Yesterday I commented on Brian Clark’s observations on Social Media, but in thinking about it there’s another piece of conversational marketing that I didn’t address – let me explain.
Just as in real live conversations you need to pay attention not only to the words someone uses, but also their actions – known as body language – online conversational marketing has it’s body language equivalents as well. Not every customer wants to have a discussion with you – some just want to use your product or service. So you might have a blog on your site, for example, where your customers could comment – but many don’t. They may read your blog, but never comment, thereby never initiating a conversation.
But the way you make your products and services available – the way you interact with your customers online, is a part of conversational marketing as well.
An example that comes to mind is the little local shop where I get my hair cut. I’m not the type of person who really enjoys getting my hair cut, it’s a chore – something to check off the list (No offense to my stylist – she’s terrific!) But I’ve noticed that since they implemented an online scheduling tool, I’m much more regular about getting my hair cuts scheduled. It’s not that I want to have a conversation with my stylist – but the control that she’s given me in the way I can interact and schedule my appointments (getting to see all of her available slots and allowing me to choose what works best for me) has increased the number of times shes sees me each year. And I’m not alone; my stylist shared with me that the online scheduling tool has had the same effect for a lot of her clients.
So when you think about conversational marketing – don’t forget that it includes all the ways you offer your customers to interact with you – giving them choices, allowing them to have the control in how they engage your services – having an interactive rather than a static website, this is the true “magic” behind the social media phenomenon.