Are You Listening?

Imagine for a moment that you are a high-powered attorney.  You’ve identified your strategy to defend your client, and you flawlessly present it to the jury.  From your opening statement to the closing argument, you couldn’t be more confident with the way you defended your client.

The jury comes back from a brief deliberation, and the verdict is in.  Your client is guilty, and it wasn’t even close.  What went wrong?  You felt like you had the trial of your life, but the result didn’t match.

The information you presented was great, but you failed to pay attention to the opposing attorney’s argument.  While they were presenting their case, you tuned them out to prepare for your next witness.  They brought up several key pieces of evidence, and you completely ignored them.  The variables of the trial had changed, but you had no idea.

Of course, a great attorney would never let this happen.  However, a similar scenario plays out in social media every day.  Businesses large and small blast content on their Twitter and Facebook pages with little regard to how their followers are reacting to it.  Conversations are flying left and right about their brands and products, and many companies fail to listen.

In addition to sharing quality content with your followers, you must implement an effective listening strategy.

A great example of a company implementing a listening strategy is ComCast.  Under the name @comcastcares, the company solves customer service issues before they become angry, ranting blog posts.  Not only are they listening to and participating in their customer’s conversations, but they have also established a place for those conversations to originate.

You must go beyond simply Googling your name or company.  Create a list of buzzwords in your industry, and monitor them daily.  Provide a place where your customers know that they will be heard. Be aware of what your customers, fans, and followers are talking about, and reflect that in the content you share.

(image via Flickr)