Piers Morgan‘s Twitter show was a lot of talk about something people should just be doing. It was filled with Martha Stewart, Alyssa Milano and celebrity tweeters and very little substance about how to actually use it.

In the waning seconds Gary Vee came on and talked about search.twitter.com as the greatest tool anyone can use to “get” Twitter. It’s about listening was the message Gary hammered home, a drum I’ve been banging too.

Twitter Is A Game Of Follow The Leaders – stop worrying about who follows you and instead focus on who you follow
The Audience Isn’t Listening – the world of broadcast is now a two way street, not one way

Here’s the repost of an article from from November 2008:

It’s one thing not to participate in the online conversation, but do you monitor the conversation others are having about you and your brand?

This is vital for not only old media, but any company trying to succeed in the modern era. No longer are people talking about you behind your back, whispering about their negative experiences at cocktail parties. Bouquets and bombs when it comes to customer service and brand opinion are now aired publicly with Facebook groups, blogs, message boards and live flow conversations on Twitter.

This past weekend Motrin had a major brandjack when the conversation about their new ad exploded into a huge negative backlash. The conversation was left unchecked for the entire weekend and nothing but hate, anger and vitriol spread amongst the active online community.

Motrin tried to reach into new media to spread a message, but instead of monitoring and nurturing it – they just planted the seed and left. Weeds grew and nobody knew, until Monday.

Starbucks goes about things a little differently.

They monitor the conversation, they participate in the community, they diffuse situations before they erupt.

This morning I tweeted about a negative experience at my local Starbucks. Double cupping was the default practice.

Within 2 hours I had received a tweet back from @MyStarbucksIdea responding to the situation.

If your radio station doesn’t have a twitter account, fine. If your radio station doesn’t have a facebook page, fine. If you’re not active in the social media conversation, that’s fine, but you’ve got to monitor the conversation others are having about your brand.

Go to Google, set up a Google Alert for keywords associated with your brand.

Go to Twitter Search and set up an RSS feed associated with your brand.

Not participating in the online conversation is a problem, not listening to the online conversation is a fatal flaw.

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