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With your social media marketing initiative, one of the most important things to do is to listen to what your audience is saying. Social media is a conversation, not a closed-door for your brand. No one wants to be talked at with no ability to respond, whether it is online or in a face to face conversations. Social networking has taught many people that they have a voice online and the right for their opinions to be heard, and they are expecting you to listen.

Paying attention to what your customers and audience is saying shouldn’t be important to you just because social media and digital marketing experts tell you it should be. If you actually take the time and listen to what is being talked about online, you will find that you will better understand your customer needs and where your brand can fit into their lives.

Content marketing

Content marketing is a vital component of any digital marketing campaign, but the biggest problem for many businesses is coming up with interesting new topics. Social media is the best place to turn for new topic ideas. What questions are people posting on your and other relevant Facebook fan pages walls or on forums? What industry related blogs gets the most attention from comments? Does your audience prefer images and videos to long articles? All these questions about content and what your audience is after can be answered when you listen to what is being said online.

The right content

Social media is a vehicle that facilitates communication. It is vital that you create a strategy and figure out the best social media channels to connect with your target audience, when they are online, what content they respond the best to, when they want to talk, etc. If you pay close enough attention, you will start noticing the effectiveness of your social media initiative based on what they want and their responses. Does the content you shared between 8:00 AM and 12:00 PM have the same response as the content you shared between 12:00 PM and 17:00 PM? What kind of tone does the comments from your shared content on LinkedIn take?

Consumers are now turning to social networking channels to complain about poor customer service and to raise their opinion about various businesses, services and product they have dealt with. If they love something, they will let everyone know about it. If they hate something, they will also let everyone know. The use of social media channels gives everyone a voice online and a chance to say what they want when they want to. If you are listening to this chatter, you can get access into the minds of your clients that no survey or focus group could ever give. Start listening to the online conversation.