3 Tools Construction Firms Can Use For Online Listening

listeningSocial media can be a great way for construction companies to get the word out about the products and services that they offer. While more and more companies in the construction industry are using social media to broadcast their marketing messages, only a few are leveraging the power of online listening. Social media, including blogs, can also be a tremendous source of competitive information. Listening to what your competitors, partners, and industry experts are saying online can help you identify opportunities and respond to them more quickly.

Below are three tools that you can use to listening online and turning what you hear into a competitive advantage.

Twitter Lists

Twitter’s list feature is a good way to organize your Twitter stream. One of the common complaints about using Twitter is huge amount of updates that flow through your stream – it’s like trying to drink from a fire hose. Twitter lists help you organize those messages. Creating lists to separate and organize updates from competitors, strategic partners, industry influencers, etc., can help give context to these updates and reduce the chance of you missing something that was buried in the unfiltered stream.

Here are instructions for creating Twitter lists as well as how to add and remove people from your lists.

AllTop.com

AllTop is a site that collect the headlines of the latest stories from the best sites and blogs that cover a topic. They group these collections, or “aggregations”, into individual web pages.

AllTop is a great tool for listening to what is going on in your industry as well as your ideal customers’ industries. As you find information sources that you will want to revisit, you can add them to the MyAllTop dashboard, or you can subscribe to the individual blogs you find via email or by using a tool like Feedly (see below).

Here is a link to the construction category on AllTop

Feedly

Feedly is a news aggregator that compiles news feeds from a variety of online sources. With  Feedly , you specify the content that shows up in your Feedly account. If you are familiar with Google Reader, it’s the same concept; in fact, Feedly is one of the most popular replacements for Google Reader ever since Goole retired it.

By adding the RSS feeds for the blogs of your competitors, customers, industry influencers, and industry news sources to Feedly, you can have one place to go learn and share what is going on in your industry.

Feedly has free and paid versions of their service. You can learn more about Feedly here.

Do you have a favorite tool for gathering and managing competitive information? Leave a note in the comments below.

Photo credit - KY on Flickr