The Power of Listening

Margaret Kovacs

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Gone are the days when marketing can be successful with a non-personal approach. With the advancement of technology it’s all about getting personal and developing relationships. As in any relationship you must listen. Listening is the only way you will ever get to truly know and understand your supporters and consumers. As Ashton Kutcher said in the foreword of Engage, “This is why we, we as in a collective of individuals who know what’s best for us based on our passions, interests, and aspirations, are in charge of what compels us. To have any hope of attracting and earning our attention, you need to know who we are.” Finding out what the different types of social media participants think and are looking for gives an organization or business the opportunity to tailor a campaign that is more personal and ultimately more successful.

Once you begin listening you can then apply behavioralgraphics, which as defined by Brian Solis’ Behaviorgraphics Humanize the Social Web: “examines the ‘me’ in social media. The “Me” that social media has produced has allowed for previously private filtered thoughts and personalities to be released to the world, giving us more information than ever to listen to. “Communication, whether inbound or outbound, is now powered by conversation, and the best communicators always start as the best listeners.” (Engage) Organizations need to listen to this information and once they listen, they need to decide how to enter the conversation so that they can attract people who are interested in them. By listening and determining which categories of behavioralgraphics  your supporters/consumers are, as described by Brian Solis in Behaviorgraphics: Discovering the ‘Me’ in Social Media, organizations and businesses can enter the conversation and provide the opportunity for the best interface.

As perfectly stated repeatedly by Brian Solis in Engage “Engage or die.” The key to engage is that it is two-sided. In order to engage you must listen, you cannot just talk and push your message. Listening will empower you with the ability to make the changes you want to see.

11 thoughts on “The Power of Listening

  1. This blog post was perfect as we begin to dig deeper in to how Social Media has changed the face of social interaction. I feel as if many companies are afraid of social media or are unsure as to how to use it effectively. The advertising agency I interned for a few summers ago actually developed a program to teach companies how to use social media appropriately and effectively which I thought was interesting. Sometimes I forget that all of this is still relatively new. Hopefully, companies see social media as a treasure trove in to human behavior and provides an outlet to analyze, understand, and communicate with its customers.

  2. That is really interesting! I would love to hear how they taught companies to use social media effectively!

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  5. It’s evident that a lot of organizations are still learning how social media works. Many of them join Twitter or Facebook to promote goods and services, events or their company’s brand.

    Listening is a skill that not everyone knows how to do. When companies speak, we listen. So when we speak, they should listen, too. I think the companies that listen well are jumping ahead of competitors and gaining trust from their audience. Hopefully, listening to ensure greater interaction will become a norm in the next few years.

    Great post. The quotes and examples backed up what you were saying beautifully.

  6. I think we all get caught up in just producing content in social media. It’s great that you can remind us to listen before we post to be as successful as possible!

  7. I definitely agree with this post, especially, the aspect of using social media in a “two-sided” stream. You must listen to build relationships with your audiences before pushing the information out into the world in order to efficiently communicate your message.

  8. The new model of communication now includes the aspect of feedback which was previously ignored in earlier models. Companies and technology are picking up on this development by using tools such as twitter and the internet in general to gain feedback from their consumers. However, simply listening is not enough to gain the two-way communication that is necessary to engage with your audience. Not only in listening an important aspect of communication but so is responding. Most companies still respond in ways that seem robotic and impersonal. Tools such as twitter are meant to be more personal and a way to genuinely connect with your audience. Since social media is still a relatively new tool for businesses they are still getting adjusted to it. Responding quickly and genuinely are important in continuing lines of communication. The internet has allowed businesses to gain great insight into the mind and thoughts of the average consumer.

  9. I completely agree with this, but what I find most interesting is that so many organizations and companies are still not listening to the consumer via social media. Those conversations are honest, real-time feedback that can provide deep insight into the product or organization. It is critical for companies to learn to engage with the consumer and build a two-way relationship in order to grow as an organization and develop social media policies to capitalize on a vital source of information.

  10. Companies and organizations are trying to listen more and more but sometimes it is hard for them to filer what is truth and what is non-truth. i think that engaging with their communities as much as possible. It is genius to create platforms of communication with consumers especially when a crisis happens or when policy changes. This way there is an already established means of contact.

  11. I agree that in order to create an effective social media network for your brand or company, you must effectively listen and engage with your audience. Otherwise, you can’t properly communicate or tailor your campaigns to fit their personalities. I think the point that engaging in a conversation is two-sided is a great point. Your audience’s support is in part what will drive your company’s success so making an effort to learn their personalities will be beneficial to your brand.

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