages to respond to what others are saying about them – maybe not with specific/unique responses to each ‘mention,’ but adjust the message so that it reflects the audience’s interests and addresses their concerns. Chad presents a number of case studies in his online ‘Nonprofit Social Media Learning Series.’
With that adjustment – and with the continued listening that needs to start this strategic plan – your organization will be responding to your audience, and that audience will be well aware of your attentiveness. That relationships will stand your company or charity in good stead when you reach out to your customers and clients in both traditional ways and those of social media.
Get listening, and have a good weekend!