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Dog-Listening-With-Big-Ear-38110417Black Friday is right around the corner, and some brands are already struggling with the demands it is placing on their social media and PR teams. These days, it should be hard to find a national brand that isn’t monitoring and responding on Twitter and Facebook. When complaints are made, we all hope these brands are responding in real time.

While it’s not a large retail brand, Raidious loves Scotty’s Brewhouse, a small restaurant chain in Indiana, which does exactly this. We have tweeted and privately messaged restaurant owner Scott Wise, and he has fixed problems while we were sitting in the restaurant, and he was in a different location.

Listening has become mission-critical because of all the tactical uses – customer service, research, product development, recruiting, human resources and all of the other things you can use it for across the enterprise, in addition to its requirement in marketing and public relations. Brand managers are able to use social media as a 24/7 focus group, using monitoring tools to keep an eye on mentions for the brand, and its competitors, as a way to keep customers happy.

Can social media really cause enterprises to change their product development? You bet. By listening, brands are able to come up with new product ideas and bring them to market faster. Or you could just do focus groups once a year. Many companies still are, but that’s because brands and marketers still aren’t used to listening. They have never had to in the past in the way they do today.

More and more brands are listening on social and responding to complaints immediately, putting out fires before they have a chance to go viral and do serious harm. No brand manager wants to get a call from a traditional media journalist asking about an international uproar over a situation he or she knew nothing about. Still, that kind of thing happens to a lot of companies because they aren’t listening, and they’re caught unaware. The thing to realize is that this is not a simple matter of going out and buying a social media monitoring tool. This shift in thinking impacts not just customer service and marketing, but also every area of the enterprise.

By now, everyone has heard of the famous “United Breaks Guitars” debacle. If you haven’t, Google it. This story is so widespread that when you start searching for “United breaks guitars” on Google, the results – 5.15 million of them – will start popping up before you even start typing the second word. This story turned into an international uproar with a music video about the issue reaching millions of views before United’s corporate executives ever heard about the problem. Yikes.

Customers are no longer used to talking and not being talked back to. You can’t just solve this problem by buying a software tool to solve the issue. You have to embrace this shift and implement the functional capabilities.

Raidious manages this type of work for some of the biggest brands in the world. Contact us today to find out more.