Web 2.0 Marketing Tip #26: The Need for Conversations
By Ralf Skirr.
Web 2.0 marketing is very different from traditional marketing
In traditional marketing, what simply happens is that you’ll create an ad, purchase ad space somewhere, and then wait for the buyers to come in. They might come, or they might not.
It’s quite the opposite with social networking sites.
In Facebook, Twitter, or other social sites, you can’t just create a profile, add some information, and then wait for people to show up and buy. You have to take the initiative: you have to take action!
Web 2.0 is All about Conversations
If you are going to use social networks for marketing, then you have to know that you are expected to socialize and to talk. A lot.
Look at Twitter for example.
You’ll see that the majority of the posts are from people engaged in communicating, reacting to each other’s posts. Some of the tweets will be:
- A directly response to what someone else has posted. This starts a nice, long conversation.
- Re-post of their friends’ message, so that more people can read it. This is commonly called retweeting.
- Suggestion of specific profiles to friends and followers.
- Recommendation of links to other people’s web sites. The owner of the websites can be friends or followers.
To get something from Web 2.0 marketing there’s no doubt you need to start similar conversations, too. By engaging with people on your network, you’ll get more attention and you will get connections to real people, both customer and professionals. Start conversations today; otherwise, you will find yourself losing more than you are gaining.
Why Start Conversations?
“So, I might get losses instead of gains if I don’t start conversation. However, if my products and services are good, and if am courteous and approachable, shouldn’t that be enough?” Well, that is true. However, you must know that the more you engage in conversations with your friends or followers, the greater your base of people will become.
At some point, it’ll become self-perpetuating, so that your friends bring in new friends on a regular basis. However, if you can’t maintain good conversations, your efforts might be in vain. Here are some ways to start and maintain conversation:
- Start responding to your friend’s posts.
- Keep up the conversation when some else sends a response to you or when a follower recommends or retweets your post.
- Actively recommend/retweet other people’s posts if they are useful and you think your friends will be interested in them.
- Recommend links to interesting web sites.
This strategy, of course, is not only true for Twitter but for all Web 2.0 sites, regardless if it is Facebook, MySpace, or a blog that you are using. As long as you are using a medium where people might engage in conversation through commenting or trackbacks, you should always to take the initiative, start conversations, and keep them alive.
On a final note, I suggest not to do Web 2.0 conversations randomly. Also think about focusing only on a couple of sites at a time. This way, you can guarantee that you will have enough time to engage in conversations through each of your selected medium and build strong relationships with the people who follow you on those Web 2.0 sites.
If you really want to use several social networks at a time, say, 6 or more, then here is what you have to do:
- Choose 2 or 3 main sites where you will take the time to engage customers.
- For the rest of the sites, choose to post and react only when you have spare time or when absolutely necessary such as in cases wherein someone is posting bad things about you.
In the end, it’s more profitable, not to mention more fun to heavily engage in only 1,2, or 3 sites and ignore the rest.