I’m a social-media binger. I jump on the merry-go-round of social media and then jump off to clear my head and stay focused on strategy and objectives. But my No. 1 objective when I jump on is to listen.
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are still my preferred streams, easily managed through Hootsuite. They help drive the conversations and constituencies of my clients and their brands. I have explored Google+, Pinterest, Feedly, Storify, Paper.li, Youtube and others. While lots of them are equally fun and engaging, I have to eliminate the streams that do not enhance the volume of relationships and feedback necessary to deliver the biggest results for my clients.
It’s easy to rant and rave on social media. I’m profoundly good at it. It’s much harder to shut up and listen. When you close your mouth and open your ears to a targeted group of people, you can identify obstacles that divide you from future relationships and business.
Social media is a free focus group for every constituency whether it’s a consumer or potential client. Listen to what they are saying about you. Listen to what they are saying about your competitor. Listen for praise, listen for rants, listen for complaints, listen for suggestions and listen for ideas. By listening, you help inform your research, marketing, media outreach and overall market position.
When you say “I don’t have time for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn” you’re essentially saying you don’t have time to listen to the people you need to succeed. Those people will simply shift their attention to the people who do.