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Listening 101: Social Media Monitoring

Listening 101: Social Media Monitoring

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Published by Peter Risman
As your company’s PR professional, you’re responsible for keeping the proverbial ‘ear to the ground’ on what’s being said about you. Given today’s reality, are you covering all your bases? Are you ready if today’s simple ‘tweet’ becomes tomorrow’s news headline? If not, what’s stopping you?
As your company’s PR professional, you’re responsible for keeping the proverbial ‘ear to the ground’ on what’s being said about you. Given today’s reality, are you covering all your bases? Are you ready if today’s simple ‘tweet’ becomes tomorrow’s news headline? If not, what’s stopping you?

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Published by: Peter Risman on Nov 25, 2009
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01/28/2012

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Tips to integrate social mediainto your day-to-day media monitoring
Listening 101
white paperdna13.com
 
Take a flying leap
With Web 2.0 here to stay, many companies – small and large – are still coming togrips with how to take the first critical steps towards active participation in the worldof consumer-driven media.
The prospect of implementing a social media strategy for your company may seem daunting, but it’s not asdifficult as you think. In fact, taking your place in the Web 2.0 universe can be as simple as … listening.
Millions of conversations
Web 2.0 is not a concept anymore; it’s reality. A power shift has taken place. Traditional print and television mediano longer have exclusive control over how and when your message is delivered. Consumer communities usingweb-based social media tools are talking about your brand reputation. The evidence speaks for itself – very loudly.Social networking sites are growing exponentially. Facebook has more than 300 million active users globally,with each user having an average of 130 friends
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. Earlier this year, YouTube reached 147 million users in theU.S., and the average number of videos viewed per person reached 101
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. Microblogging sites like Twitter haveanywhere from 3.5 million to 17 million users, depending on which site you look at, and nobody’s even countinghow many blogs exist globally anymore, but there are well over 100 million. To add to all of that, there arecountless discussion forums, where people are offering opinions on just about anything they read, see or hear.Combine all of this with traditional media – the daily newspaper, network television, and radio – and you have adizzying number of channels where conversations impacting your brand reputation are almost certainly taking place.As your company’s PR professional, you’re responsible for keeping the proverbial ‘ear to the ground’ on what’sbeing said about you. Given today’s reality, are you covering all your bases? Are you ready if today’s simple‘tweet’ becomes tomorrow’s news headline? If not, what’s stopping you?
»
Not enough time or resources?
»
Can’t get buy-in from senior management?
»
Don’t know how or where to begin?
Shhh… listen
It is critical for your company to be plugged into the conversations taking place about your brand.Stumbling accidentally onto a conversation about your company can make your blood run cold. If theconversation is positive, you heave a sigh of relief. If it isn’t, you can spiral into full-on panic mode.
2 Listening 101: Tips to integrate social media into your day-to-day media monitoring
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The bottom line for every PR practitioner is control. You plan carefully forevery good headline and every potential disaster. You plant your message,and manage it through to its natural conclusion. But how do you do it intoday’s Web 2.0 environment without taking your organization too faroutside its comfort zone – impacting time, resources, and brand control?The answer is simple: take the first step – start by listening.When you listen, you learn:
»
Your brand is out there
and people are talking about it
»
Your competitor is already in the game
, or if not, people are talkingabout them too
»
Some of your employees are already representing you online
, and you didn’t know it
»
There is a whole new world of opportunity
for engaging with and responding to your customers
Listening tools
Listening is something good communicators, PR experts and marketers always do before proposing a course ofaction. Traditionally, strategies start with interviews, focus groups, a review of customer-focused literature, aSWOT analysis or other research that gets a pulse on their company’s reputation.Listening in on the social media universe is no different.You can make a low-risk and low-investment start by using free web-based tools to tap into who’s discussingyour brand and why. Using a combination of free and paid tools can become overwhelming due to the volume ofdata and the numerous locations in which it's being stored. The end result (media monitoring data points spreadacross multiple platforms and Excel spreadsheets) should help provide justification as to why moving to a fullyintegrated listening platform is such a worthwhile investment in the longer term.
67% of executivemarketers considerthemselves beginnerswhen it comes to usingsocial media formarketing purposes.
Marketing ExecutivesNetworking Group, Nov 2008
Why listen?
»
There is always someone talking about you somewhere
»
Online conversations happen in real-time, and so should your responses
»
To get a pulse on your company’s current online reputation and presence
»
To help you know how and how much you need to get involved in monitoring social media
»
Not knowing is not an option
Listening 101: Tips to integrate social media into your day-to-day media monitoring 3

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