So your organization has set up your Google Alerts, TweetBeep, Yahoo Pipes to listen and monitor whenever your organization’s name or keywords are used online. You’re listening dashboard is the next to best thing from a professional social media company.
So are you listening? Really listening? And how are your responding and engaging in conversations with others? Is listening enough?
The goal of listening to the social space is to actively engage in conversations. Not just say you are listening.
Recently David Fleet wrote a great article called The Five Levels Of Social Media Responses. He asks organizations that have entered the social space if they are active or passively listening. Fleet identifies the following five levels of listening and response. Where is your organization?
Level One: Ostriching
Slightly better than ignoring online conversations, you’re monitoring for your key words and responding only when people say nice things about you. Other than that, you’re head is in the sand, hoping everything will go away.
Fleet’s Tip: If you ignore critics, the only place that they go away is in your head. Everywhere else, they get louder.
Level Two: Laughing Gas
Treat every comment as a compliment. Even the complaints or constructive criticisms. “Thanks for the feedback.”
Fleet’s Tip: Don’t do it. It fools no one.
Level Three: We’re Always Right
Never accepting that the other person’s point of view is valid. Organizations appear to listen and when someone disagrees with them, that person is always wrong.
Hurt’s Tip: Acknowledge other’s point of view. You don’t have to agree. You can agree to disagree without being disagreeable.
Level Four: Superficial Debate
Organizations engage with people online, both positive and critical. They may even engage in a disagreement and debate. It normally ends with, “Thanks. We’ll have to think about how to improve on that.”
Hurt’s Tip: Take it one step further. Ask the party that disagrees to write their position as a guest post on your blog. Or tell them you’d like more information and allow them to expound on what they are trying to say. Or invite them to get involved with you so their view can be heard by others.
Level Five: Fully Engaged
This level takes a culture shift, communications team and social media integration into all core functions. Responses are fed back into the entire organization for everyone to see and consider.
Hurt’s Tip: Consider how your organization can become a social system and engage listening and responding from all your channels.
So where is your company or association? Which level would you say you use most?