It’s funny to me that the phrase that goes around social media circles is about how you need to LISTEN before you start participating in social media. Grow bigger ears. In that context it means to do some research and see what people are saying about you, your company, your industry, your competitors, products, etc. on social networking sites and online.
Many brands are still oblivious and are missing opportunities to get feedback and insights into what people really think. Most of all they are missing opportunities to create goodwill with others – and be likeable. People who like you are much more willing to forgive mistakes, stand up for you and buy from you.
However, if you go to a social media conference listening has a different meaning. People are rarely listenting at all – they are tweeting, foursquaring, updating Facebook, etc. I decided that when I pay to be there I’m going to listen. I’ll take notes and write about it later. I want to be there to meet and talk to people and to learn. I lost the desire to multitask. I used to be both the reporter and the attendee now I just want to attend. I would rather than talk than type on the breaks. Of course if it were breaking or really big I would tweet about it. So sporadic tweeting it is.
Is it just me? Does it bother you as a speaker or at a conference when no one is looking up? When everyone is typing away? Can you really listen if you’re “talking.”
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