In social media, so much focus is given to creating content, but equally important is active listening.

Whether for Twitter, your Facebook fan page, LinkedIn or Google+, do you have a sense for what your followers or connections are all about? Do you know their interests and their areas of expertise? Do you know what posts or interactions will be most effective with them, or what they want from you?

Sure, depending on the number of your followers, you very well might not be able to answer those questions for everyone. But for those people you have identified as most important to you and your business or your career, you need to listen carefully to what they’re saying so you know what content to share with them.

By actively listening to your connections, you also can determine if they are people with whom you even want to engage. Perhaps in their posts they have demonstrated questionable ethics or that they’re not knowledgable in their field. If so, maybe you will decide that you don’t want to invest time in them or even have your personal brand connected with them.

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