I asked you who was listening in 2008 and here is what you said:


Mitch Joel, President at Twist Image

His Pick: Dell

I’m going to find it really hard for anybody to beat Dell. I think Dell has been doing an amazing job of listening, personally, but I know that there are many companies out there. My guess is Chris, that the challenge is going to be, how do you pick them, because as the years go on, and as these channels evolve, you are having more and more companies that are listening and becoming very, very active in that.

Mitch’s Blog: Six Pixels of Separation


Alan Wolk, Digital Strategy Consultant

His Picks: Comcast, Zappos, IBM, Pizza Hut, and Southwest Airlines

Comcast, for sure. They made the front page of the New York Times with Frank and their @comcastcares Twitter account.

Zappos- CEO Tony Hsieh is on Twitter all the time, along with several hundred other Zappos employees. They also have a YouTube channel, Facebook site. They listen

IBM – I’ve spoken at two conferences with Sandy Carter from IBM and they are doing a stellar job of listening to their B2B audience throughout the social media spectrum

Pizza Hut – their new app lets Facebook fans order pizzas straight from Facebook. That’s listening to their audience, who they are and what they want.

Pletny more- Southwest on Twitter- but suffice to say it is not just Dell.

Alan’s Blog: The Toad Stool


Andy Nulman, CMO of Airborne Mobile

His Pick: Woot

The company does a heckuva lot of listening.

Andy’s Blog: Pow! Right Between The Eyes!


Michael Rubin, Word of Mouth Marketing Expert at GasPedal

His Pick: Cisco Systems, Graco, Home Depot, Intel, Kaiser Permanente, UPS, Wells Fargo and Wal-Mart

I’m biased, of course, but I feel that the eight brands who spoke at the BlogWell event in October showed that they are truly listening to consumers. Even though though they were there to talk about social media tools and tactics, each and every one said that it starts with listening. That is a remarkable thing to consider.

The brands represented were:

  • Cisco Systems
  • Graco 
  • The Home Depot
  • Intel
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • UPS
  • Wells Fargo
  • Wal-mart

Michael’s Blog: The Blog Council


Grant Simmons, Senior Account Manager, SEO at The Search Agency

His Pick: Fit Fuel and Zappos

Two of the most customer-centric brands I know from great service and ‘big ears:

  • Fit Fuel
  • Zappos

Many stories – and not just listening, empathetic too.. key.

Though Fit Fuel is a lot smaller, the companies both have presences in Vegas and the two CEO’s chat — *very* similar passionate service cultures.

Fit Fuel is building the ‘customer handbook’ a la Zappos.

You can follow and chat with Fit Fuel on Twitter to get a better understanding of the CEO’s drive for customer service excellence.

Specifically they’ve built an internal service culture that truly believes in customer is king credo

The principles of the CEO can be viewed here.

Grant’s Blog: One Rock at a Time


Beth Brodovsky, President at Iris Creative Group Inc.

Her Pick: Zappos

I agree about Zappos. I love that they don’t charge for returns, and I recently read (in CRM magazine, I think) that after the training period is over, the president offers $2000 to every new employee – to quit! They only want people who buy into their training to stay. Fascinating.

Beth’s Blog: Mingle


Rob Williams, Internet Strategist at Orangejack

His Pick: Dell

I agree about Dell. They listened to me on Twitter and solved my problem. Here’s my short story:

@GeoffAtDell Rocks

The screen on my Dell Latitude d610 stopped working. I moaned about it on twitter. Some Dell folks heard my cry. @GeoffAtDell found out it was the screen inverter that went bad and sent me to a link for the part on eBay. I bought a new one on for $10. As this photo shows, it worked! Thanks Geoff and all at Dell who listen and solve.

Rob’s Blog: Orangejack


Brad Seraphin, Marketing Director at iList

His Pick: iList

iList was listening to Google alerts on craigslist. Lots of crimes and scam stories.

I was listening to Bob Pearson, Dell’s Vice President of Communities and Conversations. This stuck out:

“What we’re finding is that people want to sign up as fans of a topic area where they can learn about deal. Twitter is really like a science project. We should be building a social media alert system so anyone who wants to learn about certain type of deal we can hit across any social media site.”

iList is that system and more.

I would not be so bold as to say that listening “drives” decisions made at iList. However, listening adds to our awareness and our awareness influences our decisions.

As to your question on launch, I would say both. Our board has both channels dialed in clearly.

Rather than speaking for the whole company, I’ll get specific. My favorite place to listen is my Facebook friend feed. Google alerts are great. Obviously the tech blogs are pretty key for anyone in the industry. Twitter is more than a science project to me.

Brad’s Link : iList


Dave Maskin, Trade Show Traffic Builder at WireNames.com

His Pick: Big Oil??

The thing that got my attention (whether they mean it or it’s just a gimmick) is the fact that, all of a sudden, all the big oil companies started running ads for alternative fuels and energy. It’s like, within the last six months, they JUST realized that they better start promoting themselves as a “Green” business. Now, let’s see if they actually deliver…

Dave’s Link: WireNames


Ruud Hein, Senior SEO, Web Development Consultant at Search Engine People

His Pick: Evernote

Evernote went from a desktop only client to being a multiclient and web-based service. Version 3 of their software was quite a lot different from version 2.2. In some ways it was stronger, in some ways it was weaker.

Dave Enberg has done an incredible job at their forums of calming upset customers and making everybody feel good and secure.

There was a real back-and-forth between customer and Evernote. They didn’t just listen to their customers; they communicated with them.

Ruud’s Link: Search Engine People


Sandeep Arora, CEO at Telezent and Architect of VizEdu

His Pick: Southwest Airlines

Southwest airlines have embraced Social Media harmoniously. Their blog “Nuts about Southwest” has awesome videos of behind the scene processes – like Putting a Plane back in sky in 35 minutes, Aircraft Cleaning, How Crabs reach your dinner table in 12 hrs, etc. They are engaging customers by providing entertaining stories (videos, pictures, etc) at the same time providing channels for customer conversation.They proactively listen to Social Media – someone contacted me and thanked me when I blogged about them on my personal blog.

Sandeep’s Blog: VizEdu


What brand didn’t get the mention they deserve?