Even the most difficult endeavors begin by taking the first step. In business, as in life, "we may convince others by our own arguments, but we can only persuade them by their own." [Joseph Joubert] Marketing is business, communications is a technology that provides the lifeblood of thriving relationships, conversation is the opportunity to get out of our own way and see things from a different perspective.
If you have been watching the social media space from where you sit and are still unconvinced that it is here to stay - take the plunge.
2009 is the year of execution
Maybe you'll discover your "why" in one of these conversations (by month).
After spending countless hours in front of this screen, I am now more than ever convinced that social media is the modern version of the telephone. It still comes down to saying, doing, or producing something valuable for your customer. And customers are ready for those companies who want to talk with them about them. The marketing conversation was always that way; so forget influentials, in viral marketing context matters.
For companies used to setting the tone by controlling the message, these may seem uncertain times. When a press statement misses Target, the online community piles on. The era of talking past each other is over - and that is valid for you, too. How do you go about revealing yourself to others - how much is appropriate, is that really you online? Your work speaks louder than words, but can you be authentic?
There is no need to build new castles or ivory towers, leading brands lead - and, if you're willing to start over with one line of your business and build a new conversation with customers, 14 year olds may think you're cool. Think of online as a blank slate, do your homework and help your company execute marketing as context building - here are 5 ideas.
With the emergence and rise of mass social media, how a blog is born may inspire you to start one of your own.The top ten reasons why your customer service fails may provide you with an incentive to explore new ways to provide support and connect with your customers. What happens when you have joined the space though? Here are ten ideas for conversation.
You should know that there is power in collaboration as well as plenty of inspiration you can orchestrate for your customers and employees. But has Web 2.0 made you happier? It's a valid question, especially as we spend more and more time online. Part of that happiness lies in the reciprocation of kindness that others extend to us. Learn how to write a business recommendation and make more friends.
With all this talk of personalization and injecting a human voice in your communications, is it fair to ask - is your business lifestreaming? After all, interests feed relationships. You could also have "fragmentation innovation." Create new options through market reputation and authority, but there needs to be an evolution of business as markets and customers don't stand still. How do you go about taking the measure of marketing conversations?
You may ask yourself, what if I fail? How do you go about connecting the dots on social media and the future? How does a company dip its toes in the conversation? Is it true that we could be designing business through interactions? The answers to these questions are ours to give. Creating a totally immersive experience seems to be where it's at. If interactions are designed to be transformative experiences, then the business where the interactions occur, will be transformed.
Are you too accessible? Many ask that question and worry. Accessibility comes down to making choices that align with our purpose - in work and in life. We also learn to look at conversation as negotiation. After all, we buy, we join, we connect on the basis of emotion. The award for most emotionally-charged tool goes to Twitter. It's immediate, short, and can be fast. Learn business uses of Twitter and keep your nose clean.
Asking the right question makes a big difference - are you using your influence? Mentoring, sharing, highlighting good causes, helping power connections that extend beyond your self are all worthy ways to use influence. There are also times when plan B is better than plan A. Regardless of what plan you choose, behaving well will reflect on your credibility, especially when in a tough economy branding matters.
With all this talk of conversation and sharing, I do wonder if you have thought of the idea and practices as organic marketing. These people have and they are beginning to show us the way, a very different kind of behavior for business. Benefit from thinking that your logo is a symbol, your product can be a social object. This outreach by Pepsi via Edelman to 25 influential bloggers was the object of fascination by many. Why pick Conversation Agent? Some asked. Maybe this year-end recap will help you see why. ROI requires focus - on execution.
There are so many choices for November that I encourage you to dig deeper, if you're so inclined. Why start a blog and 25 ways to make it work was the most saved post on Delicious and the most linked ever - with 301 saves to date. Glad I could be of service. A topic that you may overlooked, but that will take center stage in the next couple of years is the light before the storm. Crisis communications is taking on a whole new dimension with community. One thing is for sure - companies need to learn how to talk with customers differently.
Lots of choices for December as well, so I will highlight a couple of important reminders. Change the conversation, change the game is an invitation to take a look at the opportunity that awaits you. But you need trust in order to do that and remember that the future is now.
I hope you will find this content useful and adaptable to your circumstances and ideas. There are many more ways to participate and engage, as many as there are professionals interested in doing so - I've done it my way. One last word of advice. This is not the whole universe of your customers. It's becoming more important and influential, yes. But it's not all there is - you need to get out more.
Happy New Year!
© 2006-2009 Valeria Maltoni. All rights reserved.