Five Ways to Join a Conversation

Five Ways to Join a Conversation

Previously we talked about Ten Tenets of a Good Conversation. Today we want to talk about how to join a conversation…

Traditional Marketing was all about starting a conversation. “Let me interrupt you… Now… Sit down, shut up and listen.” In Conversational Marketing, starting a conversation is merely one of five manoeuvres and possibly the last one you should consider.

1 Listen

Who’s talking about you? What should you be monitoring? Before you start speaking, find out what conversations are going on right now about you and your brand. As a brand, be the person in the meeting who listens intently, speaks occasionally and when you do people take notice.

2 Respond

If you don’t listen first, how can you deliver an appropriate response? Get an insight into what is actually going on then, act upon it with a helpful response. Solve a problem, answer a question, offer a suggestion. Every consumer contact is an opportunity to build a conversation and enhance a relationship.

3 Join

Mass marketing always turned up uninvited! How many times has a telemarketer dropped by for dinner unannounced? How rude! To join a conversation you’re either specifically invited to join or you may request permission to participate. Every time a consumer, promoter or detractor, sends you an email, comments on your blog, complains or sets up a spoof website, they’re inviting you to talk with them. That’s your cue to join the conversation, not take it over!

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4 Catalyze

Be a conversation catalyst or conduit – directly or indirectly. Nikon sent a bunch of cameras to a group of Flickr users and let them snap the world away. Nikon then took a handful of submissions and placed them in a three-page spread that was published in various magazines. They creatively sparked their consumers into action using their product. By promoting the work of their users their brand experience literally said, “Here’s what our product can do in your hands!” Nikon got out of the way and let their consumers speak for them!

5 Start

Hang on! Shouldn’t we start at the… er, start? Traditional Marketing was all about starting a conversation. And, most of the time, it wasn’t really a conversation, just communication. A boring monologue sprouting biased claims they wanted us to believe. By all means start a conversation. And, hopefully, before you do that you’ll listen first, respond a little, join a few conversations and catalyze and amplify some existing ones.


This is from the Book Rapper issue Talk With Me that is derived from: Joseph Jaffe’s fabulous book Join the Conversation.


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