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!)