Are you really listening?

I started working with social media back in late 2009, and boy was I lost. I thought it was all about some fun game where social networks (where I often procrastinated) were suddenly brand channels to write some fun stuff.

Of course, that's not exactly the point of social media. And while there's no absolute answer (it always, always, always depends on your objectives), one of the most interesting things I think social media brings to the table is the ability to quicker than ever know and understand what our consumers have to say to and about us.

This is why news such as this one sadden me, and while the data is from the UK, I often see this on a daily basis. Once more, what happens is that intentions are overrated but in the end it's the egos that get fulfilled. So you now have a million fans, what are you going to do about it? Do you know anything about those who follow you? What do they like? What makes them wake up every day? What can you actually do to improve their lives?

It's a shame most brands still look to social media as something for themselves. Yes, it must be aligned with your own business objectives, but you're nothing without those who follow you. So get humble enough to focus your efforts on paying that debt back.

Unless of course you're not listening to what people say or want from you in the first place.