Friday, November 5, 2010

Conversation IS the NEW Campaign!

by Jessica Northey
Are you having conversations with your followers or are you just babbling at them and not listening?

My philosophy has been to thank everyone who retweets or reposts me, @reply to those who talk to me or about me thank those who mention me or “shoutout” at me. And while this can be an arduous task for me with close to 90,000 followers, I work from home and am monitoring conversation for clients all day long; so it is easy for me to switch from an email or telephone call to my tweetdeck and respond to all that have talked to me. I have conditioned myself for this the past two years and what takes some people hours, takes me just moments.
Now, this is just one part of the process.

As you can imagine I didn’t have hundreds of people a day speaking to me in the beginning.
I had to get outside myself and speak to others. I had to build my network one conversation at a time!

Here are couple of things you should keep in mind when you are engaging, listening or “having conversations with followers/followees”:

-You are not better than anyone else, a superiority complex or a “too good to speak to the little people” is not going to get you results and will probably turn people away. In fact, wondering why you have very few followers/conversations? This could be your problem!
-Quit telling people to follow you and start following/reaching out to them!  I can’t even begin to understand why it is so important to have people following you that you aren’t following. I am so embarrassed for people who have very few followers and are constantly begging people to follow them but they don’t follow these people. Once you really GET Social Media you will understand that last statement and if you are one of these people I say to you: Are you really that important? Are you really that interesting?
-You never know where your next friend, lead P1 (core listener) is going to come from. [{insert gratuitous Guy Kawasaki quoting Robert Scoble here} "When I first started on Twitter, Robert Scoble told me to follow everyone who followed me. “But why, Robert, would I follow everyone like that?” The answer is that it’s courteous to do so and because when you do, some people will respond to you and everyone who follows them will see this—which is more exposure for you."]

We have been taught to put together “campaigns” of how we will speak to others through traditional media outlets. But that is a one way street and Social Media, according to its own definition is meant to be social. Most people in the Broadcasting industry are used to, broadcasting or even narrowcasting. So, Let me introduce you to your new best friend: communicasting! The exchange of thoughts, messages, or information by transferring information from one to another; or many to eachother; and connecting with other people.

How do you connect with others?
-Speak with people, not at them!
-Ask them questions.
-Check out their profile. Ask them about their town, their career, children, animals, family.
-Check out the link to their website.
-Check out their Social Media sites.
-Read their blogs and make comments.
-Notice their photos or background.
-Forget ‘What am I doing?’ and ask your followers ‘what are they doing?’
-Use, or to locate people in your industry, geo location or interests.

We all could do better by thinking a little less about ourselves and more about others.

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