Listening with social media

It’s easy to get into a routine of executing tasks and solving problems as they come. This is a great way to lose sight of big picture. If you don’t already, try to make “listening” part of that routine.

Here’s what I mean by listening. I mean taking in what the world is saying about your industry. We used to do this with newspapers and magazines, and sometimes still do, but the internet has made this oh so much easier. And now you don’t even have to go all over the internet to find relevant info—these tools bring it right to you:

  • Feedly – This RSS Reader makes it super easy to pull in the feeds of all the blogs you want to keep up with. You can make categories to group your content however you like. 
  • Flipboard – Perfect for your tablet on your commute, this stunningly visual news app allows you to flip through selected news topics with a finger flick.
  • Zite – Recently acquired by Flipboard, Zite is a news aggregating mobile app that learns your preferences and brings you more stuff you will like. Kind of like a Pandora for news. With the acquisition, Flipboard intends to combine the best of Flipboard and Zite into one awesome app.
  • Twitter – Even if you’re not into tweeting yourself, Twitter is a great listening tool—just follow those who share industry news. I can often keep up on events just by scrolling through my newsfeed.

It can seem like you’re wasting time reading articles when there is so much to be done. But it’s essential for inspiration. What you discover from listening will give you a bottomless source of blog topics, social media posts and can even inspire you to push your business in a new direction.

Take the time, especially on a Monday to get the ideas flowing that only getting dialed in to the outside world can do. Or if you simply can’t fit this into your day, make use of the apps all these tools offer and read on the bus, the train or in the grocery store line. Happy listening!

About Monday Matters: Monday morning is a great time to think about some big picture strategy. You’re hopefully rested from the weekend and ready to come out swinging. Don’t waste this glorious freshness on your in-box. Before you get into your tactical to-do list for the week, take this moment to pause and think about strategy. I will post a thought to get you started most Mondays.

Photo by by Markus Goller via Flckr Commons.