Listening to social media to improve technical content

Technical writers can no longer ignore social media. Valuable (and not so valuable) information about your company, its products and possibly even its instruction manuals is being exchanged here on a daily basis. So how can you extract the clues from the chatter?

Text by Raymond Calbay


Listening to social media to improve technical content

In Likeable Social Media, Dave Kerpen underscored the most important rule in engaging any type of audience: “Listen first, and always!” Social media isn’t always an obvious information pool for technical communication purposes. Maybe you’re in a specialized business-to-business market, or your company isn’t too keen on maintaining an active presence in social media. Whatever the case, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use social media to funnel back the questions, problems, and user-generated tips that your customers talk about online.

Social media listening should be part of any technical communication team’s content strategy. However, a recent survey by the Center for Information-Development Management reveals that less than half of respondents do so. Are you still thinking about business objectives that could justify time spent on the effort? Listen to this: the majority of users would ...