Listening Stations: Tune Into Your Fan’s Frequency

March 19, 2010
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Are you tuned into the right stations?

“It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.”, said Oliver Wendell Holmes. Whether global brand, small business owner, or artist, there’s plenty of wisdom to be gained in taking time out from broadcasting your message and instead tuning in to those talking about it.

In the past this was a much more costly, labor intensive effort to undertake, with consumer surveys, focus groups, and outside agencies often involved in obtaining a diluted form of opinion. Thankfully, social media and  increasingly active bases of internet consumer opinion have flipped the game on its head, making it easier than ever to tune into the frequency of your audience.

For musicians, Indie Survival Guide just released a quick and extremely useful tutorial on tracking your mentions online. An invaluable resource for musicians, certainly, but the overall advice holds true for other groups as well, particularly small businesses with limited resources to invest.

As a 3 point program, this boils down to:

  1. Define your key search terms. As with web design and SEO, this comes down to the key words surrounding your industry the name of your organization, and other pertinent terms.
  2. Choose and set up your listening stations. From Google Alerts to Twitter search and beyond, there are innumerable free options on the web for monitoring your mentions. We’ll be focusing on the best of these in a separate post next week.
  3. Track & follow up. Set up a routine to monitor your stations on a regular basis and, most importantly, follow up with those talking about you, whether positive or negative. A thank you for a good review or an attempt to reach out and resolve a negative opinion can both build bridges between you and your audience.

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When Chris Brogan encourages us to Grow Bigger Ears, it’s to recommend  developing a key part of the two-way street that is increasingly emerging as a natural part of online commerce and life. Our audience is going to be talking more and more whatever we do. It’s those that hear their message and respond effectively that will be the success stories of tomorrow.

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How do you listen to what your audience or customers are saying? What tools work best for you?

Have you any success stories resulting from listening online? We would love to hear them!

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Social Media: Key Reading

March 17, 2010

Social media readingTo kick off our mission to build one of the most useful resource centers for social media and online presence development on the web, today we focus on some of the leading sources of social media knowledge out there.

These will be added to the Resources section for your bookmarks. As it expands, we’ll categorize everything accordingly for easy access. In the meantime, enjoy the myriad learning opportunities from these outstanding social media sources:

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Social Media Examiner – More information than one could ever hope to read, with practical advice and how to guides on using all the crucial social media tools.

Chris Brogan – A font of excellent insight into everything from successful blogging to building productive, trusting relationships on social media platforms.

Mashable – One of the premier online destinations for social media news, developments, and advice. If something happens in the SM world, it’s often mentioned here first.

Guardian Technology Blog – A varied source for coverage on developments in both the social media world and the tech that surrounds it. Also provides regular coverage on music industry matters in this area.

Hypebot – Great news sources combining music and technology, including social media for the new music business.

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Photo by Panta Rhei


Online Presence & Social Media Resources: Dive In!

March 15, 2010

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Taking the plunge into the ocean of online media tools and social media sites can be daunting, to say the least. Help is at hand, however!

Above The Static will be building to one of the most comprehensive online resources for finding the sites you need, a one-stop shop to sort the wheat from the chaff, subject to your specific requirements. Whether you simply need to automate some tweets on Twitter or build a completely new website, we will be there to recommend appropriate resources and their relative merits to comparable services.

With so many sites out there, this will take some time to build, but keep your eyes peeled here for developments and, please, send us suggestions on the types of site you as a creative individual or small business want to see road tested.

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Do you have a particular site that you’ve been meaning to try?

Or have you been using a certain platform that you simply couldn’t live without?

Let us know in the comments!

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Photo by Adriano Campioni