As many of you know who read this blog, I am an early adopter of social media and set up my listening post 5 years ago to scan for people, trends, and ideas related to social media and nonprofits. Listening and engaging with people has been critical to any success I’ve achieved as a social media practitioner.
For the past five years, I’ve been teaching social media workshops for nonprofits and lately doing deeper dives on the techniques of listening both for nonprofits and in my role as Visiting Scholar in Residence at the Packard Foundation. Today, I had the pleasure of co-leading a deep dive on listening with practitioner, Wendy Harman, from the Red Cross for NTEN's WeAreMedia project.
The above presentation is a remix of a remix of a remix. My sources of inspiration came from my personal learning wiki, WeAreMedia listening resources, and Marnie Webb's slide deck. Our session covered:
- Why listening offers value
- A Living Case Study of Red Cross Listening Techniques
- Six Ways To Make Listening A Practice
Last month I wrote a guest post for Brian Solis titled "Listening Literacy for Nonprofits" which outlines some of the basic how-tos. But that was last month's thinking, the Webinar gave me a chance to reflect and incorporate new learnings, particularly with some of the professional tools.
Got to share my Radian 6 dashboard
Doing a living case study with Wendy Harman provided a chance to catch up her current practice.
My take aways from the session:
- Upgrade to paid tools like Radian 6 when you have large volume and you find you are doing a lot of cut and paste manual tasks - but remember that you still need to hone your listening skills - keywords - and that paid tools aren't magic
- Listening and engaging with the long tail - they may not be celebrities or influential bloggers - but when a crisis hits or need people to spread the world - they become activated like an army of volunteers
- Start slowly and spider out, you may be doing all the heavy lifting at first in terms of drinking from fire hydrant, summarizing, and analyzing - but it is a way to get others in your organization involved - even simple things like brainstorming keywords
- At first, it may seem like trial and error - but after you get familiar with the lay of the land, you know which keywords give you bang for your buck.
- Important to keep listening - even if nothing much is happening because it serves as your earthquake early warning system -- think of it of having a chronic illness going to acute
It's always a delight check out what people have added to the Wiki. There's a new free listening tool in the tool box section! SociafyQ provides free data analytic tracking for services including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and more - accessible through a web dashboard, XML and Dashboard and Yahoo! widgets.
In terms of process, I really liked the opportunity to have so many experts/practitioners on the call and have different voices answer some of the questions. For the breakout sessions, we had a few technical glitches, but kept rolling with the punches! I know it must have been intense for participates to take this deep dive, but left great learning artifacts that participants came back to and a whole community of people on the WeAreMedia wiki.