Stop Talking Already: The Power of Active Listening in Social Media
Next week, Jen and I will be speaking at “The Art and Science of Social Media Marketing for Higher Education” and, my presentation will focus on active listening.
The challenge? No one really wants to hear about it.
In a pre-conference survey that asked attendees what specific questions they wanted answered at the workshop, the majority of the responses were: (Yes, I read them all…I like to listen.)
How often do we need to talk?
Which channels are the best places for us to talk?
What examples can you give us of others talking so we can replicate their success?
How do we evaluate all of the talking to prove that people heard us?
Talk. Talk. Talk.
These attendees are likely to be a bit taken aback with my presentation, because I won’t be addressing any of these questions. Instead of teaching them ways to talk better, I will offer ways to listen strategically and actively and to know what to do with what they hear.
Listening is the linchpin factor in all of the social strategies we develop for our clients, yet most often the part that people overlook because they don’t realize the potential that lies in process of active listening.
My plan is to reveal the power of listening first, talking second.
My challenge to these attendees, and anyone who is wondering why all of the talking isn’t working so well:
Stop talking. Start listening. Use what you hear to navigate your path. It’s not about you. It’s about them.
I’ll circle back next week and let you know how it goes.
First of all, gutsy! I love that they said they wanted something and you are gonna give them a taste of “well, this is really what you should have asked for”. So awesome in that regard.
Second, I think your presentation actually ends up hitting the point of all points. Speaking without listening can get you in big trouble. And frankly, can leave a really bad taste in customers mouths. Brands shouldnt be fooled that they can just say whatever they want. If they dont listen and understand what their users want/need, they are doomed to fail.
So, bravo and good luck!
let me know how it goes!
Aaron Friedman (@aaronfriedman)
Hi Aaron! First, I will give credit to the company presenting the workshop because they did ask me to speak on the topic, recognizing that it’s an important one for attendees to learn about.
I hope I’m able to get attendees on board. I know that stoping what you are doing, or, delaying an “official start” with what seems like time consuming research doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, but like you said, “speaking without listening can get you in big trouble.”
Will defiantly let you know how it goes. (I should ask attendees to follow-up with me to, don’t you think?) Great to hear from you.
Yes, I agree with Aaron: A gutsy move. But one that I hope will play well. Also, your blog post is a beautiful example of how listening doesn’t necessarily mean doing exactly what the people you’re listening to want you to do.
I look forward to meeting you in Minneapolis!
I love what you said here, “listening doesn’t necessarily mean doing exactly what the people you are listening to want you to do.” Mind if I quote you on that one?
Looking forward to meeting you in our wonderful city as well. I think they’ve put together a nice round of topics for the workshop.
By all means – feel free to quote away! See you soon.
[…] Delaria of Kane Consulting will talk about “How to Listen in Social Media.” She’s already started talking about it on the KaneCo Conversations […]
So…thanks much to Aaron for your tweet this morning which reminded me that I said I’d circle back here to tell you how the presentation went.
Interestingly, due to an unexpected turn of events, I ended up co-presenting with my colleague, Jennifer, who was scheduled to speak on social media strategy at the same workshop. This turned out to be an advantage for both of us. As we built our combined slide deck, it was so apparent that social strategy, listening, monitoring and measurement can not really be taught or implemented in a liner form. It’s circular. The pieces fit together and need to be addressed at the beginning, middle and end.
We haven’t received any specific feedback on the event, but have been told attendees enjoyed the session. I know as a presenter, I feel like the combination of “listening” with “strategy” was a win.