Conversation Starter or a Broadcaster?

Keeping the dialogue free and open for both sides.
With any circle of friends, (or customers, clients) online or offline, time and effort are keys to building positive relationships. Steadily increase your network, following, and exposure while communicating and building relationships with your current customers. And make it a 2-way conversation.

Especially in today’s social networks, Brands need to show that they truly care and spend the time getting to know consumers. Focusing on the amount of effort they put into these  relationships will give them more credibility within a community and help grow their networks. Brands using social networking often mistake using live web as a broadcasting platform, to spit out anything and everything instead of adhering to the culture of getting the conversation started and then waiting to hear back from consumers.

In a study delivered by Forrester beginning of 2008, 84% of all global CMO’s said social media marketing was their #1 priority at their marketing agenda’s for 2008-09.  Why is it important to start conversations? Because all brands have learned that they should listen to consumers to be able to ignite mutual beneficial relationships.

Social media is fundamentally changing the lives of consumers, of all of us. Communication is changing. This change is very different – it’s a fundamental shift both in style and direction. And it is happening faster than ever before. So how to keep-up, and intermingled with all this social dialogue, and with a list of web technology that goes on and on…blogging and micro-blogging platforms, RSS reading/filtering/mixing, podcasting, vodcasting? You don’t need to become a tech geek. But you do need to become a curiosity geek. You have to be eager to learn, willing to leave your zone of confidence and try new communication styles and new tools. And at the same time, stay transparent with a personal voice, in all your actions and messaging.

Being curious will get you a long way, and most of all – it will get you started.
Start your story with a bang! The classic approach to a great speech, concert, movie, book…applies to conversation as well. It’s about the Power Opening. Captivate and create an emotional bond with the audience. What is the one idea you want the audience/customer to hear, remember, and act on? This isn’t about broadcasting your brand and it’s benefits or a collection of facts, this is about a story. Stories make your talk come alive. Storytelling is a powerful way to drill your message into the listener’s mind. Stories engage the audience and raise their levels of motivation, acceptance, and approval. No matter how dry the topic, a personal story will build trust with the audience since you’ll come across as human. Make the audience/customer the hero of the story. Turn the ‘I’/’Brand’ in your story into the ‘we’. Use metaphors and analogies to help explain new concepts. And analogies are best taken from common experiences that everyone shares, so ground the story in the context of the moment. Fitting the climate, culture and mission of the audience without losing the spirit of your message.

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