Everyone says that listening is central to social media success, but over time, we've fallen into a too-narrow interpretation of the metaphor. Think about it: if listening means monitoring, then we have too many words. Fortunately, they don't need to mean the same thing. We just need to expand the way we think about listening.
Here's the definition of listening implied by many posts and presentations:
Defensive keyword monitoring of social media for customer problems and complaints that need a communications or customer service response.In the social media buzzword compendium, that's a great example of listening. But as a working definition, it leaves a lot out. Almost every word imposes a limitation on finding all of the value in a listening strategy. We can do more.
How can we expand the definition of listening?
- From a defensive posture to developing valuable market intelligence.
- From keyword monitoring to applying all of the technologies available to discover and analyze relevant online content and activity.
- From monitoring to metrics, mining, and interpretation. It's a metaphor, so there's no reason to be stuck with the word's literal meaning.
- From social media to all media and customer communications.
- From a focus on problems and complaints to an interest in all relevant conversations.
- From PR, marketing, and customer service to anywhere the information has value to the business.
- By collaborating across measurement silos to find the right methodology for the task.