Listening is an important part of social strategy. It is important to know what’s being said about your brand where and by whom. I would argue that it is more important to listen to the conversations in your category or industry. In the past, I have called this delineation listening to respond (branded listening) and listening to understand (category listening). And here’s the big problem, when you are listening to just your brand, all you can hear is the echo of your own voice. Brands are creating more and more content each day and this content is being shared on their social channels and it is not following the 80/20 rule, so, the conversation is usually about you. And when you listen to respond, you will see your word clouds be, well, all about YOU. Which doesn’t tell you a whole heaping lot about the conversation. You might see that your brand or product is being mentioned frequently in social channels. And you might be cheering about that, until you see that the mentions are coming from YOU.