Your Industry, Competitors, and Customers Are Talking – Are You Listening? 12/06/2012
Social media has only made it easier to see what the people you care about are up to, and you need to be paying attention.
In one of my first jobs, I managed a weekly e-newsletter for the company where I worked. In the industry, it was an extremely popular newsletter. We had just over 10,000 subscribers. I was constantly scouring other industry publications and news sources for information and articles that I could write about or include in our daily industry news feed. At first, it was totally overwhelming. It seemed that it would be impossible to sift through all of the info to find the nuggets of gold.
When I started, it took me an entire day to find three relevant industry articles and write blurbs about them. It was time-consuming and painful. But I quickly learned where the best stuff was, and soon I was able to pull the most significant news, write blurbs, send info to my colleagues, and post it to our site in less than an hour.
I had my finger on the pulse of the industry. I always knew about government policy changes, key partnerships, acquisitions, or investments almost before anyone else in the company. Or the industry, for that matter.
Having to conduct these activities on a daily basis forced me to constantly be paying attention. I knew what the top-of-mind issues were for our clients and potential customers – in some cases before they did. I passed on the most important and pertinent info and news to my colleagues to help them improve their knowledge and level of customer service. I loved my job.
Social media has only made it easier for companies to pay attention to what their competitors are up to and what their customers are looking for. I know that it’s easy to get bogged down by the day-to-day activities of our jobs. It’s only natural, and it happens to the best of us. There are only so many hours in a day to get done all that you have to do. But, if you set up keyword searches, find the most important sources of news and information, and integrate these activities for even a few minutes a day, you will see a multitude of benefits. If you’re not listening, you may be missing out. And, lucky for me, I still love my job.