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21 Tracking Your Customer's Social Media Activity

listen to your customersThe more you know about your customer’s world the more you can help them get what they want out of life. To some degree, no matter what we sell, that’s the ultimate goal of serving a customer. Smart sales folks have always made it a habit of discretely discovering everything they can about prospects and customers to find more and more ways to make deeper connections. Things like Alma Maters, names and activities of spouses and kids, and hobbies are all great bits of useful connecting information if you can discover them.

Well, social media use has made this job so easy that if you’re not tracking it, you’re not really doing your job. The fact that people now willingly and publicly post information about where they attended school, what they do in their spare time, what books they read, what sports their kids play, what they think about proposed legislation and the last ten songs they listened can be mapped to help you create a total picture of your customer’s world if you take the time to plug into their activity.

Ways to plug into your customer’s world

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86 My Social Media System


At a recent social media workshop a participant asked me to reveal my social media routine – how I track, converse, communicate and otherwise curate all my various social media activities. I paused to think about it for a while because I never really considered what I do a routine, but it occurred to me that, in fact, I do have a systematic approach to social media. (No surprise really, I’m a systems thinker and I just do it habitually – ask my wife, I have a system for making the bed and loading the dishwasher.)

I do think that participating fully in social media as a business and marketing strategy requires discipline, automation routines and a daily commitment. Now, you’ve got to balance that with the fact that much of your activity is about building long-term momentum and deeper networks and that doesn’t always make the cash register ring today. So, some of what I do won’t be right for all, but I thought I would share my systematic approach in the hopes this may reveal some tips that make your experience more fruitful. (I won’t take the space in this post to explain what all of the tools are that I mention, I’ve probably written about most, so try my search box above.)

    Twice-daily

  • Check twitter via Tweetdeck – preset searches for @ducttape, john jantsch, and duct tape marketing – respond as I see fit, follow some @replies that seem appropriate.
  • Scan mybloglog – I obsess over traffic, but this reveals trending links and stumble surges in real time so I can react if appropriate.
  • Respond to comments on my blog
    Daily

  • Write a blog post – RSS subs get it, twitter tools sends to twitter, Facebook gets it, FriendFeed updates
  • Scan twitter followers for relevant conversations to join
  • Scan Google Reader subscriptions to read and stimulate ideas
  • Share Google Reader favs – these publish to Facebook and you can subscribe
  • FleckTweet any blog pages from my subscriptions that I love – this goes to twitter
  • Bookmark any blog pages from my subscriptions that I love – delicious using Firefox plugin for right click posting – this goes to FriendFeed
  • Stumble any blog pages from my subscriptions that I love – this goes to Facebook and FriendFeed
  • Scan Google Alerts for my name, brand and products – in Google Reader as RSS feed – respond as appropriate
  • Add comments to blogs as appropriate – mostly response types – Google Reader and BackType
    Weekly (end)

  • Scan LinkedIn Questions from my network and respond when appropriate
  • Scan delicious, digg and mixx popular and select bookmarks for content ideas and trending topics
  • Consciously add comments to conversations I want to join – hot topic focused
  • Join one twitter hot trend conversation if appropriate – search.twitter.com shows these in real time
    Monthly

  • Check MrTweet for new twitter follow recommendations
  • Scan Amazon’s upcoming and new releases for authors to interview on podcast (the big names seem more accessible with a book release coming!)
  • Post a press release with social media links to PitchEngine or PRWeb (this changes depending on what’s going on, but at least monthly.)
  • Strategize on ways to repurpose and repackage any and all of this in ways that make it more accessible to another audience.

For some this just seems crazy – others will notice some obvious glaring holes in this system – the point though is the system approach. Set your system up and work it, day in and day out, whatever that means for you, and then you will start to understand the vital role that social media can come to play in your overall marketing strategy.

This is my way and one way only – please share your tips for managing the beast!

18 Your Favorite Web Things

The managing editor of a publication asked me to identify my favorite web tools for small business and I thought that sounded like a tremendous thing to ask you too.

Give me your top 5 favorite web sites or tools.

web tools

Here’s mine at the minute!

  1. Google Reader – read all my favorite blogs on my mobile browser
  2. Friend Feed – see and search the social activities of my community in real time (you can even know what music I listened to today)
  3. Jott – record phone message and have it sent as email message to myself or my contacts
  4. del.icio.us – great source of content ideas and view into what’s popular today
  5. Google Analytics – I’m hooked on those page overlays