Using the social web to listen is good, important and essential.
As we’ve said in other blog posts, if you don’t understand what your audience is saying, worse, if you don’t understand the reasons behind what they are saying, you’re going to waste marketing and selling resources.
Listening though is only part of the “social value chain”. It presents just one part of the story.
Behaviour, content, context, whether or not you already know people, and of course where they are and who they are, also all play their parts in making sales and growing businesses.
Use the social web as part of your business development strategy. Think of the social web as a prospecting front end, the means by which you start to identify those prepared to listen, those prepared and able to influence, and those prepared to buy.
Using the social web in this way makes sense if integrated with, literally plugged into, a back-end business database of customers, prospects and leads. In short, social CRM.
Use the social web to build social triggers that fire when a trigger and an individual match to predetermined criteria.
Use the social web to build enriched profiles of customers, prospects or leads.
Use the social web to gain insights into your brand, competitors, or market segment.
But most of all, use the social web to take action, to build sales, grow an organization, to make a difference.