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Are Business Social Media Campaigns About Listening?

Brian Solis, author of Engage, expert on social media for business, posted  The End of Social Media 1.0 last week on his blog. Not that there is a 2.0 or 3.0 exactly, he explains, but he says we’re at an inflection point.

… the end of an era of social media that will force the industry to mature. It won’t happen on its own however. Evolution will occur because consumers demand it.

The key point, Brian seems to suggest, is listening. Keep the social in social media, don’t turn it into one-way media.  Corporate social media campaigns – twitter streams, Facebook fan pages, and so on – tend to be one-way communication, Brian suggests, talking without listening:

… there’s more to social media than clever campaigns and rudimentary conversations. Talking isn’t the only thing that makes social media social. Just like adding Facebook, Twitter and other sharing buttons will not magically transform static content into shareable experiences. Listening, learning and adapting is where the real value of social media will show its true colors.  Listening leads to a more informed business. Engagement unlocks empathy and innovation. But it is action and adaptation that leads to relevance. And, it never ends.

I see that as an interesting challenge.  It’s not entirely up to the company whether you communicate with it or not; it’s up to you. Do you engage with logos as people? Do you expect a logo to listen? Does it care what you think about issues, topics, or anything but its brand? Do you care what it thinks about issues and topics outside its specific brand focus?

What do you think?



  • Tim Berry’s Wisdom of the Week says:

    […] Are Business Social Media Campaigns About Listening? […]

  • Hiten Nainaney says:

    Social Media, with regards to businesses is entirely about engagement. But not limited to engagement only.

    It’s really not of much use if all you do is engage, implementing the suggestions and working with the consumer is a large part within engagement. A constructive & productive use of feedback is the key point when communicating with consumers.

    A lot of fan pages on the internet miss out on key areas. One clear example was Toyota’s fan page. Toyota advertised massively when they had to recall their cars due to a technical fault. And the one place which in this generation carrys weight was forgotten and ignored. Their Facebook Page. With more than half a million fans, it is ridiculous to ignore this segment of media.

    As businesses, it is important to pay attention to all thats being said while engaging consumers, and also putting the feedback to use to improve ones business.

    As consumer, a Facebook page should be more than just a showcase of likes and dislikes. It is your chance to communicate with the brand directly, without having to listen to endless loops of ‘on-hold’ phones music. You should take advantage of this form of communication and throw at brands what you feel about them. Be it bad or good. It’s your chance to be heard, on a mass scale. And publicly.

    Hiten Nainaney

    Managing Director

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