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@Jen - business = marketing. No idea why companies insist on relegating marketing to promotion. Welcome to the business!

@Gavin - of course it does. It's just marketers get to be teachers for once, if they want. That's a good way to make a fresh start back into the core of the business, don't you think?

@Margaret - I wrote series of posts on what you suggest, so I'm right there with you. Let me ask you something: when you talk to a friend, or a community, do you think about delivering messages, or do you focus on connecting? I hear what you're saying in terms of direct response, we just need to be mindful that the pendulum doesn't keep swinging wildly. I have people who ask me how can they have more Twitter followers? And I ask them, how can you be more helpful? Engagement is a two-way street. Companies are barely scratching the surface in applying old direct marketing rules to social media. It's a different ballgame altogether. I surely hope we evolve from spam emails sent to lists, now spam tweets sent to keywords, BS awards created just to get sponsorship money, BS praise on a social network to put in a link, and shotgun approaches to anything. Early days indeed. Good comment, thank you!

Thanks for the review and insight. I believe that listening, including sentiment analysis, is an important part of social engagement. However, listening / marketing research is only a small part of the social cycle that needs to be incorporated into the core of business marketing practice. Listening, engaging in direct dialogue, developing and building trust, testing and delivering marketing messages, creating and measuring calls to action and using all this to drive new and repeat business...these are hallmarks to an integrated approach to social marketing that CAN be a part of a business' marketing strategy. Companies are still learning what they can and should do in social media to engage their customers; integrating listening strategies in their overall research is one large step towards incorporating social media as a part of an overall marketing strategy and practice--not yet another marketing tactic that may come or go.

Great topic, thanks Valeria. I will grab a copy of the ebook! But it's also important to remember that this also extends way beyond marketing. Listening opens up opportunities for many other parts of the enterprise - so long as we turn our ears inwards from time to time.

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