Every Friday at 1pm CST, My Community Manager hosts a Google Hangout for community managers. The topic of “Listening” was what was discussed this week. We had a pretty full hangout including participants from the UK, Germany, Spain and the Philippines. Those contributing were:
Matt Buck, UK
Matt Janey, Program Evaluation Coordinator at Oklahoma State University
Valerie Joy Deveza, Social Media Manager, 3DVizion, Philippines.
Mike Hahn, Community Manager for hire, Philadelphia, PA
Jenny Weigle, Career Builder, Chicago, IL
Steffan Slacki, Aspiring gaming community manager, Germany
Tim McDonald, My Community Manager, Chicago, IL
John Brewer, Meet-Meme, Milwaukee, WI
Eduardo Temes, SEO & Digital Marketing, Madrid, Spain
The first question was “What tools do you use to listen to your community?” Many of the usual monitoring platforms were discussed including Tweetdeck, Seesmic and Hootsuite. Using lists, keywords and custom searches were the most common methods used to listen. Jenny mentioned Career Builder uses Radian6 and currently the monitor mainly mentions of their brand names. This accounts for almost 400 posts/day! As they expand, more time would be put into monitoring of mentions of competitors and keyword phrases. For push notifications, BoxCar mobile app was used and also SocialMention for email alerts. Brew brought up Google Alerts as a way to find common mis-spellings and mentions of your brand in other places not on the social channels.
“What do you do with the information you are listening to?” was the next question. Jenny said Career Builder prioritizes the information and then distribute to the appropriate person to respond. When follow-up is required, they have timeframes in which they need to be replied to. Other ways community managers used the information they were listening to was to categorize members of the community by topics, so they understood their interests. Connecting other members of the community with each other was another way community managers used the information. Now that many Twitter apps notify you of when someone favorites your tweet, this can be a way of letting members of your community you are listening to them.
“How do you go beyond standard listening and start identifying?” When building your community, you really need to go beyond just listening to what people are saying online. Using a tool like SocialBro allows you to not only search what people are talking about on Twitter, but it allows you to filter by language, their bio, followers, how active they are and much more. One this that wasn’t talked about but is very similar and more automated, is TweetAdder.
Everyone was asked if they listened more or talked more. Almost everyone had to think about it a while. It could be infered that the dialouge community managers have with their community is so natural feeling most don’t think about if they are talking or listening. Everyone agreed with Matt Janey’s comment that he “listens more with strategic talking”
The final question was “When do you know when to jump in a conversation when listening?” Mike Hahn, never shy to give his opinion, didn’t disappoint, he dives right in with a belly flop and hopes no one gets wet on the pool deck. Other community managers ranged from jumping right in to only responding when community members ask a question. One thing all agreed with is to be helpful.
How do you listen to your community? Have other tools or tricks you use? Share them in the comments below.