A Social Media Primer: Active Listening 101

Shhhh. Do you hear that? It’s the sound of your future customers chatting away. . . all over the world-wide web.  Active listening enables you to hear what your customers are saying and what they ultimately want from you. Before beginning any social media campaign its important to do your research. This could begin by researching forums and websites where your potential customers gather to gab.

It’s really important to listen to learn and to understand. The more you understand, the more successful you will be at gaining the respect and trust from your future customers.

Listen to discover –

 What are your future customers complaining about?

What competitor’s products do they like and dislike?

What do they already know?

How can you feed them fresh information?

What will make them feel successful?

This doesn’t necessarily mean talking to them directly on forums. It means creating a campaign around what they really want to know. More often than not, what they want is the truth.

We have a new client that is entering the über competitive weight loss marketplace. Yup, there’s a new diet on the block, Our Skinny, the easiest diet ever.  Our Skinny has some damn good testimonials and yes, it works.

So before we begin building their Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and great big blog, we are listening to women and men on diets everywhere. We are reading their threads and conversations and boy do they know a lot about dieting and weight loss.  They know the good (developing a healthy relationship with food and making fierce lifestyle changes) and they know the bad – like every little calorie counts and weight loss pills can be dangerous. It’s all about calories in and calories burned. So how do we enter the conversation when a bunch of know it all customers out there are chatting away about their experiences?

By addressing the questions and complaints that they mention most  – with the newest information we can uncover. Sometimes we’ll curate and aggregate timely information from trusted news sources in the form of an email newsletter or a tweet. Other times we will interview those that have been successful with Our Skinny and interview them on their blog.  We will use as much video and photography as we possibly can (to draw a bigger emotional response) and we’ll ask questions to spark conversations.

But before all that can happen, we have to keep on actively listening.Check out Technorati’s post on the single most important part of social media.  Once you get started, company’s like Sprout Social actively listen for you.

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