CHAPTER 7

The Starting Point

When we think about social media, many people emphasize listening to Customers first. Sometimes it can be annoying to hear that over and over again, but to be honest, I am in that camp, too. I see a few key victories for businesses in the social world, and the first is the many insights that you can glean from listening to the discussions online.

If you are uncertain of the importance, let’s take a deeper look at the Kotkin Enterprises case study mentioned earlier. It is easy to see how a blowup like the one on Penny Arcade can occur. Even without an active listening strategy, someone would have noticed the online discussion and told key business leaders, but what would have happened if you had been aware months earlier? The ideal scenario would have been to know these things before anything ever happened. Unfortunately, reviewing all correspondence can be difficult, tedious, and time-consuming. Even if you hired the right people, reviewing everything would be a waste of time. However, listening to Customers online is a vital way to improve your business.

To emphasize my point, what really perplexed me about the Kotkin example is that the same scenario had played out six months prior with Nate Stansell. You have not heard of Nate? Well, neither had I until I researched this. Nate is a Customer, very similar to Dave. He, too, had an experience like Dave’s, and he chose to post the e-mail exchanges online for the world to see. Nate had ordered the Avenger ...

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