Listen listen listen

If you’ve not watched THAT video or been privy to the ensuing social media frenzy (how could you not?), then get caught up here. While not essential to the topic we’re discussing, it does put some things we’ll be touching on into perspective. Plus, it’ll give you fodder to come up with some exciting memes of your own.

Back to the matter at hand.

Listen. Yes, it’s the key to gaining an understanding of the people you want on your side, and whom you’ll be interacting with in the social media sphere.

Listen. Because that’s how you’ll discover what’s working for you, and what’s not. If it’s not working, stop doing it. Yes, it’s as simple as that.

Listen. Don’t react until you get the full story, or reply until you’re sure there’s something to be gained from answering. Like so many things, it’s about quality, not quantity, when it comes to social interaction.

Listen. Don’t talk over your audience. Don’t put them down. Don’t patronise them. THERE IS NOTHING TO BE GAINED FROM BEING CONFRONTATIONAL. Staying centered and approachable, meanwhile, even in the face of criticism or anger, is bound to win you supporters.

Listen. Objectively speaking, your audience has much less to gain from interacting with you than you have from them. You want them advocating your brand, spreading the word on your promotions, talking about all the good things they’ve experienced through contact with your offerings. So, really, let them speak and discuss and argue because you’ll be the one getting the last word… and all the marbles.

Listen. Don’t just hear the words, read into them. Observe, probe, invite discussion, create possibilities, but never, in any instance, let on that you are in control of the conversation. Because, in a sense, you’re not; you’re merely facilitating the interaction, ensuring guidelines are adhered to and allowing the conversation to unfold organically. And learning some important things about your fans along the way, of course.

Listen. There’s no two ways about it; brands who don’t listen are brands who will end up failing to win the hearts and minds of their audiences. SW1M, perpetrator of some of the worst postings in the English language (and we mean that very literally), is likely to sink into obscurity. Lazada has just barely recovered from its social media faux pas; yes, giving yourself a pat on the back when your service is beyond awful is a surefire way to inflame users. And the KL Social Media Community, well, let’s just say they ought to have known better.

So, to create a social media experience for your fans that’s truly worthwhile, listen, listen, listen. Just not in the way Sharifah Zohra Jabeen would like it.

How would your brand participate in the golden age of the geek?

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