At a recent meeting I attended, we heard a presentation regarding strategies for “social listening.” This entails a strategic and deliberate process to follow social media posts on targeted topics, and then to intentionally connect a brand to the conversations. It was a fascinating concept and the speaker opened our eyes to a whole world of possibilities of how the process could benefit our organization. Everyone was excited!

I likened the board’s reaction to a popcorn popper where a new kernel had just popped. Yes, it was exciting. Yes, social listening is a good thing and could benefit us. It may be the exact right thing to pursue. 

But before rushing off and crafting a social listening plan, it is important to remember that there are many other kernels that could be popped. Especially in the technology area, it is easy to get excited about the new app/system/software/hardware that you see, without putting it into context as to what objectives it is designed to meet or what need you are trying to address. 

Whether it is in technology or any other new initiative, think about the other kernels in the popper before you rush out and implement something new. Just because it is good, doesn’t mean it is right for you right now.

beth triplett

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