Are you listening?

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Free, Higher Education, Marketing, Recruitment, Social Media, Technology, Twitter, Usability, Web | Posted on 10-21-2008


Are you listening to everything out there that’s being said about your school yet?

If you don’t have your ear on the train tracks, you’re never going to see it coming. And it’s going to hit you. Hard.

Some students would rather voice their opinions and concerns on the web than take the time to send you an email or *gasp* pick up the phone and call you.

Case in point:  Our online application was intermittently down for nearly 24 hours. Did anyone call us? No.  Did anyone email us? Nope.

Did Danielle voice her frustration on Twitter? Yes.

It just took a quick message for me to figure out the problem and realize that our online application was doing this:

Thanks, Danielle. Without your message, who knows how long it would have been or how many frustrated students would have turned around and not worried about trying to apply to Butler.

Comments posted (17)

You’re just lucky she didn’t voice her frustration on Plurk. :)

If someone talks on Plurk, and no one reads it… does it make a noise?

Nice! Like putting an ear to a train track (noise/twitter) vs maglev track (quiet/plurk).

YES! Totally great comeback Brad… can I… quote… you… on… that?

WAIT… didn’t someone else say something similar to that recently? So you monitor twitter search pretty closely then? Do you receive email updates whenever “butler” come through the twitter search or something?

Yeah, I keep a close eye on it and reply via @butleradmission. You’d be amazed at how many times Gerard Butler (THIS. IS. SPARTAAAAAAA) and John Butler Trio are mentioned in any given day.

I have just started monitoring what people say about our company, myUsearch, an service that matches students to colleges, and it has definitely been enlightening. But I think it’s important to also set up Google Alerts and other tracking devices beyond twitter. We don’t have too much chatter on twitter, but we do pick up quite a few things through Google Alerts. Do you use any other tracking software?

Yep, Google Alerts is essential. I have about 20 set up. Here is a post from back in January about Google Alerts and some success I had with it:

I’d say I probably comment on ~5 blogs a day about Butler.

You should also be asking why the application isnt set to be emailing the admin about application failures. You should never have to rely on your customers to let you know when the application has failed.

I had the same question as Elizabeth Kudner.

Besides Google Alerts and monitoring Twitter, do you have anything else set up to monitor? Does anyone use tracking software that they like?

Also Brad, how do you chose the blogs you comment on and what types of comments do you add? Put another way, what is your strategy for the commenting on blogs?


Gilzow – great comment. I need to look into this.

Dara – I pull a lot of RSS feeds from various searches and have it all go into a ‘Butler Social Media’ folder in my Google Reader. It’s all pretty makeshift at this point.

As far as which blogs to comment on, I talked a little bit about the post I referenced above, but it’s more of a gut feeling than anything. By looking at the blog post, a) can I get a good feeling of the person or situation? b) Does this blog look like its intended for family only? And would my comment seem infringing? (It’s amazing how many people set up blogs, etc. and realize it’s available to anyone in the world) and c) will my comment or contribution help them?, among other factors.

Sometimes I preface my comment with ‘found your blog on a Google Search’ to put that out there first. Here’s an example of that [music warning!]:

It’s just more feeling it out and anticipating their reaction than anything.

Brad — Thanks for the example. Now, I understand what you are doing. Dara

@Dara & Elizabeth – I wrote a post a while back talking about monitoring your online identity through RSS feeds, google alerts, and other tools specifically for Higher Education, but it could also apply to other industries. You can read the post here:

Gerard Butler is the favorite actor of my sister because he got this macho factor.’,”

i think that gerard butler is one hell of a macho actor-.-

Gerard Butler is definitely a macho guy that needs macho roles “‘,

both Gerard Butler and Daniel Craig are my idols, they are great actors with strong personality”"~

i love action movies and my idol is none other than Gerard Butler. this guy really rocks “`.

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