Tag Archives: conversation

Like Talking to A Brick Wall

With Twitter “going mainstream” and all, we’re seeing a lot of brands and companies create Twitter accounts. Some of them aren’t really contributing to the conversation – from very few updates to blasting advertisements and links to their Web sites – but others are embracing the Twitter community and reaching out to people who have expressed interest in the brand (thanks, Summize!).

 

I think this is great. Using Twitter to reach out on behalf of your brand demonstrates that you’re interested in what people are saying, that you’re listening. I love it; I really believe that many people are missing out on this great opportunity to connect with an audience and commend those brands that are using Twitter well.

 

But…

 

Twitter is all about conversation. You can search for your brand name and direct responses to people who tweeted about it, but if you’re just going to ignore their responses, then you’ve failed to uphold your end of the conversation. That initial comment just seems like an empty gesture, and people’s responses were a waste of time, effort and thought.

 

We know how important it is to build relationships with the audience. Neglecting responses is not going to score any points. Even a packaged “@username Let me know if I can help with [whatever product]” is better than nothing at all, in my opinion. What do you think? Would you rather get something dumb on your “@Replies” page or nothing?

 

And if you’re interested in my train of thought here: Last week I joined a Twitter conversation about how a certain product (one with which all PR folks are very familiar) was causing trouble. Someone from the company responded to those of us who had mentioned the product by name with some facts and a few “tips” for use. I responded that I actually do like the product, was just joking around, but thanks for reaching out, how is social media working out for your company?, etc., etc., etc. and got nothing back. And you know, that bugs me.

 

*Photo by dlemieux

Commandeering the Conversation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last week David Mullen asked people who read his blog to “share gems.” As I read the comments following the post, I noticed how many of them were less “business tips to be a better professional” and more “wise words to be a better person.” While some people added tidbits from professional mentors, others shared quotations that had become their mantras.

 

It’s funny how the comments on a blog post can change the conversation.

 

The same thing happened a couple months ago when Chris Brogan posted “50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business.” (In fact, I tweeted about my interest.) In the comments section, someone mentioned that an intern was working on the company’s Twitter account. Chris responded and asked, “Is Twitter an intern-level platform?” and “Did you put your brand in the hands of an intern?” These questions spurred even more comments about the roles of interns, who they are and what they can handle. (As an intern, I of course threw in my two cents!)

 

I think it’s great to see the conversation branch out in different directions. Not only do we get to see what people had to say about the original blog post, but also some other thoughts that occurred to them while they read it or even ideas they’d been playing with for a while.

 

What do you think? Do you welcome the change? Or do you think it’s like that annoying kid at the lunch table who didn’t listen to what everyone had to say and just carried on a tirade about whatever subject he wanted? (Yeah, I had one of those…all through high school.)

 

Should we stick to the program and only comment on-topic? Save the other stuff for another time?

 

Update: Another lesson learned: don’t wait two days to post what you write. Chris Brogan made his opinion on this subject known over at his blog by asking readers to “Make It [Their] Blog” on Oct. 15 and following up with “Posts from the Comments” featuring Rebekkah Hilgraves yesterday and Mike Sachleben today. I’m going to chalk this one up to “great minds…”

 

*Image by joguldi.