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If you STILL think of social media as another tool to push your content through, you are still wrong.  Sure, social media can be used to share your content, and even (occasionally) to promote your products and services, but if that’s all it is to you, you are wrong.

The true value of social media comes from the direct relationships it lets you build with your audience.  In the past, brands relied on second hand data, surveys, focus groups and the like to understand their marketplace and their customers.  Now, they have a direct line to these people, but sadly many are not using it wisely.

This story below demonstrates the TRUE power and definition of social media.

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Morton’s Steakhouse were firstly LISTENING to what was being said about and to their brand online.

Secondly, an OPPORTUNITY WAS RECOGNIZED.  Whoever was in charge of the Twitter account noticed that Peter Shankman has over 150,000 followers and is most certainly an ‘influencer’ in the Twitterverse.

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Next, a QUICK DECISION was made to take hold of this opportunity and do something.

The choice? To SURPRISE AND DELIGHT this particular tweeter.

This person was listening, quick thinking, empowered, and ultimately successful in creating a viral story about their brand.  Have you set your social media person up to score these big wins?  How much autonomy do they have to make decisions around customer service, for example?  Do you have a listening strategy set up to monitor social media for your brand name and keywords relevant to your industry or niche?

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– Clare