Listen. Engage. Respond.

July 21, 2010

By Guest Blogger Lisa Neary

According to Arianna Huffington, a part of the Huffington Post's success has been based on that simple strategy: Listen. Engage. Respond. It's no secret that the general sentiment toward Corporate America is at an all-time low. Couple consumer doubt with the economic hardships that the majority of Americans are facing and marketers are now faced with using their conversations in social media to help public relations initiatives to foster trust and loyalty to the brand, product or company.

For The Huffington Post part of building this trust has been through creating content around topics that the readership cares about. How do they know what their readers want? They listen and ask then they act. Arianna reminded us that, self-expression has become the new form of entertainment and they foster this dialogue to further nurture reader relations. Leveraging these insights has enabled The Huffington Post to cultivate a participatory and loyal readership. Here are four other ways they continue to differentiate:

  1. Watch the trends. With a small internal staff, THP leverages a vast pool of talent who contribute to the internet newspaper through blog posts.
  2. Get a cause. Create a pulse, a personality, a value system for your brand. Customers want a connection to your brand that resonates with them.
  3. Accept failure. Or run the risk of becoming stale. The biggest risks come with the biggest rewards. Experiment.
  4. Be nimble. Operate as flat as possible and encourage input from all levels of the organization.

While these ideas may not be new, they are the tenets to developing a successful presence in the social media presence where your audience is savvy, is easily distracted and demands a more personal relationship. As Arianna explains, "Time is long. Life is short." Slow down, start having some meaningful conversations with your audience, and be sure to take notes.

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