I called 2009 the year of listening. Many reputation monitoring products made their hay in 2009 including Radian6, TechRigy, Flitrbox, and others. They all have listening in common. Being able to hear what is being said about you and your brand online is an important part of your listening campaign. Not only should you be listening to your customers, your potential customers, and even your competition, you need to listen to yourself.
Before you begin to think I am being a little schizophrenic in that statement, I am referring to larger organizations that a party of one. If you are a single or soloprenuer, you obviously have a good handle on what you say about your own brand. If you are a large organization are you listening to what is being said about your own community or employees?
Many employees are in the world of social media now and they are all part of the larger social networks. Facebook and Twitter, and blogs are being used by many of the people out there and this is all accessible by their friends, family and online acquaintances. Those groups are are potential customers of your company and therefore you need to also monitor that reputation and be a part of those conversations. I am not talking about stalking your employees. I am speaking about listening to how they talk about you and your brand online. They need to be corrected when they make mistakes and they also need to be noticed when they are evangelizing your brand so you can thank them accordingly. What better way to make them more of an evangelist than to thank them for helping you build a good reputation online? I have often said that every employee must be a brand evangelist of the company they work for. We are all social media managers of the company we work for.
I was inspired to write this post after reading a post by Melissa Galt. Melissa talks about 3 rules of social media and how knowing these can help you win the social media game. Her point that caught my attention was:
#2 Monitor the conversation and correct misstatements.
You have a responsibility to maintain awareness of what is being said particularly by those who work for you and correct any misstatements that they make.
This is a great point that she made and different from what others are preaching about listening. I hear the social media pundits all talk about monitoring your brand from the outside but Melissa makes a great point about listening to yourself.
Photo Via AdamSelwood