Process: a systematic series of actions directed to some end

Create Conversations

"These conversations are most often about value: the value of products and of the businesses that sell them. Not just prices, but the market currencies of reputation, location, position, and every other quality that is subject to rising or falling opinion. It’s nothing new, in one sense. The only advertising that was ever truly effective was word of mouth, which is nothing more than conversation. Now word of mouth has gone global. The one-to-many scope that technology brought to mass production and then mass marketing, which producers have enjoyed for two hundred years, is now available to customers. And they’re eager to make up for lost time." [Cluetrain Manifesto]

What is Social Media?

"Social media uses Internet and web-based technologies to transform broadcast media monologues (one to many) into social media dialogues (many to many)." [Wikipedia] It is the many-to-many that makes it so powerful.

Should I “have a conversation” with my customers?

You have no choice. They expect it. It is really about going back in time. The first markets were filled with people, yes real warm bodies, not abstracts or statistics. Buyers and sellers were open and looked each other in the eye, met and connected.

How do I use Twitter and RSS for B2B or B2C?

You can use both to deliver anticipated and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them. When you deliver useful information, you become more relevant. Twitter, in particular, is very powerful for B2B.

Should I have a forum on my website?

A support forum can be very liberating. First, it saves you money, as customers help each other. Second, it provides feedback about your products and services, as you listen to what your customers are saying.

Aren’t Facebook, MySpace, Yelp and CitySearch just for personal use?

Not anymore. At a glance, here are a few ways to use Facebook for business:

  • Ask for customer suggestions
  • Start a whisper campaign about a new product or service
  • Share examples of other people using your product creatively
  • Facilitate a contest
  • Promote an upcoming event, meeting, or open house
  • Showcase a star employee or honored customer
  • Link to associations or groups that share your values/purpose

How do I use LinkedIn and Plaxo?

To create links to other professionals that don’t decay over time, but stay up-to-date. You can ask questions and get answers. All the while expanding and strengthening links to people.

Will an email newsletter help me?

Yes. It acts as a [monthly] reminder that you are still doing new and interesting activities. It brings people back to your website.

Does attending trade shows still make sense?

Yes. Nothing is stronger than face-to-face conversations. “For all their faults, trade shows provide the reinforcement of fellow professionals whose lives revolve around the same things yours does. They’ve probably heard of your company and products. And they probably don’t even mind hearing a little more!” []



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