Social media is as much about listening as it is about communicating externally. Tremendous value and insights can be derived by listening with your eyes.
Definition of Social Media Listening
Social media listening, also known as social media monitoring, is the process of identifying and assessing what is being said about a company, individual, product or brand on the Internet.
One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say. Bryant H. McGill
10 Social Media Listening Tips
Take note of LinkedIn bio and background images. Head shots (be it professional or casual) and background images are a good source of understanding the way in which a person wants to project him or herself and the tenor of their online persona.
Review 'Contact Information' fields for content across other information channels. This may include perusing blogs, websites and other social profiles included on LinkedIn. Consider following your contact on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, G+, WeChat and any other listed channels.
Examine and read 'Posts' for published content. Writing style, topical information, imagery and publishing cadence provide information and context about your connection's passions and personal brand.
Read the 'Summary' section and review additional content provided. The summary section represents a personal portrayal of your contact's professional identity and accomplishments. Skills, specialties, and the order of terms used in the write up represent how your relation perceives him or herself and their core competencies and attributes. Inclusion of additional content such as SlideShare decks and videos provide a deeper dive into a contact's focus and identity.
Digest the 'Experience' section. The current and historical work experience, job descriptions, write ups and additional content tells a professional story and catalogs career information.
Assess 'Skills' & 'Recommendations.' The order of the skills section can be tailored to prioritize featured capabilities that speak to how your contact wants to be known. Endorsements also represent an important part of how others perceive and value your connection.
Consider 'Education' and 'Additional Info' sections. Your connection is able to add a high degree of personal information in these areas to better portray who they are, be that groups and societies that he or she was a part of in college or professional and volunteer organizations with which he or she is affiliated. There may also be information about birthdate, volunteer experience and causes, whether they are married and how they prefer to be contacted.
Analyze 'Connections' section. 'All' network contacts may be unlocked and reviewable. Analyzing 'Shared' contacts and reviewing 'New' contacts that have been recently added also provides insight into your relationship and adds network context.
Review 'Groups' participation. Consider joining or following a group to gain further understanding and insights into your connection's interests, online activity and social engagement. Participation can be both passive and/or active in areas such as groups where you can elect to join, follow, like, share or even comment.
Examine 'Influencers, News, Companies and Schools'. Followership is a form or listening that indicates interest and curiosity. There may be similarities, differences or opportunities to deepen your own profile and network in these fields.
Summary: Social Business Listening
The ability to effectively leverage social media to listen to your customers will add critical context to your interactions and relationship. By embracing the above tactics and developing your goals and strategy for LinkedIn and across other social business channels, you will have the opportunity to develop a more relevant professional network