Online marketing, and particularly social media marketing, amounts to nothing more than a conversation to which you play host. If you’re a smart marketer you will invite the whole world into your living room for a chat. But what do you do when you get them there?
Some companies start a conversation only to shout at their audience. They’ll drone on all day and all night about how wonderful they are, how good their products are and how much community service they are performing, but they fail to listen. Listening to your audience is one of the most important tasks with online marketing. But to listen you have to stop talking, and you have to most certainly stop shouting.
Other companies do nothing more than whisper. They show up to the conversation then don’t say much. Their audience is doing the talking while they sit back and listen.
A true conversation is interactive. It requires listening, but it also requires that you engage with your audience through your own verbal cues. You have to talk. Be careful, though. What you say and how you say it are equally important. Remember, BP CEO Tony Hayward angered a lot of people when he talked about getting his life back.
Online marketing is conversational marketing. Become good at carrying the conversation – talking when appropriate and listening the rest of the time. If you can get that down then you’ll succeed.