Marketing Sense

A discussion of marketing tools and tactics with a common sense attitude

The Power of “Listening.” A Case of Timely Response.

Posted by Colin N. Clarke on December 4, 2009

The appropriate starting point in any social media strategy is to establish a managed listening program where a brand or company can monitor what is being said about them. Blogs, message boards, comments sections and the myriad of social networking tools all hold potential for word of mouth harm (and good).

In a recent post I discussed the importance of managing misinformation in the digital realm, and I’ve found a wonderful example of effective “listening” to share.

In the post AOL’s SEO “Strategery,” blogger Frank Reed makes the case for why he feels the new AOL strategy will not succeed. He refers to AOL’s intentions for unique content generation and gaining ground through search engine results. Reed recalls this type of approach as creating “craptent” and cites the company Associated Content as “the master of ‘craptent’ generation for search engine gain.”

This is where the value of a “listening” program comes to bear and a perfect case for effective listening. Associated Content President Luke Beatty reviewed the blog and commented the same day, likely within hours (or minutes?) of the post going live. Beatty’s comment appears within the first 3 comments and provides an effective clarification of the Associated Content model and respectful rebuttal to the ‘craptent’ tag. And as any blogger worth his salt should do, author Frank Reed acknowledges Beatty’s comment with a respectful tip of the hat (Read the blog article and related comments here).

The point is not whether the AOL blog article is right or wrong. This point here is that Associated Content was called out in a blog and they felt was it was a misrepresentation of their brand. Quickly and efficiently, Associated Content made their counter-argument for all the world to see – and it was done in a tactful and respectful manner.

Associated Content perfectly demonstrated the importance and value of an effective listening program and the efficiency of an organized and planned approach for response. A case of social media strategy, implemented and executed perfectly.

So, if faced with a similar situation, could your business respond the same way?

(Image: David Allison, Listening Post at Whitney Museum of Art, 2002)

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