paying attention to what’s being said about your business online

Filtering the Firehose

By Social Media

When a company begins to think about monitoring the social web for mentions of their brand, news of the industry or other content relevant to their business, they sometimes pause. It’s overwhelming, the idea of how MUCH content there might be to absorb. How much of it will be worthwhile? How much will be a waste of time?

It IS a struggle, at first, to set up the right way to filter the noise. There can be a firehose stream at first, but learning to filter it, to prioritize and strategically exclude, to scan, bookmark and manage so that the best of what’s coming through is found and absorbed.

We’ve had a lot of practice at this and often provide the first set of eyes on client feeds. Our role in setting up what we call the “listening infrastructure” is often supported with the next stage: reviewing and creating a “Readers’ Digest” of the best content around the web in the industry category, mentions worth reacting and responding to, and content worth sharing forward to customers and prospects.

Even if your internal team is pretty good at managing the reading, a second (or third, or fourth) pair of eyes on what’s available helps capture more of what’s valuable.

Sometimes the overwhelming feeling is so strong companies shy away from even beginning to pay attention; this is a mistake of devastating proportions. Companies MUST know what is being said about their brands and what news in their industry impacts their business. Since the tools exist to make this possible and in fact, easy, there are no acceptable excuses for ignoring the content. It is the expectation of the world at large that you, as a business, are interested in paying attention to your customers.