My Secret Spy Online

My Secret Spy Online

This issue’s topic may be short, but it’s very, very sweet in terms of its power and simplicity.

I was having a conversation with another marketer about the most common question we get asked lately. The question is, “what is the ROI for Social Media?” Face it. You are getting asked to post on Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, YouTube and your blog and want to know if it really pays off. Now I could tell you success stories after success stories of sales results from companies, or I could tell you about the referral power, collaboration and credibility building that you get from these sites. We could dive deep into the Search Engine Optimization benefits, but I might leave a few of these topics for future articles.

Today, I want to talk about one of the biggest uses for Social Media that is absolutely invaluable and yet highly ignored. It takes the least amount of time annually, costs nothing, yet seeps through all the noise online to deliver to you daily ONLY the information you need to know. Important information, like:

What your competitors are up to

What your clients are saying about you and your company

What the newest trends are in your industry

Hot stories in the media that pertain to your company and industry

And so much more

In the military they call this their listening station or listening post. I consider it my secret online spy. How do you harness all of this in less than 30 minutes of your time today? By setting up your Google Reader in a very clever way.

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If you read about expert failure, you know that you really can’t be putting blinders on and assume that the enemy isn’t making advances. Building your listening post will allow you to:

Constantly improve and enhance your offerings

Identify your most relevant media contacts

Stay up on the latest and greatest to avoid becoming obsolete or archaic

Help position you as an expert in your field

Turn bad customer experiences into heroic customer service

And (again) so much more.

In today’s marketing world, the consumer is more vocal and cynical than ever. You need to do more than JUST provide that product or service. You really need to be bringing your “A” Game every day. By paying attention to what’s happening in your industry and your market you are able to provide a first class experience to your customers and ensure that they what they are saying out there includes raving reviews instead of negative comments, or worse – nothing at all.

I think that’s pretty good ROI for 30 minutes of your time. Don’t you?