Jumping into the conversation? Great, now can you sustain it?

Conversation among customers has grown online and marketers realize they need to be part of it.  That’s great, but one thing bugs me — why aren’t more people talking about engaging in a way that can be sustained?

I’m not seeing enough conversations on making sure the efforts are sustainable. There’s a post from Sean O’Driscoll called Nuggets form Social Media workshops where he talks about participating in the conversation (section #8). It’s the best advice I’ve heard so far:

Take the time to step back and do the analysis work to understand where the conversations are taking place, how do you categorize them, who are the influencers, what should the internal accountability model be for taking action, ensure you are trained/ready to participate, determine what are you trying to accomplish and how will you sustain the participation.  Nothing like deeply listening before you start talking to help ensure what you are doing is “joining the community.”  (“Nuggets from Social Media workshops as of late” by Sean O’Driscoll)

Sean is absolutely right. Of course you want to engage in the conversation, but you need to do it in a way that gives you the greatest impact and you can sustain.

I don’t know about you, but for me there is nothing worse than a company jumping into the conversation, then suddenly disappearing.  Customers will read into it — and their first reaction won’t be “it’s a shame company x doesn’t have enough people able to participate in this great conversation.”

I’d love to continue this discussion with more specific examples you’ve seen (good or bad).  Please share in the comments.


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