Our first Starter Move gave you an idea how to set the stage with your organization. Let’s learn now about listening and hearing.
It’s a lot of pushing and shoving to show someone why they should use blogs, and heaven forbid you try to launch them into Twitter too soon. Instead, start with listening. It’s easier, and makes for a more compelling demo.
- Get a Google Reader account.
- In another window, use Google Blogsearch, and enter your company’s name.
- Take the results, and find the RSS link on the mid-left area of the page. Click it.
- Take that long link that comes up, COPY it.
- Back in Google Reader, click ADD SUBSCRIPTION in the mid-left area (see image)
- A green box opens up with room to put in a URL.
- Paste the URL from the search in there.
- BONUS ROUND: Go back to the Blog Search page, and do the same for a competitor.
You should now have a Google Reader showing the result of searching for your company name (or product name, or what people would talk about) as it appears out and about in the wild. Repeat this a few more times with related search terms if you want.
Do the same by searching on Technorati as well. (This is another company that searches and indexes blogs and web sites). You’ll see another feed subscription button like this:
Click it, add it to your Google Reader. Repeat as necessary.
You’ve just built a decent listening device. Listening is the best of demos for an organization because it’s where we first realize that people are talking about us, and we probably don’t know it. And worse, if NO ONE is talking about you, that should tell you something, too. I think listening is the first big step to getting into social media for an organization.
By the way, the way I described building a listener is ONE way. You can also buy tools that are much more refined to do this, like Radian6. I think both have their place, as once you get over thinking of Google Reader as a “blog” reader and think of it instead as a serious console for any RSS-enabled data that’s useful to your company, that’s when the value happens.
Next up: Should Blogging Be Next?
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