Do you ever strike up a conversation and midway through it, walk away? I bet you don’t in real life, unless you’re a very rude person. Start as you mean to go on, by following it through.
Looking at the three points in my previous blog post about ‘resisting conversations’, I still have a few more questions. Are the brands that are not participating in social media having conversations with their audience, or are they just initiating a conversation and then leaving the audience to work the rest out for itself? Does traditional marketing, advertising and PR not allow the conversation to continue?
Maybe that’s it: if you don’t engage and interact with your audience, are you just an orator telling your audience what you think they want to hear?
Would your strategy be any different from the ancient Romans, like Cicero, who believed that through oration his political thoughts would spread by word of mouth? Perhaps this is where the problem lies. Many brands are comfortable starting a conversation – laying the seed for discussion, so to speak – but when it actually comes down to continuing the conversation, they vanish and hide behind their desks.
Why would companies and brands NOT want to engage in online conversations with their customers? Well, to be honest with you, I’m not really sure.
I can only really think of three reasons why companies would not want to engage in social media:
1) They have something to hide, or are scared of opening up channels to public scrutiny.
If you are listening, you’ll spot and solve the problem quickly before it bubbles up like lava – too hot to handle.
2) They believe their audience is not using that platform. Which could just be a gut feeling, for how could they know for sure?
This is changing as the younger generations grow older. My 87-year old grandmother is on Facebook! Generations use social media differently but all generations are engaged.
3) If it’s neither of the above, then maybe it’s because social media has not yet entered their lives.
Yes, it’s maybe new and difficult to grasp for some. You can’t understand what you don’t know. Be inquisitive. Facebook is not just for your teenage kids. Join in?
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