My official New Year’s Resolutions are pretty much the same as last year, but there’s another that’s more of an intention than a specific goal. That’s to do social listening better.

In social media, there are often several terms for the tactics we use. So to be clear, social listening, for me is monitoring what’s said about me or my brand or topic on social media. This year I’m working more hours with the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, but personal branding is important so I’m setting up social listening in Hootsuite. This means I can ensure I don’t miss any mentions of me or That would be rude. Oh, and I want it to be easy, otherwise, I’ll just say too hard and rudely ignore everyone. Sad but true.

Most of my personal branding and TapDancingSpiders efforts are on Twitter, so I’m just concentrating there. And I’m using Hootsuite because it does it all for free. Being a Hootsuite Ambassador is secondary because the tool is incredibly handy.

The Social Listening Tactics

Hootsuite’s streams and tabs is why I’m using it for social listening. I dedicate a tab to the task and use one of the ten streams for each tactic.


Social-Listening-MentionsThis is one of the standard streams, and catches all, well… mentions of your Twitter handle. If someone mentions you, you know they’re meaning to get your attention. I also have activated mention notifications on my phone to make sure I respond immediately.

Keyword Searches

In these, you can choose a word to monitor. A word can be a phrase or a hashtag. I set one for BiancaJSmith, but not Bianca – it’s too general and will give too many false positives. I’m also testing “Tap Dancing Spiders” (with the quotation marks) but suspect there will be more Harry Potter references than anything for the site. The quotation marks are using Boolean Strings to search for the phrase, not the individual words.

URL Searches

Social-Listening-URL-SearchThis is a sneaky and very useful tactic. It’s the same as a keyword search but for URLs. If someone shares a link to your site, it’s shortened and they may not use your name, so you won’t be notified with a normal keyword search. Add your URL as a keyword to see what people are sharing from your site. This also works to monitor YouTube videos and other sites.

Geolocation Searches

This one won’t work for me because my mentions come from many places, but if you’re focused on a city or state this is great. Select a radius and see what’s being said within that area. It’s especially useful when your name or brand keyword is general or if you’re targeting a particular city. Super-cool searches would be setting a search stream for your name in multiple markets. Then you can treat Seattle different than San Francisco. Or Sydney.

Do you have any specific social media new year’s resolutions? What are you using to make them happen?

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