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Social media is social. We have all heard that a million times. The reason we have all heard this a million times is because it is the only constant rule that can be proven about social media by anyone.

Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

The biggest problem I see on a regular basis is that people are talking at their followers rather than talking with them.

Recently, we found a customer complaint on Twitter regarding one of our clients. Although the complaint wasn’t actually directed at the client, we decided that the best approach would be to respond and show that we are listening to our customers, and that we’re here to help.

The customer responded that the our acknowledgment of him was sufficient reparation for the original complaint. So to recap, a customer had a complaint and voiced it on Twitter. Our client responds and offers to help, and the customer considered the offer to be enough to keep their loyalty.

This is what social media is about. Rather than just creating content that simply talks to your followers, spend time listening and interacting with conversations that are already happening online. This goes back to the original point that social media is social.

No one likes the guy who can’t do anything but talk about himself and what he does. Take the time to listen, and join conversations without necessarily promoting something your business is doing.

As Ernest Hemingway once said, “I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.”