Social Listening and the Job Search

The Power of Listening - Social Listening

Have you heard of “social listening”? Here’s a brief explanation of the concept according to Hootsuite:

Social listening is a two-step process. First, you monitor social media channels for mentions of your brand, competitors, product, and any keywords relevant to your business. Next, you analyze that information and look for ways to put what you learn into action. Taking action might mean something as simple as responding to a happy customer or something as huge as shifting your overall brand positioning.”

Social listening is hugely important for national brands. One post on Facebook that goes unnoticed can go viral, creating enormous headaches for a company.

Think about how a jobseeker can leverage the strategy of social listening. Here are a few ideas.

Google alerts are your friend.

Setting up Google alerts is a pretty easy process. I have several alerts set up with the name of a higher education institution plus the phrases “career services” or “career advisor.” If a web site appears with these exact phrases, I receive an email with a link to that site. Then I contact the person who is mentioned in the article or event listing to congratulate them, ask for details, or simply learn more!

Hashtags plus company names make a great combination.

Searching for news about a large company usually returns too many results to be helpful. A search for “Comcast Philadelphia” produces 10,800,000 results, way too many to sift through. Add a hashtag and the results narrow considerably and may focus on social media, which makes it easier to engage in the conversation!

Using Comcast as an example, a search for “Comcast Philadelphia #WomenInSTEM” produces only 300 results, several of which are Twitter posts, a platform where you might decide to engage in the discussion. As you consider responding to posts on social media, consider that hiring managers can see your responses too, so keep it positive.

Focus on WHO shared what you’re interested in.

Most social media platforms allow you to search for a web URL, giving you a glimpse of who else has shared content that you are interested in. I often search Twitter for the URLs of articles about career development and introverts, and then I follow many of the folks who shared those articles. It’s a way of discovering who is interested in the same topics you are interested in!

If you have other ideas on social listening for the job search, share them in the comments! I would be interested in learning strategies that have been successful for you.

If you might find it helpful to work with a coach to help you fine-tune your research strategy, drop me a note! You can sign up for my email list as well, and I'd be grateful if you followed me on Twitter.