There’s an old fable about a shoe company that sends two executives to a remote region of the world to study the prospects for expansion.

The first reports back in utter dismay, ‘It’s a bust. We will get absolutely creamed if we go here – no one wears shoes.
The second reports back in utter triumph, ‘They have no shoes! Tremendous opportunity here – we can totally win!

Every day on the social web you have opportunities.

There are connections that can be made. There are evangelists waiting to be spurred into action. There are customers waiting to be won over. Whenever someone is openly talking about your brand, that is a chance to join in the conversation.

Much of the discussion surrounding social media monitoring is focused on the crises. On ensuring there are no houses on fire. And yes, that’s important; dreadfully so.

However, disaster is easy to find. Disaster comes crashing through the front plate glass window with sirens blaring.

Averting disaster is a cost savings. But recognizing and acting on an opportunity, that’s value creation.

Would you go through that door? by The RocketeerOpportunity comes late in the night. Taps lightly on the back, kitchen door. Never rings the bell.

You need to dig deeper and listen much more intently if you are going to uncover the opportunities. More importantly, you need to be ready to act when an opportunity presents itself. Have you defined what it is you are looking for? Does your communications team have a mandate to act when opportunity presents itself? Have you empowered all of your employees to act by presenting a well defined social media policy?

Opportunity is waiting for you out there – will you find it?