Context and Conversations

Have you ever tried talking to people in a group without ever listening to what they’re saying? If you have, I’m going to guess you quickly changed that behavior or that you don’t get out much. Yet, surprisingly, that’s what many companies do with their corporate facebook or twitter accounts. They push out information without ever listening back.

Now it’s not all their fault. Many companies aren’t designed to handle mass feedback. But that also means that many companies are missing out on lots of good input from people who are the most interested.

Unlike email newsletters, social media efforts require you to engage in conversations more than just a one-way medium might. It takes an ongoing effort that can be foreign for most marketing types. But it reaps lots of rewards. It fosters goodwill amongst your biggest fans, and it brings invaluable feedback.

Likewise, many companies may be a little further along the curve and have many different presences they try to maintain. A facebook page, a twitter account, a linkedin group, a blog and more can create quite a burden for businesses. However, when you send out the message just through different mediums, you do a disservice to them all.

Another real world analogy: You tell different stories when you’re with different groups of friends. If you’re out with some people with happy hour, you might say different things than when you’re with your family during the holidays.

A lot of these services offer different nuances with them. They let you reach a different clientele and offer you different ways to interact. The best social media users realize this and use it to their advantage. If you offer your fans something different on each platform, they’re much more likely to engage you on each one. And their friends see it, and their friends…

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