Is anyone listening?

Have you noticed that at the moment there seems to be a lot being said by a lot of people, all the time?

Is it me or is everyone a commentator? A voice for their industry? A spokesperson for things that they might, or might not, have the credentials to talk about?  Take Russell Brand who propelled himself via his social media profile @rustyrockets into the recent General Election debate with an interview with Ed Miliband on his Trews channel and in his latest bestseller- Revolution.  

Sharing knowledge and best practice has always been a great way of learning within organisations. Yet, if everyone is talking, is there anyone listening?  A recent piece of research by management consultants, Accenture in its strategy document, "Powering Profitable Sales Growth", recognises the rise of the "nonstop customer" who has constant access to knowledge and opinions, through more channels, than ever before. 

So what does this mean for brand guardians?  

Can anyone hear your brand messages over the noise around them?  

This is where experts such as Clara Shih, the founder of Hearsay Social and the author of the Facebook Era, says social media is going to flex its muscle.  By using your personalised networks (or friends/followers/connections) to filter relevant brands and services to you. With an integrated endorsement, if brands can get their tone and content right, it could be a way to block out the cacophony of the competitors' chant and a sure route to sales.

As we enter a new wave of brands finding their place in the cyberspace and with the changing sands of social media and Google algorithms, the job to be heard becomes harder and harder. At Antelope, we believe those brands that will be heard, oddly enough will be those who are listening. Listening to what their customers are saying, listening to their suppliers and making those relationships more partnerships than supply led.  And with this will come a transparency, a brand promise that will need to be authentic and consequently generate trust with their customers. 

In a world of where everyone has an opinion, make sure you are listening as well as talking.  With the nonstop customers comes the opportunity to have nonstop advocates and those brand guardians that champion the brand followers are the ones that deserve the largest share of voice.