Listening is half the conversation.

The strongest evidence of the power of community in marketing and brand awareness comes when companies fumble it.  Social media meltdowns of all kinds are common.  We see it when celebrities and politicians who don't really know their audience do an AMA and get skewered.  We see it when corporate messaging goes off the rails.  We see it when people make silly mistakes on twitter.  

Social media and the communities that exist around it are all bound up in conversations, and a conversation is half listening.  Companies fumble when they forget that part.  You can't put something out in the world and then build a wall around yourself when you're criticized for it.  You lose the trust of your community.  And if your community is a very large group of people who you are literally trying to sell something to?  You're screwed. Because even if they aren't talking to you anymore, they are talking to each other. 

The best community marketing and social media practices are intertwined, transparent, and have a built-in way to accept criticism with grace and own up to mistakes.  If you can't do that, the conversation can't continue. Offending your community and walking away does a lot more damage than a mistake followed up by a an honest apology ever could.