The key to a great relationship is communication, right? Communication involves listening, not just listening to be able to regurgitate verbatim what was said when questioned, but actually hearing and integrating. As B2B inbound marketers, we strive to build great relationships with our leads in order to turn them into customers and ultimately brand advocates, right? (See also Inbound Marketing Methodology)
The social media outlets of today have given people a megaphone through which to share complaints, advice, and opinions about the brands they do business with and the products they buy. If people are talking about your brand on social networks, it makes sense to pay attention to what they are saying. It is through social listening that we as businesses and /or marketers can learn how to better serve our customers. Just like in personal relationships not only listening, but actually hearing and acting can help foster a stronger bond between company and client. As well, knowing when to act can turn a prospect into a loyal customer.
Social media has become the customer service department for companies today. You should be listening and responding to your customers in every possible scenario. That being said, this is where it can get a little sticky. It takes a little finesse to jump into a conversation uninvited. You risk alienating a potential client if you come on too hard, too fast (I’m sure we have all experienced this in a potential personal relationship on one side or the other). Jay Baer, in a recent Baer Facts explores more this “double edged sword” that social listening can be and the fine line between helping and selling when engaging with your customers.
So, are you listening to help your customers and prospects? Or are you listening to try to insert your brand into conversations where it’s not wanted?