8 Skills of a Good Social Media Listener
We’ve probably all been taught from youth to be a good listener. To listen before you speak. Researchers tell us that much of our time is often spent either talking, or thinking of what to say, rather than listening to what the other person is saying. We need to spend more time being an affective listener in order to have affective conversations; in order to build relationships
The same applies to building relationships in Social Media and Network Marking. We need to learn and apply the skills of a good listener in order to be a good social media marketer. Below are eight skills of a good social media listener. Hope they are helpful for you as you work to improve your listening skills.
1. Stop Talking!
To be an affective listener in a conversation you have to stop talking and stop thinking about what you’re going to say and actually listen to what the other person is saying. The same applies in a since to social media listening. You have to stop talking, that is stop writing, etc and put effort into listening, or reading what others are saying.
It’s so easy to get busying creating content, or sharing information, or learning new things, etc, etc… and forget to see what others are saying. Take time to read what others respond to you on your social media platforms. Take time to see what experts are saying about trends, etc. Stop Talking: and take time to listen.
2. Keep up with the Trends.
Social Media Marketing is a fast moving field. Trends constantly change. To be an affective social media marketer, we need to be abreast with the trends. We need to be constantly reading about the new ideas in social media. Use those new trends to help you in your own business.
Follow what’s new in social media techniques. Follow what’s happening in other news that might be played off of to increase your social reach. Keep up with the Trends: Listen to the trends and use them to increase your social media advantage.
3. Be Present.
Be aware of the social media conversations going on and be present in them. Comment back when others comment to you. Comment on other blogs and conversations. Be a present and active member of the social media arena. Be a real person. Good listeners pay attention to those speaking and respond back when appropriate. Do the same as a social media marketer. Be Present in social media conversations.
4. Be Empathetic.
Part of good listening is to empathize with others. Expressing empathy when talking with others helps others know you’re listening and that you care about them and their feelings. The same is true with social media. Listen to others when they express frustrations about issues they face and let them know you care. A few simple words of concern and encouragement go a very long way to helping another person through what ever issue they are facing. Remember: you would want the same from others in your times of troubles. Keep it professional, but show others that you are a real person and that you care. Be Empathetic.
5. Build Relationships.
Listening in a conversation is about building a relationship. It’s about actually hearing what the other person is saying and responding appropriately. It’s about learning about each other and building a relationship, whether a personal or business relationship, it’s still a relationship. It’s about building trust and seeing eye to eye and working together in harmony. Social Media Marketing is, in many ways, is just the same. Social media is about building working relationships. It’s about working together to benefit each other. Use your listening skills to build relationships.
6. Listen in the Right Places.
A good listener works to listen to the right people in the right places. A person wanting to learn how to become a good cook will listen to others who are good cooks. An aspiring musician will listen in places where good musicians hang out.
The same is true with social media. If you want to become a good social media marketer, you need to “hang out” where good social media marketers hang out. Frequent the sites and blogs of good social media marketers. Read, watch and listen to sources that are in your field of interest. Know and listen to the Right Places.
This also applies to your social monitoring efforts. Listen or monitor those areas of your social media campaigns that most affects your growth and effectiveness. Know and listen to the Right Places.
7. Listen for the Right Reasons.
In a good relationship a good listener will listen to the other person in order to better understand them and what their needs are. A good listener will look for clues of what might be needed and then make an effort to fill that need. It may be by just giving a good word of encouragement, or it may be pointing the other person to a solution to their problem.
It’s the same in Social Media Listening. The purpose of listening to others is often to see what their needs are and look for solutions to their needs. As a Social Media Marketer, you have a product or resource that you feel will help others with some of their needs. If you don’t, then perhaps you shouldn’t be in marketing. As a social media listener, you should be listening for ways to help others. Not always by offering your product, but by providing solutions to their issues, whether it’s your products or someone else’s; of just good information that will help. Listening should not be just about what you get out of a conversation. Listen for the Right Reasons.
8. Make Listening a Habit.
Good listening takes effort on our parts. It’s so easy to fall into the rut of not really paying attention to others in our conversations. The same applies to Social Media. It’s easy to get into the rut of just posting and sharing information, working our business, etc; and not taking time to listen. Make it a habit to stop talking and listen. Make it a habit to look for the trends. Make it a habit to be present and empathetic. Make it a habit to take out time to review what others have replied to you and respond to them. Work to build relationships. Build the habit of listening in the right places and for the right reasons.
We all can become better social media listeners. Developing these 8 Skills of a Good Social Media Listener is a good start. Make listening a habit.
Here’s to your Listening Success!
Jerry D Ross