Ugh. This can be an uphill battle in many corporate cultures. Everyone wants to talk and no one wants to listen. While it is true that smart marketers are starting conversations that their customers care about, many have long since activated their story radar and are veterans at gathering valuable insights. Anyone with a vested interest in your business should find virtual conversations about your brand valuable as well but many times simply don’t know how to access them. Here’s a few easy ways to get them started (think baby steps.)
1. Google Alerts are the obvious first step but one that should not be overlooked.
They represent the low hanging fruit associated with your brand mention or keyword. These email alerts should be the minimum requirement for anyone internally at or above a manger level as far as I am concerned.
2. Look for ways to bring feeds into existing apps like email that your executives already use.
Go beyond simple alerts and add RSS feeds into their Outlook or other mail program. To get started, figure out how to add an RSS feed in whatever corporate email software you use. In Outlook, right click on RSS feeds in your mailbox and paste in the RSS feed link. For Twitter, add feeds for @replies and mentions of your brand name or other term of interest on Twitter. Using RSS feeds for tweets used to be easier but as of today, this method still works. Once you have the feeds configured, new items will appear like new emails, just in a different section of their mailbox. They can view conversations at their convenience and delete as needed.
To have others receive emails when people post to, comment on, or message your Facebook business Page, you’ll need to add them as an administrator on the Page. They will then have to go to Edit Page >> Manage Notifications, check the box for Email Notifications, click “View all email settings for your pages” and change the default settings for email so that all notifications are sent.
3. Graduate them to other tools that allow them to engage.
*Gasp* If they’ve gotten comfortable with steps one and two, they may be ready to actually join the conversation or perhaps they just want to customize their feeds. Hopefully you have simultaneously been including them in your content strategy. Regardless, there are numerous tools available that can provide them access to dashboards, multiple feeds and reports. Getting them into the habit of accessing these on a regular basis may be your biggest challenge. Just because you enjoy monitoring TweetDeck all day doesn’t mean they will. Some of my favorites? Engage121 and Hootsuite Pro. A new player to check out is Snapshot Social Media.
Once you have others listening inside your organization, you’ll have them sharing what they find. Hopefully this will open their eyes to a whole new world where conversations are taking place around your product, service or industry.
Got other tips? What challenges have you faced in this area?