Have we lost the art of conversation? Has the digital age with its shortened attention spans and 140 character limits shriveled what was once our primary form of engagement? Do we bypass conversation via social channels, which allows it to happen 24/7 when used to it’s best advantage, and instead simply continue traditional marketing broadcasting… for business AND personal.

I think unfortunately we have bypassed conversation, but only because “we” allow it to happen. Part of that is due to the limitations of digital conversation, but part of it is also the fact that we’ve become lazy conversationalists since technology has made it look too easy. Most businesses on Social Media, aren’t actually looking or encouraging conversation. It seems that unfortunately conversation isn’t one of their goals… even though it should be, and needs to be in order to get the most value.

For most, Social Media is a one-way broadcast medium (other than some Twitter efforts at customer service and interaction)… simply a means of disseminating a message. Conversing, and truly listening… not so much. And this happens for a variety of reasons, including… “”What is the ROI of a conversation and can I track it?”, “How much unbillable time did you waste on that discussion thread?” (a conversation heard at every agency)… and so on and so forth. We have become spoiled in the digital age and led to believe the only way to have ROI is to be able to track it from first click to sale.

The power of social lies in the ability to find, learn, interact, and grow. It’s about sharing, creating a connection via conversations, and surrounding yourself friends, fans, followers, consumers who can be part of that growth… then letting the sales, recommendations, referrals, and sharing come as a result of demonstrable value, good will, and community building that is a result. Always keep in mind… A Network gives you Reach, but a Community gives you Power.

All this does not mean to imply that sales shouldn’t be your end goal and an important part of how you plan your strategy, or that ROI can’t be measured, but that social should be a relationship and brand building process, and as such needs time and nurturing to yield results.

Conversation IS the BEST Content… try it, give it time, and you will be amazed at the results. #RonR… #NoLetUp

Image: Marc Wathieu

Originally posted at Inside CXM, August 28th, 2015

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