• Critical points Heidi. Loved this: “And to a lot of people, engagement sounds too much like “this is when I get to talk.” Let’s rethink engagement as a process that begins long before you post a comment to someone’s blog or show your face on Twitter.” The whole paragraph, really.

    Perhaps we should be thinking “engagement is when I get to help.” Or share resources. Or to paraphrase Geoff “like we’re a community or something.”

  • It is ironic really that what we are talking about here is considered innovative and disruptive, but it really is. It is not only innovative in the online space, but in the offline space as well. In my industry (real estate) a hands on, life-long relationship approach to our business is borderline heretical. Whether online or offline the folks who have embraced the mindset you are unwrapping here have been finding, and are continuing to find great success.

    Thank you for taking the time to post, Heidi.

    • I think you hit the nail on the head, Colin. Building relationships has always been key to business success, but oddly is a rarity these days.

  • Brilliant points, Heidi. There are various layers of listening , of which an organization should pass through and learn all as their social media presence matures. Listening via social channels cannot happen in a silo, though…during the deep dive and discovery phase it is crucial to connect the dots of the offline relationship, so there is a 360 view of the person. Listening to their point of need is not enough. To build the relationship you need to know all the touch-points they and their inner circle have experienced. Excellent post for those looking for education before diving into the social media deep end.

    • Great point, Lauren! Every stakeholder/influencer is so complex in their relationship and engagement – both online and off… I love the idea of doing an “Influencer 360” to truly build relationships.

      • Influencer 360 is definitely a smart call, Lauren. Finding different touchpoints to build the relationship is key. And really, these relationships are something we can tout in conversations with potential clients.

        You can’t flip a switch and build a social media presence. Have to follow the steps you outlined, Heidi, to find a starting point and formulate your strategy. And you can’t flip a switch and build relationships either. That’s why they are a currency in our business now more than ever (even though I hate calling them a currency, because it feels like it cheapens them).

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