“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” E. Hemmingway
This holds true in social media also. We have seen time and again examples of companies not listening to their social media. They wrongly believe that simply saying anything is enough. So they’ll say things like the following:
Seriously?!? “Sorry about____(fill in the blank)____, but here’s our product.” Supremely bad taste, and an excellent example of not listening. And then when called out on it, they sent an auto-response. Talk about gasoline on a fire…
MasterCard, on the other hand, has set up a command center for social media listening so that they can immediately engage customers.
As you can see above, a huge monitor in the room tracks conversations about MC. They do in depth Analytics. They involve other departments within the organization. By doing so, they are able to act on what they learn, which makes them listeners instead of merely monitors.
The book describes the difference between monitoring and listening in this way:
“Monitoring has an impersonal feel to it…you think of negative situations. Listening, on the other hand, is an important human process.” (p. 16)
Social media is interactive, so organizations must interact with their followers/customers. Engage them in conversation. Listen to them and react accordingly. This does NOT mean you must respond to each and every posting and comment personally. But you must engage them. Very few companies have the capacity to create a command center like MC (Dell, Cisco and Gatorade are also mentioned in the article above.), but you should pay attention.
STFU and listen.