How many times have you heard this comment? “You’re listening to me, but you’re not hearing what I’m saying”. It’s one thing if you hear this line from your spouse, significant other, friend or colleague. Typically this is not a positive statement. The real question I have for you is this: how are you listening to your clients? What are your current and future clients talking about and asking about? What are they looking for on the web as it relates to your business? How and where can you actually “hear” what they are saying?
Listening when it comes to social media is something that is often overlooked. When is the right time to start listening in the chronological timeline of social media? The answer is…Right from the very beginning! Most business owners are so eager to get the Facebook fan page and Tweets going that they miss the point.
Start by listening first, to your current clients and potential clients. What are they talking about, interested in or having problems with? How can you help them? Given your expertise and your products, how can you be part of their solution? When you understand your target audience and where they hang out on the web you will be able to effectively implement the best tools. Ultimately these tools will make the most sense for everyone, giving everyone their sought-after results.
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In the beginning as part of your social media process “listening to the web” means researching and finding individuals, groups, communities, bloggers, fans and other related people and products who can dramatically impact your business. We often hear, “I don’t have time for that.” But finding time can mean the difference between success and failure of your social media strategy. When working with our clients we always recommend and ongoing commitment to taking time for research and listening. Part of this process also falls into the reputation management aspect of the solutions. The fact is that whether you do it or we do it…don’t wait, do it now.
Even if you have already implemented the aforementioned tools (Facebook and Twitter) it’s never too late to start listening. There are plenty of tools that you can harness and find your clients so that you can listen to them. If you are unsure what these tools are (many of the tools are free) give us a call. We can help suggest ways to listen that are relevant for you and for your business.
Perhaps you are already practicing good listening habits. If so, keep it up! The web is constantly changing and is never static.
How are you listening to your customers on the web? How are you finding success by listening? Share here. . .We all want to Listen and Hear what you are saying.
Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlueDM, Inc., specializing in Social Media Solutions and Social Media Staffing Solutions for businesses to build their social media success.