Most of us get what it takes to have a good conversation in our daily interactions face to face or on the phone.  But what does it mean to have conversations when using social marketing?  It’s easy enough to think about and easy enough to do if you just frame it in terms of your in person interactions.

So imagine just for a second that you were meeting someone for the first time.  You like the person enough to spend the time with them and in general you’re excited to hear what they have to say.  So you meet for coffee somewhere.

Maybe you shake hands and exchange business cards and then the “conversation” begins.  Your “friend” begins talking about something they’re doing, “yesterday I went to” blah blah.  You find it pretty interesting and know enough about communication to nod your head, put out verbal cues that you’re listening and at some point you try to relate to them through a story of your own, showing that you do know what they are talking about and that you’re interested in having a real conversation.

They don’t seem to notice that you said anything.  They’re quiet for a while and then go on talking about that same subject.  Hmm.  OK, well maybe what you said just wasn’t interesting or maybe they were thinking about something else.  The conversation continues and again you try to relate and again you’re completely ignored.  What the…?  You’re a big enough fan of this person to keep going and eventually you start talking about something that you find very interesting and that you suspect this other person will see as important too.

Apparently they don’t.  They don’t comment on it, they don’t talk about it and yet again they just start talking about themselves.  This goes on.

And now you’re probably thinking, “yeah, this goes on but not for long”.  Why?  Because it’s RUDE.  Not listening to others, not responding when someone reaches out to you in conversation, just being totally self-absorbed isn’t a way to make friends.  It’s a way to annoy people.

And yet how often do we do just that in our social media venues?  How often do we just post about us, our organization, our business?  Do we watch to see when people respond and make sure we’ve responded to them?  Thanking them for reposting?  Continuing the conversation if they comment or post a question?

It’s too easy to see social marketing as a one way information dump for you and your organization or business.  But that won’t gain you any friends and eventually, unless you are just so important people can’t ignore you, people will stop caring about what you’re saying.

If you’re not reposting important things on Facebook or Twitter or sharing information with your network and instead only talking about yourself you’re not being a good conversationalist.  If you’re ignoring the conversation you started you’re not being a good conversationalist.  But more importantly you’re not networking.  This doesn’t mean reposting everything… then you’re just that needy weird friend.  But when you find something interesting SHARE IT!

The very idea of social networking and marketing is that we’re all spreading the word about things we find important, including those things other people have brought to us.  So make that happen.  Those articles you found interesting on Facebook, share them!  When someone makes a post on Twitter about you or about something you find interesting, respond!

If you don’t or feel like you don’t have the time then get out because frankly we want to talk, not just listen.

(there are lots of articles that inspired this post not just one so the reviews of great writings will start tomorrow… and yes, please do respond to this if you’d like.  I do want to start a conversation!)


About Jessica Dally

A random blog about travel, personal transformation, riding motorcycles solo, social media and whatever else seems interesting at the moment. View all posts by Jessica Dally

2 responses to “Conver-what?

  • Scot More

    Over a year ago I made a conscious decision to expand my social life. I explored several different social sites and settled on one, Facebook. Unlike our younger generation who are all over the web, this 48 yo is only able to keep up with one. Since then I have gone from being a workaholic with a ZERO social life and alone, to a workaholic with thousands of workaholic friends!!!!! I have NEVER been this busy in my life and I’m thoroughly blissful. I use social networking to educate, advocate while socializing at the same time. So there is a little narcissism in my conversations. I’m sure many see my passions with Ending Homelessness, Removing social barriers or finding a cure for AIDS or publically supporting the rights for our Transgender community (the “T” in LGBTQ!!!) as being self serving. I could care less. I am simply sharing what I do daily, hoping that others may learn something or be inspired to think or do something differently. I learn from those who live their lives openly authentic and SHARE freely with others.

    In my opinion, social networking does NOT work until the conversation comes full circle. Example: Recently, Myra Ical was brutally murdered 7 blocks from my home. Myra was living as a transgender woman (M to F) but all news media here in Houston were reporting her as “Man found dead in a known drug infested, prostitute, homeless area”
    The entire LGBTQ community was in an up roar. Not only was this disrespectful to Myra but EVERYTHING about these reports was incorrect and false. So we organized a Memoriam for her to raise awareness. This is nothing new, we have been organizing protest rallies for decades. In the past, never more than a hand full of people would show for these rallies and it took weeks to organize. In a three short day period, thru social networks, we were able to rally over 400 people and all 4 news media to attend Myra’s Memorial!!!!! I truly believe that we WILL find the person(s) responsible for her death. Myra is the 7th Murder of a Trans person here in Houston over the past 10 years whose killer has never been found. It is social networking that CHANGED to media to report her death correctly, It is

    Personally, I am not in a position to expand or add to my social networking habits. I’m simply WAY to busy. This response to your blog is out the character for me as it takes time to thoroughly respond. There is much to discuss and much much more to explore. Make this a Great Adventure.

  • jessicadally

    I think we’re on the same page here. You’re sharing your passion for other organizations, that’s a conversation. And I know that if someone in your network shared something important you would spread the word about it too. That’s exactly the point. You care, I care and together we can make amazing change.

    As for expanding, you don’t need to. And no one should expand to any social media they don’t have time to follow through with. Just like being a good friend you want to limit yourself to where you can commit to engaging… and if that’s just one place that’s GREAT!

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