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Listen First!: Turning Social Media Conversations into Business Advantage by Stephen D. Rappaport

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Chapter 1

Organize for Listening and Define Objectives, Key Measures, and Conversations

This chapter outlines the first steps for doing listening research that were outlined in the Introduction:

  • Organize for listening.
  • Set objectives in relation to business goals.
  • Define key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Determine the research subjects: the voices and conversation sources best suited to the listening program.

We will now discuss each of these in detail.

Organize for Listening

Because listening can be done by companies of all sizes, from small businesses to globe-circling enterprises, the ways that they organize to undertake the effort will vary depending on their goals, resources, and staffing. Organizational consultant Beth Kanter (2009) proposes three concepts for listening organizations that provide a helpful framework:

Centralized listener: A person responsible for overseeing listening and, possibly, a firm's social media strategy. The J&D Bacon Salt (Chapter 6) case illustrates this model and shows that it can be very valuable for concept testing and product development, even on a shoestring, as it was for this startup.

Listening team: A group of people dedicated to listening, made up of individuals in the company from either a single department or cross-functional. The Vitamin Water case (Chapter 7) demonstrates the value of multidisciplinary teams in creating a new product and bringing it to market.

Listening organization: This model is meant for companies where listening ...

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