“Do we need to listen to everyone all the time?” The obvious answer is no because that would be impossible, Even with automation it is still impossible and impractical to give credence to everyone and everything. Impossible and impractical aside it’s also not smart. As evidenced by the recent hijacking of the Twitter accounts of the AP, 60 Minutes and more, we have to be intelligent enough to realize that even ‘trusted’ sources should be held at arms’ length on a good day and even further on the bad ones.
Be discerning – Use filters and time to decide what is really important. Not every crazed social media user is nearly as important as you think. Engaging them could be your worst nightmare.
Be selective – Who do you engage with? After you have decided who is worthy of your time based on how they can truly impact your business you have to go through a second level of paring down the pool of who you really listen to and possibly respond to.
Be smart – Don’t engage everyone. I know this is counter to what many believe but there is a fine line between recognition and engagement. Unreasonable social media and Internet users are easy to spot for just about everyone who has any sense. A simple nod that they were heard and recognized is enough. Don’t fight them. You’ll look worse than your supposed dismissal of them.
Be careful – News flash. Not everything on the Internet is true. That holds true for your brand and its supporters and detractors as well. Not everyone is telling the truth and not everyone is who they claim to be. If you don’t think an unscrupulous competitor won’t act like someone who is mad at your brand, then you need a new line of work. We are in desperate times and desperate measures often follow.
Be succinct – I am a very wordy person. I need to stop it. So do you. Say enough and no more. Move on.
Be teflon – Don’t take everything personally. If you do, you’ll never survive. People can be mean. People can be idiots. It’s a simple fact of life. Let it slide. Let them be miserable. They are not your responsibility.