Why getting outside the noise is key to social listening
Having had the privilege of growing up in Colorado all my life, a fair amount of my time includes being in the outdoors doing what Colorado has to offer. Whether skiing, hiking, biking, fishing, or hunting, there is a great deal one can learn about the art of listening in the outdoors. There is an amazing amount of noise in the woods. Layer upon layer of sound that together form a numbing hush. Dissecting the layers to hear the individual messages is a skill. Capturing it is what makes the listening more than just hearing.
It may be obvious when you’re alone in the vast Colorado outdoors, or any outdoor spot you frequent, how small a cog you really are in the nature of things. For me, the noise of the day falls away so fast it becomes nearly deafening to hear what is really going on around me. From a measurable standpoint, the volume is near zero, but the conversation could not be clearer. The level of awareness is a combination of seeing, feeling, knowing what is around you. The layers of the noise that lead to the conversation. It may be the direction of the wind, the flow of the stream, the angle of the sun, the edge of a carving ski, that rises above the noise.Whatever that key is, it is the voice of the current conversation. Most important however, is not the key, but he ability to sort it out from the other noise going on around you. As you’re reading this if you’re an outdoorsman, you understand this complexity.
My appreciation of the lessons learned over the years were not intended to be used as analogy for the digital world including social media. So why then does this matter in the world of Facebook, or Twitter, or any social platform? Social platforms are similar to being the wilderness when it comes to noise and listening. Imagine the diverse landscapes you traverse in your travels and the noise unique to each. Social media is just as wide and ranging.
Think about your favorite camping spot, riffle, slope, trail, or honey hole. Think about all the real estate that surrounds it that you pass by. Most of it is just “noise” around that special spot where you find yourself and that conversation that is separate from the noise. Now apply this thought to your social marketing. Have you listened; separated out that unique conversation with your audience that rises above the noise of the niche?
Get outside the noise of social media. There are important conversations going on under the noise; if you can’t hear them you can’t act on them.