8 Mandates for Social Media Marketing Success—#8: Continue Listening
By Eric Fletcher, Chief Marketing Officer at McGlinchey Stafford
All listening is not created equal.
Consider how a physician uses the stethoscope in order to measure the activity of the human heart, or how a mother calibrates her ear to detect the faintest whimper of a newborn, or how a conductor trains the ear to pinpoint the one-out -of-a-hundred instruments slightly out of tune.
Compare these with the ability to tune out a barking dog, or half listen to the rant of a coworker, or subconsciously mix the rhythm of the rain to the precise sleep-inducing decibel. Now consider how we interpret tone, process innuendo, translate vernacular, and compose a whole new message—all while we (theoretically) listen in the context of conversation.
Indeed, all listening is not the same.
Listening is done at many levels. But as we become skilled at reactive listening—mixing to a manageable level everything we’re taking in—we’re inadvertently contributing to the demise of effective communication.
What’s missing? Intentional, proactive listening.
Intentional listening reveals the voice of those with whom we want to connect. And by voice, I mean the cares, aspirations, and concerns of your target audience. It’s the key to the most basic principle of effective communication—that connection takes place in the context of shared experience.
Put another way, intentional listening will identify, outline, and define the language of the closest you will ever come to a can’t-miss message. And it’s the key to the instigation of a whole new brand of experiences—those uniquely shared by you (or your business) and your most coveted customer.
Translation: the shortest distance between where we are today and a relationship that results in the development of stronger brands and better business is less about the construction of a long list of capabilities and more about one or two questions that instigate dialogue. It’s less about what we do and more about where our clients live each day. It’s less about what we know and more about what we can learn if we’ll listen first—and then build experiences that center on ways to continue to listen.
Game-changing social media marketing plans and strategies—not to mention the path to lifetime customers—just might be less about beginning with a compelling marketing message and more about intentional listening.
(This is an excerpt from Kent Huffman’s new book, 8 Mandates for Social Media Marketing Success.)
Start at the Beginning: 8 Mandates for Social Media Marketing Success—#1: Start Listening
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