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10/06/2008 Are you listening?

Cone just released a study showing that an overwhelming majority of social media users (85%) believe a company should interact with its consumers via social media. That’s not too surprising, considering the people asked use social media.

What’s a little more interesting is what they want companies to do:
•    Companies should use social networks to solve my problems (43%)
•    Companies should solicit feedback on their products and services (41%)

I think what they’re saying is that they want companies to listen to them. And then talk back to them, rather than talking at them.

They also feel that they have a lot to contribute to making brands better. That’s a pretty amazing sentiment and one that brands should start waking up to.

Most companies I’ve worked with have a great fear of opening up conversations with customers, especially online. It goes back to the whole KAOS vs. Control issue. The biggest excuse is that it takes too much time.

But the brands that do this, in one way or another, end up solidifying their brand advocates in a win-win situation. Whether it’s Jones Soda, a pioneer in listening online, on Facebook, or Apple letting customers run the support bulletin boards, they show they listen to their customers, that they’re not afraid.

With Twitter and other places, you don’t even have to build your own, you just need to show up and start listening.

You don’t have to be a big brand to do this. What’s your company doing?


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