We are trying to get better at engaging with people online, in order to offer our audience the best and most appropriate information and support that we can.
Like many organisations now, we are aware that our website is not where most people will be talking about us or our line of work. Therefore we need to be listening and engaging constructively with online activity.
This post is really a note to myself of the listening techniques I employ, but as it might be useful to others it seemed a good idea to publish it here.
What I look for
I used to search for a number of keywords covering the breadth of the organisation, but have now slimmed it down to a very specific few:
- “citizenship foundation”
- “citizenship teaching”
- “citizenship education”
- “digital engagement”
- “digital inclusion” OR “digital exclusion”
- I subscribe to Google Alerts for each of the search terms above.
- I set up searches in Addictomatic.
- I aggregate feeds (RSS, Atom, etc) in a Yahoo! Pipe, which in turn filters out duplicates, filters out items generated from our own website, appends the name of the source, sorts the items into reverse date order and publishes the result as a new feed.
Current feed sources:
- RSS delivers only the latest items, and I wanted an easy way to archive them. So I now pull the Yahoo! Pipe feed into Tumblr as links with summaries, so I have a history of where we’re being talked about. This isn’t perfect because not all the feeds seem to be behaving themselves, but it’s a start.
- I use Google Reader to skim through the full texts of the latest feed items and other related news.
Of course the usefulness of this might diminish a little when more newspapers put their content behind paywalls (see Murdoch to limit Google access), but it should remain possible to see at least a headline.
I won’t go into depth about how I respond to what I ‘hear’, but elsewhere I published a flowchart on how to ‘Manage your online reputation‘ (external link), based heavily on one produced by the US Air Force. You might find it useful.