Listen & Learn
To begin a listening program, we first need to establish methods and techniques to collect feedback.
Tools like Radian6, Google Alerts, Google Trends (among others) allow us to monitor what is being said–and by whom–to develop a vocabulary relevant to the user and the conversation. We’ll monitor conversations including tweets, site comments, forums, blogs and so on watching for mentions of our people, our industry and our competitors.
A vocabulary might include paid and natural search terms; lines-of-business; customer vernacular; industry trends; offline activity.
Interpret & Identify
This second step in listening, we vet all mentions related any threats or opportunities that require action or offer potential for a desired outcome. If a pattern is found with a frequent commentator or such a commentator is well-regarding in his/her circle, this person can be identified as an influencer.
This individual has the power to affect conversations in either a positive or a negative manner.
An influencer can affect overall sentiment through reputation or retweeting.
Solicit & Solve
With outcomes and opportunities identified, it’s time to solicit audiences in conversation to determine ideas, thoughts, preferences, etc.
Test & Track
Test new opportunities or solutions before rolling out a new program. Track activity and feedback to see what works and what doesn’t.
Identify fans and influencers and engage them to take a desired action. It might not be immediately clear who your fans are, but satisfaction surveys and other feedback can augment any roster of frequent participants in your initiative (Twitter, Facebook, etc).
Maintain and strengthen relationships with fans and positive influencers. Offer special insights or advance announcements. Not only will fans feel more important, but they can help spread the word about a press release or product launch outside of traditional channels or tactics.