Join the Conversation
As you can see from the previous example, listening to the conversation only identifies the opportunity. The hairdresser acted upon what he learned by joining the conversation with a discount offered on the item that was being discussed. That's what led to his success.
Joining the conversation can be as simple as reaching out to someone who posted a message about your company or product, responding to a question someone asked about something in your industry, or offering another point of view on a blog.
Before you respond you should decide on your strategy and voice. You should keep your posts casual and authentic and you should use the same voice as your audience. If you're speaking to a professional audience, SMS language won't translate well and it could come across as lazy or careless. However, if your audience uses SMS text language, professional language will come across stuffy and corporate and you'll lose them just as easily. But, no matter how you say it, your messages must be relevant and to the point.
It's also important to draw a clear line of distinction between your personal and corporate social outlets. Your friends might care that you just ran your car through the car wash but that information isn't relevant to your professional network.
Also, if the thought of updating Twitter, Facebook, and other social channels seems like a big task, you can use a tool like TweetDeck which allows you to post a message to different channels at the same time.