For decades, companies were very good at pushing messages into markets and talking at people rather than with them. Now companies are embracing the idea of two-way interaction. Monitoring conversations is becoming standard procedure as small and enterprise businesses alike make substantial investments in tools such as Radian6, Sprial16 and Brandtology. And, not only are companies monitoring conversations, they’re adopting social media management systems (SMMS) such as Seesmic and CoTweet to operationalize conversations and platforms such as Objective Marketer, PeopleBrowsr and Buddy Media to automate engagement campaigns.
by Michael Brito
Wikipedia tells us that active listening is an intent to “listen for meaning”. Others suggest that active listening should “focus on who you are listening to, whether in a group or one-on-one, in order to understand what he or she is saying.”
These are excellent definitions. But as it relates to customer interactions on the social web, active listening is only one half of the equation.
Traditional influence has followed a systematic top-down process of developing and pushing “controlled” messages to audiences for decades, rooted in one-to-many, faceless broadcast campaigns.
Personality wasn’t absent in certain mediums, it was missing from day-to-day communications.
For the most part, this pattern seemingly served its purposes, fueling the belief that brands were in control of their messages, from delivery to dissemination, among the demographics to which they were targeted.
It scaled very well over the years, until it didn’t…