One of the most valuable practices you can engage in with HootSuite is social listening, or social media listening, a.k.a social media monitoring or tracking. I would argue that it is perhaps even more important than “broadcasting” your message. Listening to what is out there, what customers are saying about your brand, can help you understand what kind of content you should share with them.
In this article I will share with you how you can use this powerful tool to get business intelligence, follow your competitors, and listen to your customers.
Engage and Monitor through Mentions Streams
Mentions streams are pretty straightforward. You can easily add a Twitter stream that will display all tweets mentioning your username. Having this stream helps you to easily engage with Twitter users who mention you without missing any of their tweets. However, relying solely on mentions streams can be a problem since:
- If customers are saying something negative about you, they will not necessarily want to communicate it directly to you -they might not use your Twitter handle when displaying a negative message (unless they are actually interested in getting your response)
- Customers may be mentioning you without even thinking / knowing that you have a Twitter handle, so they are talking about you without using it.
That is why using keyword and search streams are so important.
What Is the Difference between Keywords and Search Streams?
Keywords allows you to define specific words that you want to track, while search takes advantage of the Twitter search engine which involves an elaborate algorithm that takes into account factors such as searcher’s previous behavior, synonyms, influence, and more.
At the moment the keyword stream is only available for Twitter, while search is available for other social platforms on HootSuite as well.
Keyword streams search all Twitter content. You can use them to:
- Find out what your customers are saying about you
- Keep up with your industry
- Look for a job
- Follow topics that interest you
To add such as stream go to HootSuite dashboards > add stream > Twitter > keyword
A few examples of how you can use keyword streams:
- If you have a real estate company in Toronto, you can use a few variations of the term “Toronto rentals” in order to cover as many related searches, for example Toronto Rentals, torontorentals, Toronto rent, etc.
- For personal use – prepare searches regarding topics that interest you, for example: fitness tips, recipes, deals of all sorts: travel deals, freebies, etc., NFL updates, productivity tips.
- You can use keyword streams to stay on top of your industry
- Create keyword searches that deal with jobs in your area, recruiters and HR professionals
Click here to learn more about generating keyword ideas.
Note: HootSuite asks you to choose a profile, but as of January 2013 it doesn’t really matter, you will get same keyword results for your different Twitter profiles.
Add a search stream by going to HootSuite dashboards > add stream >Twitter/Facebook/Google +/else > Search. A few things you can try:
- Use hashtags (#)
- Compare searches with and without #
- Click on “show examples” to get ideas for advanced search tactics
- For example, use OR between alternate words , quotation marks to “lock the entire phrase”, etc.
I suggest that you experiment by adding all the streams mentioned above, so you get the feel for them and see which ones are most beneficial for you. Once you feel comfortable with these, your next step is to learn about advanced search tactics.
Using mentions, keyword, and search streams strategically will enable you to take full advantage of HootSuite as a social media management tool, and will help with your reputation management and CRM efforts.