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How to nurture conversations in social media

In social media, social networking and in this web 2.0 world, there is one thing that is and must remain consistent. That is the art of conversation. In order for it to “work”. Conversations have to ensue, they have to abound, and they have to be maintained. Beyond “just” having a conversation, there has to be a beginning, a middle and an end. Or a purpose, right? What social media has really done has created the means to have conversations in ways that 10 years ago we could only imagine. But beyond the means, you now know so much more about the person you are now having a conversation with. And if you don’t know that much about that person, you now have the ability to find out, rather quickly too.

There’s the old school version of communicating

rotaryphone

And there’s the new school.

social-media-icons

But neither works if you don’t adopt the mode of give and take or… serve, receive, and volley..

Sorta like…

pong

In social media, you can serve and hit against the backboard all you want, but you will never get anything out of that except becoming adept at repetition. In other words, you can create social network profiles on all of the hot social networks, and you can write really great blog posts, but if you don’t take the time to go out and share you, your personality and your content with people that have similar interests and tastes, it will die on the vine. Learn how to share your content. Social Poster is a great place to start, but beyond that you need to decide where you and your interests fit in.

Here’s the best example I can think of.

When you first go into Facebook it’s just one big funnel. But eventually most of you find your way, your groups, your peeps, or your tribes. But once you do, joining doesn’t guarantee anything.

Here’s another example.

Penn Station in New York to the outsider can seem incredibly confusing. But really, it’s pretty efficient. What it does is that it funnels and routes people from the suburbs into the city and back again. Like Facebook, each person from their distinct city, town, and neighborhood at the beginning and end of the day can find their way out of town and back home and vice-versa again at Penn station. With a little research, some directions, some effort, and some help, someone can walk off the street and get to the neighborhood, town, suburb or city that they need to get to in the surrounding New York/New Jersey area.

penn

With a little research, some directions, some effort, and some help…you can get where you need or want to go.


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6 Responses to “How to nurture conversations in social media”


  1. 1 Ari Herzog August 3, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    I’m confused.

    You begin this blog post explaining there is a connection between conversations and social media; but you fail to explain the why and how of the connection.

    You begin comparing social media to a telephone, but wind up comparing to a train station. I’m unsure what you want me to take away. How should I use social media to nurture conversations, Marc? If you mean viewing social media as disparate communication channels, you’ve sold me; but conversations?

    If the “purpose” of this blog post is to illustrate social media provides the tools to help me get to where I need or want to go, I thank you for the clarification. But your post is about nurturing conversations.

    Your Twitter update led me to this blog post; but perhaps your next tweet is applicable here: “I’m finding that a lot of times, the best thing about a blog post is the title.”

    The title sucked me in, but it was quickly blown back.

  2. 2 marc meyer August 3, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    And you’re right, but..the phone was old school but we’ve evolved. Social media now allows us to nurture the conversation by doing more than just talking on the phone, we can dig deeper, we can go further than we ever have before but the way to nurture still requires effort. The train station can seem completely foreign if we don’t know what to do, how to do, where to go and what not.

    The why and the how of the connection is nurtured by effort Ari.

  3. 3 Ari Herzog August 3, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Surely you don’t suggest the telephone is an anachronism with these evolved forms?

  4. 4 marc meyer August 3, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Should I have used the telegraph…?

  5. 5 dape August 4, 2009 at 9:51 am

    It seems a bit too easy, the software could be very good value if it does what it says and of course if you want to promote a service or product or simply for the exposure. Someday, shortly there will be the software to read our thoughts…..“In the magical universe there are no coincidences and there are no accidents. Nothing happens unless someone wills it to happen.” Conversation is real,is it, duplicate content, maybe, maybe, maybe-not.

  6. 6 socialcidal August 4, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    i don’t think that we should use the telegraph at all! to use social media to the best you must be personal about it


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Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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