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Communication takes listening AND learning.

November 20, 2010

Let’s not forget that communication is a two-way street. It involves not just saying something but listening and learning from the response that you receive, before you offer new information. It’s that simple.

Businesses and media publishers right now are still grappling with how best to cut-through the plethora of traditional and social media channels.

TV, radio and newspapers still have thousand of channels available with millions of news, advertising and other messages being broadcast. Social Media is becoming more fragmented as more and more people try and crack the back of the Googles and Facebooks in the world.

When it comes to social media, there are also thousands of self-proclaimed experts who can superficially advise businesses that a standalone Facebook page and a Twitter account are important to them…laughable at best is what many marketing and communciation decision makers are starting to realise, because when every business gets on Facebook and Twitter, we’ll just have the same problem – each individual will have thousands of consumer messages and channels available to them, and each brand’s messaging will get drowned out. In fact I already have problems with the 120 or so channels I have ‘liked’ on Facebook, and rarely if ever see their news and content because I am more interested in my friends and family’s user content. Never mind Twitter – I think I follow 700+ people and only check my feed twice a day.

So let’s go back to basic human communication. The principle that determines the success of communication to an unfamiliar audience is and always has been: “what’s in it for me?” (WIIFM).

Running social media platforms as standalone entities, or merely using them to push messaging onto an unsuspecting audience will only take us back 100 years in communication evolution.

The keys to success are understanding two things:

  • How do we engage and encourage people to continue interacting with our brand?
  • How do we gather organisational intelligence about these interactions so that we can better understand and learn how to communicate with these people?

It’s important in any social media solution you implement that you are gathering and leveraging this business intelligence, and that you are finding ways for people to respond and interact with you – in the 21st century, it won’t matter what you have to say to your audience – it will only matter what they have to say back to you.

Deliriant Isti Romani (These Romans are Crazy!)

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