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4 Free Resources for Leveraging Real-Time Communication

The surge in real-time communication has lead to the adoption of social media platforms by many industries.  Long gone are the days of waiting for the morning paper or the evening news to get the latest information.  The communication business is no longer reliant on the time consuming and costly process of broadcast and print.  Today the latest news is broken on blogs, Twitter and TMZ.  With communication moving so quickly and becoming more accessible it’s important to take advantage of these real-time conversations.

Getting into a breaking news conversation early is essential.   If you want to leverage the virility of breaking news be prepared to act quickly.  If a news story or event is relevant to your industry, product, or service take advantage of the buzz and insert yourself into the conversation.  For example if you provide firewalls or network security protection and news breaks of a hacking that’s impacting consumers and businesses, be one of the first to know and act on this.  Leverage your real-time communication tools to make a public statement – generate a blog post with your POV and push it out through your real- time platforms.  The key to leveraging the visibility and traffic of a real-time communications strategy is being in the conversation before it becomes saturated.

Several tools have been developed to help individuals monitor what’s happening in their industry in real-time.  Below is a list of four free tools to help you get into the conversation early regardless of your industry or business.

1.)    Google Alerts – This free tool from Google allows you to set alerts for any information you want to gather.  These alerts can be set to send you notifications via e-mail or to your digital reader while setting the frequency.  Once Google locates new topical information pertaining to your alert parameters you can choose to have this information sent once a day or as the content is discovered/published.

2.)    Twitter:  Trending Topics – This list of trending topics has become a great real-time pulse for what people are talking about on Twitter, and likely everywhere else.  Trending topics allow you to see topics worldwide all the way down to a specific city.  Use this tool to monitor conversations on both a macro and micro level.

3.)    Google Trends – Much like Twitter, Google monitors popular topics based on search frequency and overall chatter.    Use this real-time monitoring tool to jump on topics everyone is gaining interest in.  Act quickly and you can be a part of that conversation.

4.)    Help a Reporter Out (HARO) This tool was started by communications thought leader and entrepreneur Peter Shankman and was eventually acquired by Vocus.  HARO is a tool for journalists used to connect with sources on virtually any topic.  Register as a source on the HARO site and get a daily feed of topics specific journalists are actively seeking expert opinions on.  Use this tool to offer your professional opinion on behalf of your organization.

Utilize these tools to complement your current real-time communication strategy.  Being involved in the story early will prove to be one of your biggest marketing assets.  Don’t forget, it’s also important to continue building your social media presence and network to ensure once you have something to say, you have a community of readers ready to listen and share.

What real-time communication platforms do you find most useful when distributing information?

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