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

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Part II

Listening-Led Marketing and Advertising

Applying Listening Insights to Achieve Key Business Objectives

It's one thing to be excited about social media listening. After all, you've probably heard countless people claim that, “It's the world's largest focus group,” “It's practically free mind-reading!”, or something similarly grandiose and unhelpful. It's quite another to apply social media listening in ways that impact marketing and advertising performance. Chances are that if you're reading this book, the role social media listening played—and continues to play—in frequently cited successes for brands like Starbucks, JetBlue, and Dell is familiar, or at least rings a bell, and interests you. Those companies faced critical business challenges that had the potential to erase years of stellar reputation, impede their growth, and lower their level of competitiveness. Instead, this trio of companies adopted effective listening techniques and eventually engaged with prospects and customers.

  • Dell counteracted “My Dell Hell” with IdeaStorm.
  • Starbucks reinvigorated itself with “My Starbucks Idea.”
  • JetBlue put customer service on Twitter.

At this point you might be saying, “But those are special cases; they're big companies facing big problems.” You might also be wondering, “How exactly did they use social media listening to help build and improve their businesses? And how do I gauge the value of listening for my company?”

The best way to answer those questions for an emerging ...

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