The Internet has a wealth of free, public information that could help you uncover sales leads, get closer access to industry influencers, monitor your competition, and curate news for content marketing.
One way to tap into this wealth of data is with a listening dashboard. At one of the roundtables recently held during the B2B Summit 2012 in Orlando, Nancy Chou, Senior Director of Customer Success, LeadFormix, shared a presentation on how B2B marketers could use social media to generate leads by creating a “listening dashboard.”
What is a “listening dashboard”?
A listening dashboard is ultimately a customer intelligence gathering strategy that consists of collecting and combining together smaller pieces of information to produce a larger and more insightful picture of a given topic, brand or prospect.
Here are some of the benefits Nancy listed that a listening dashboard can offer:
- Hear what people are saying, and uncover sales leads whenever people discuss relevant keywords
- Gain closer access to the industry influencers through the article and blog posts they write
- Monitor your competition, gather sales intelligence and beat your competition by following discussions in real time
- Share fresh news and content from industry thought leaders with prospects and customers
How to set up a listening dashboard
If you’re interested in building your own listening dashboard, Nancy provided four steps for building a listening dashboard for free:
- Create a list of the RSS feeds you typically read
- Gather additional newsfeeds on specific keywords using sites like alltop for newsfeeds and technorati or Google blog search to gather blogs written by industry thought leaders or topics of interest
- Start following influential people on Twitter using search engines like listorious and wefollow that categorize Twitter users by keyword
- Set up a Google Alerts account to be notified whenever a keyword, industry topic, competitor or thought leader releases new content
The steps above will get you started; however, if you need more sophisticated social media monitoring and tracking services, fee-based tracking tools are available.