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Marketers Talk Too Much, or Always Circle Before You Social

Unlike most teenagers, I took Drivers Ed seriously. And it paid off. Here’s my resume:

  1. Never been pulled over
  2. Successfully parallel parked the first try on my driver’s license exam
  3. Drove for ten days in Costa Rica with zero fatalities

There’s one thing I’ve never applied from the Sears Driving School curriculum—the circle check. Does anybody actually take a 360-degree strut around their car before driving? Apparently, one person does. For every other person on the planet, this is not a common practice, but after last night, I may become a circle-checker.

My plane touched down around 9:30 PM, well after the sun goes down this time of year in northern California. Eager to get home, I bustled to my parked car, threw my backpack and roller in the back, and took off toward I-5 South. As I went through the parking lot exit and merged into traffic, a loud beep blared in the cabin of my Toyota 4Runner. At first, I couldn’t tell where it was coming from. Then I noticed my traction control light blinking in unison with each loud beep. Just as I noticed it, the beeping stopped.

The only time this had happened before was when I was sliding backward down an icy dirt road, which is understandable. The ground outside was dry, which made the beeping hard to explain, but hey, it’s a 2003, maybe that’s just one of its new “quirks.”

10 Social Marketing Lessons from Forbes Most Valuable Brands

After getting on the freeway, it started happening again, but not for as long this time. This seemed like a step in the right direction, but I couldn’t help but notice that the car kept wanting to pull hard to the left. The car has some alignment issues; maybe I had just forgotten about the pull during my time away.

The next morning, as my wife was leaving for work, she asked, “Did you drive home last night on a flat tire?” For all you “Car Talk” fans, you probably saw this one coming. Unfortunately, I did not. #shouldhavecirclechecked

Sometimes, we marketers treat our craft like I treated that traction control alert. We’re so headstrong with our own plans and tasks that we just close our ears and press onward. Last night, my car was trying to tell me something, something important. And, guess what? Your social audience is trying to tell you something important, as well.

Sometimes they address you directly. Other times, they talk about you within earshot, but you just don’t bother to turn and listen. 

Marketers Talk Too Much

You know those people you only see at parties? When you talk, they nod their heads to make it look like they’re listening, but really, you can tell they are just conjuring something to say next that will turn the attention back on themselves.

Yeah, that one. You can’t stand that person. But, as marketers, we are too often that person with our audience.

We spend so much time crafting the perfect plan, that when it comes time to execute, we just force-feed our message down our audience’s throat.

We didn’t listen to them when we built the plan, and we sure aren’t about to let those pesky audience members get in the way of us executing our masterpiece.


I’m guilty too (sheepish hand-raise). But we can change our ways. How? Follow one simple rule. 

Always Circle Check Before You Social

What your audience says about your brand, your products, your competitors, and your industry are all critical components to developing a content plan that will appeal to them.

The way your audience uses social to discuss these topics is their way of telling you what messages, channels, media types, products, and more they find most interesting.

It’s also a good way to determine if you are about to put your foot in your mouth by accidentally touching a sensitive nerve. But no brand has ever done that on social, right?

A Few Takeaways

  1. Circle check your social presence before you act. If you don’t, you’re blindly firing off content. Who knows how, where, and with whom it will land.
  2. If you’re in the middle of a campaign, don’t ignore the beeping. Be willing to acknowledge if something isn’t working, and make the adjustment mid-campaign.
  3. Get a tool that makes sense for your needs. Combing the internet on your own is a fruitless task, and turning to tools that bombard you with features that just make it more complicated is also a losing approach.
You can use Simply Measured Listening to understand deeply what people are saying about your brand and target topics.

Find a tool that makes it easy to circle check social at a glance, and pick up on where every beep is coming from, without requiring you to read a manual.

If you’d like to learn more about how Simply Measured Listening can help you craft better awareness campaigns, tell you who is mentioning you and your competitors, and identify influencers to help your message land, download the guide below or request a personalized demo here. 

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Colin Zalewski

Product Marketing Manager at Simply Measured with a passion for full-funnel digital marketing. I enjoy a round of golf, a Kentucky Mule, and warm evening walks with my wife and dog.

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