8 free social media listening tools everyone should use

Gathering information is the first—and most essential—step toward online engagement. Here’s where and how to get started.

Ragan Insider Content

There are five steps in social media we always recommend to clients who are just beginning to branch out online.

They are: listen, assess, engage, measure, and refine/improve.

Though each step is important, the foundation to any online effort is listening; it’s the one step you can do without any of the others.

Before you begin, think about the historically great communicators. They ask a lot of questions. They really listen to what you have to say. They get you talking about yourself. They inquire deeply into the answers you provide. And then they provide advice, counsel, and coaching — but only after they fully understand your needs.

These master communicators are better at listening than they are at talking.

Social media is no different. It’s another way to communicate through listening and engaging in conversation — online. To be a master at social media communication, you must have a strong foundation of listening.

First things first. If you don’t have Google alerts set up, do that now.

If you don’t know how to do that, this blog post will teach you how to set them up and which terms to use.

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