Are you listening? More and more, we find that a big part of being a social business is in discovering how we are perceived. The old adage that good news travels fast, but bad news travel faster is definitely true, and is amplified by the reach and range of social conversations. In a social enterprise, we should be involved in the conversations about our business and our brand – the keyword being conversations. In the social media universe, how we listen and respond is critical to our image and reputation. While there will be critics of any approach, the conventional wisdom is that being part of the conversation trumps silence.

While listening, in the context of the social business, may begin with ‘monitoring’, it must be more than hearing keywords that get our attention and evoke action. Key to listening is acknowledging that you understand. Listening becomes personal then. It is that one-to-one interaction where we give each other the comfort of being heard. It happens that we are often so wound up in our own desire to be heard that our listening becomes waiting (impatiently) for our turn to speak.  I call this the latent energy of the listener. While not always bad, it can be a turn-off if our replies indicate that we did not ‘hear’ what was being said. Latent energy in listening is valuable in sparking ideas, collaboration, and creativity.  Just don’t let it prevent you from hearing what is being said. In this segment of #SMXChat, we’re talking about listening. Pun intended.

Q1) As a social business – how do you distinguish ‘monitoring’ from ‘listening’?

Q2) Do you listen with different intent on the various social media channels?

Q3) As you monitor channels, what do you listen for to determine what warrants a response?

Q4) How does listening when chatting or casual communication with the community differ from dealing with issue like complaints?

Q5) What areas of the company benefit from listening to the social channels? In what ways can they benefit?

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