Companies have been rushing to embrace social media in droves over the last year. While it's great to see companies embracing Web 2.0, I worry sometimes about the number of companies rushing in to talk rather than listen. After all, one of the greatest benefits of social media is having the ability to find out what your customers are talking about. Bill Balderaz points this out today over at The Buzz Saw.
Want to know what vegetables working moms feed their kids? They are talking about it. Want to know what music teens are downloading? That is there too. The software IT administrators at hospitals in Tallahassee are buying? Them too.
Now search on your brand name and your competitors' brand names, what a treasure trove of market research, all generated by real consumers, voluntarily and free!
His point is spot on. Companies are getting a better handle on the idea of online reputation management and many are already tracking the conversation about themselves online. It's a good start, but it doesn't go far enough. People gather in communities to their likes and dislikes. You can learn a lot by listening.
Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.
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