Why Listening is Too Little

“Listen.” That’s what they tell you when you jump into social media; “Listen.”

Unfortunately, listening will do little for a local, small business. Why speak such heresy? Because very few people are talking about you. And you cannot expect that to change if your primary posture is listening.


There is nothing wrong with listening to your customers and understanding what they want. It’s just that there’s very little of this conversation going on. Take a look at your personal Facebook news feed right now. What are people talking about? You? Other businesses? Rarely. Except for your marketing geek and business owner friends, you will find very little brand related conversation. There will be a lot of  “LOL” pictures, famous quotes, and harmless status updates like “Coffee in hand, ready to fight the day!” The point is that most people don’t join social media networks like Facebook and Twitter to talk about your business.

It seems counterintuitive, but start listening less and talking more.

Stand Up and Be Counted

Remember that kid who sat quietly in the back of your class in high school and never said anything? Do you remember his name? Exactly. And if you sit quietly in the back of the Facebook classroom, listening, no one is going to remember you, follow you, engage with you. Facebook is giving business pages less visibility, and that means you have to stand up and be counted.

Everyday, yes everyday, you should be saying something on your social media network of choice: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, et al. The more you talk, the more people will see what you have to say. The social media platforms are built to reward the talkers, not the listeners. Of course, you’re not just talking to hear yourself talk, create a well-rounded Facebook Posting Strategy with status updates that will engage fans.

Take a look at the AJ Bombers Facebook page. Every day they stand up to be counted by posting pictures and creating engaging content.


Shake Things Up

The way to get people’s attention to say something unexpected. With so much blah, blah, blah out there, we ignore the normal and boring, but our attention antennae perk up when somebody says something unexpected. If you want to get noticed, shake things up. You don’t necessarily have to be controversial, just say or do something different. Like this fitness challenge from a local car dealership:


Create Conversation

The more likes and comments you get on your Facebook page, the more visible your page will be to fans and their friends. Conversation creates visibility. Conversation is also a fine art. Simply asking a question on Facebook does not guarantee a response. Ask questions that people want to answer, not ones that you think they should answer. One of my local TV stations does a good job at this. Like this question about what mean a man orders on a date:


That question received 49 comments and lots of impressions. KWTX TV knows how to create conversation.

Talk First Listen Later

My friend Eric Brown says that social media listening is a race to mediocrity. I think it’s also path to obscurity. Stand up and be counted, shake things up, and create conversation. Then… listen to people talk about you.

You may also be interested in this webinar: Facebook for Business That Gets Business

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