There are a lot of sophisticated listening tools out there. And by sophisticated, I also mean expensive. Save yourself the fees and start with these simple listening tactics.
Before we dive into the specifics of each tool, I encourage you to create a list of terms and topics that are important to your brand. For a community bank or credit union, they might be:
- Your brand name
- Name of your town
- Consumer terms like “overdraft” or “I hate my bank”
- Industry or “fintech” terms
Be creative. These are starting suggestions and should be considered the minimum. Look at the marketing campaigns your institution is planning and see if you can find terms relevant to the topic.
This is a completely free feature that will allow you to find new mentions of a keyword or phrase from sources all over the web. Even better, the results will be emailed to you on a cadence of your choosing. The guide below starts assuming you have a Gmail account.
Step 1: Go to http://google.com/alerts
Step 2: Type in the desired search term in the “Create an alert about…” section.
Step 3: Some sample results will populate. Scan and click on a couple of these to make sure it is returning the kind of results that you want. This sample is for the term “Fintech”
Step 4: Edit the details for how you would like this content delivered to you and what sources you would like Google to scour.
Step 5: Check your email. Depending on your settings, you should get your first email pretty quickly. The email will contain a list of articles containing your terms. Here is an example of a “Kasasa” alert.
Due to its real-time nature, news and trends often break on Twitter. It’s also a platform where stream of consciousness posting is embraced, meaning that seeing a rant on bad service is not atypical. For those reasons, you’ll want to be listening. You should first have a Twitter account.
Step 1: Go to http://twitter.com/search
Step 2: Enter in the search term you want. Twitter has a robust list of operators to help you find more specific results. For example, you can search for tweets that contain a specific phrase that were posted within 15 miles of your town. The search query would be: “Kasasa” near:Austin within:15mi
Step 3: Check out your results and then refine your search query until you’re getting something useful.
Step 4: Once you have results you like, click the “More options” tab in the top menu. Look down the menu to “Save this search”.
Step 5: To access this saved search, just click up into the small “Search Twitter” field on any page.
Since Twitter is real time, you will want to run this search a couple times a day to see new conversations as they happen.
Another simple way to stay on top of conversations is to make sure your profile alerts are set up correctly.
As an example, I could set my Facebook account settings so that I received an email or text message every time there is activity on my page. This could be very useful during a big campaign or an important announcement.
To check these setting in Facebook, start by using Facebook as your page.
Step 1: Click the settings button.
Step 2: Click “Notifications” in the left hand menu.
Step 3: Edit your settings to reflect the level of communication you want. You’ll know real quickly if it is too much communication, and can go back and adjust accordingly.
All major social media networks have some similar feature to enable listening. By experimenting with the settings, you can turn your inbox into a command center for monitoring mentions on your brand and hot topics.