Selected pages from: The Art of Conversation

An e-book available from

Introduction (excerpt from the Introduction to The Art of Conversation)
"Social media is not a fad, but a paradigm-shifting toolset” - Deborah Hymes “The old ways of marketing are dead – and being safe is now too risky” -Seth Godin “A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter - and getting smarter faster than most companies .” - The ClueTrain Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual - Locke, Levine, Searls,& Weinberger “By creating compelling content, you can become a celebrity.” -Paul Gillin “The difference between PR and social media is that PR is about positioning, and social media is about becoming, being and improving.” – Chris Brogan “Social Media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide for you.” - Matt Goulart “Think like a publisher, not a marketer.” – David Meerman Scott “Social media isn’t the end-all-be-all, but it offers marketers unparalleled opportunity to participate in relevant ways. It also provides a launchpad for other marketing tactics. Social media is not an island. It’s a high-power engine on the larger marketing ship.” – Matt Dickman, “You will make mistakes. If you are sincere about helping the community, the authenticity will show and your mistakes will be forgiven.” – Zia Yusuf, executive vice president for SAP’s global ecosystem and partner group “Whether something brings them joy or pain, when people share and engage in communities, they form bonds and relationships with others who acknowledge their situation.” – Liana Evans, from post on Search Engine Watch “Businesses used to have a small suggestion box near the door that mostly housed dust bunnies and an occasional piece of gum. Rarely would someone get back to you. But people can now make a post from an iPhone or a BlackBerry while they’re sitting in your restaurant.” – Charles Nelson, President of Sprinkles Cupcakes president “More companies are discovering that an über-connected workplace is not just about implementing a new set of tools — it is also about embracing a cultural shift to create an open environment where employees are encouraged to share, innovate and collaborate virtually.” – Karie Willyerd & Jeanne C. Meister, “Conversations among the members of your marketplace happen whether you like it or not. Good marketing encourages the right sort of conversations.” – Seth Godin “Those who ignore the party/conversation/network when they are content and decide to drop in when they need the network may not succeed. It’s pretty easy to spot those that are just joining the network purely to take – not to give. Therefore, be part of the party/conversation/network before you need anything from anyone.” – Jeremiah Owyang,

Sample of content from The Art of Conversation available at

Sample of content from The Art of Conversation available at

youtube. Five years from now. so let’s wait and try it a bit later.usingconversationalmedia. We believe the more organic the growth. hopefully. We’re either scared of a repeat of the dot bomb. Net Magazine April 2007) This book is for you if you want to know more about social media and how to practically use it in a business setting.“The secret isn’t growing a huge fan base. Or we dismiss the whole industry as a load of student types chatting online about what they ate for breakfast. president of Twist Image There’s a growing twitchiness within many businesses that something is going on “out there” that we possibly/probably need to be part of. vice president of marketing at Threadless “Social media is like a snowball rolling down the hill. who leads. It’s picking up Sample of content from The Art of Conversation available at www. Being on Facebook is one thing (I keep up with my friends there) but actually harnessing social media for business. We have 100.usingconversationalmedia.000 Facebook fans. In true blogging style I've incorporated plenty of fantastic infographics that I've found online plus a few I have created myself . the type of voices and the best place for you to add your voice. Please feel free to give me @marie_page Source http://www. it’s going to be the standard. the more loyal the fans. As Matt Shobe. you can then start becoming a more active participant.friendly. I therefore hope that as well as being helpful for small and medium businesses in particular. a new app.” – Cam Marie Page September 2010 usingconversationalmedia. the further you’ll have to run to catch up. corrections. We know that there are plenty of people out there making money from Twitter. conversational I've tried to write this book in a similar style to that I use when teaching .com . when it all seems a bit safer. Its as near as I can get right now to the classroom experience on paper (or perhaps onscreen) and my intention is to continue to add and update the content in new editions as time. and technology." (Questions and Answers with Matt Shobe. the more likely they will be repeat customers.” – Jeff Antaya. but those fans have all come to us organically. chief marketing officer of Plante Moran “Once you can understand where the conversation is. co-founder of Feedburner says "The web keeps changing! The damn thing won't sit still for five minutes. Traditional marketing methods are just about still working OK. Facebook. take a quick look at this video clip: http://www. full of practical advice. another platform that your competition are harnessing. move on. advice and other input via the blog through to the links for the originals and I've also added a smattering of blog-style lists as well as the odd video clip. And its no good waiting until you get your head around all this new technology. well that’s only for the big well known brands to do. And if you're wondering whether its worth the time to read further.” – Mitch Joel. blogging and the like but we don’t really feel that we know enough about it to really assess whether it is worth us jumping in at this early stage. this book will serve as a practical supportive text for those taking CIM and CAM qualifications. because next month there’ll be more technology. I've addressed many of the key issues that my CIM and CAM students are concerned with. But the later you leave Sample of content from The Art of Conversation available at www. It will help you consider which uses of social media are right for your business and give you the knowhow to start using them right away – without it costing you a small fortune in agency fees. I do hope you find the content helpful and worth the time you spend reading it. We need to check it out (so that we don’t miss out) but we don’t want to waste time and budget unnecessarily.

their expectations of what experiences can be delivered will be raised. p54) http://www. also in less than three years becoming the most popular activity on the internet (Qualman. when social media is associated with phrases such as “phenomenon” (LI & Sample of content from The Art of Conversation available at www. 2008). We're not going to look at all of them. need to develop a light-touch if they want to use social media. just those that make the most sense for the majority of businesses. Very quickly those expectations will be applied to customer/brand interactions and relationships. As our customers use these social Sample of content from The Art of Conversation available at www. its just that it is rejected because it doesn't appear to deliver value. tailored to their preferences and needs. “Viral” ( . but by engaging in conversation with them. We're probably most familiar with Facebook but perhaps use other platforms without even realising that they are part of the social media phenomenon (for instance probably half my blog readers have no clue that they regularly read a blog . the author would suggest that this is far more than a communications channel tool. What differentiates this tool is that it’s consumer driven”. It's not that the language isn't understood. “Interaction” (Hill." (Perks & Sedley. not by shouting at customers. "The old brand language of 'we're the greatest. fulfilment.jpg What's all the fuss about? Nigel Jones in reviewing the academic literature on social media says "Tsia (2009.(Excerpts from the chapter introducing social media) The new conversational platforms Social media spans a wide range of media. 2009). 2010) "Hot" (Stelzner.they access it as an emailed online newsletter) and that each can be harnessed for business. If we can't deliver simplicity.pamorama. follow me' has a hard time making connections in social media." So what is this revolution and why has it come about? You are reading a selection of pages from Marie Page's e-book The Art of Conversation available from www. “revolution” (Qualman. p37) stated that “Social media as just another communications channel tool. 2000). However. Winners & Losers in a Troubled Economy p 54) Today's consumers demand more interaction. we are going to need to provide a place for them not only to have their voices heard. If we are going to truly engage with customers. and businesses in general. but to take part in an on-going dialogue. speed and value on a par with the new social tools." (Perks & Sedley. we won't create the engaged relationships we desire. cheaper and easier. And they expect that dialogue to be increasingly personalised. more communication and more dialogue with business. Perks and Sedley go onto warn that "Social media will become faster. look at me. a touch that offers choice and value. The diagram below gives a helpful overview of the full range of current social media opportunities. 2009). 2010) and “Engagement” (Fisher 2009).usingconversationalmedia.

CEO of E-consultancy reinforces this notion. where the end audience is less likely to make a purchase Increased brand awareness was seen as major benefit of social media by 73% of companies The most important benefits of social media for companies are: increased customer engagement (71%). which is increasingly a much harder proposition. Publishers face the challenge of atomisation. Ashley • • • Sample of content from The Art of Conversation available at www. Within these small ‘villages’ the marketer is replacing the shopkeeper – offering the customer things they might not spot themselves….usingconversationalmedia. marketers need to ensure they have a presence in those places.econsultancy. Issue 66." (Friedlein. 59% of companies do not have any social media policies in place Who “owns” a company’s social media presence is an important issue and must be addressed to avoid problems when employees leave and to ensure proper branding and messaging Reaching a small number of highly influential individuals (who are likely to purchase your product) is often more effective than a high volume.” Taken from CIM’s Shape The Agenda paper “What hasn’t happened yet. through the channels they want. publicizing new content (49%) and as a marketing channel (47%) 34% of companies have increased their social media budget in the last 12 months Here’s what Mark Stuart says in his CIM research paper on the shape of digital marketing: “People tend to stick to the same five or six sites that they know and Econsultancy released a report in June 2010 on Social Media and Online Brand Monitoring Trends. rather than trying to drive customers to their own sites. With people self-selecting the villages they inhabit. as only 1% of companies who are heavily involved in social media say that they have gained no real value from the channel A third of companies (35%) manage their social activity through their digital marketing team. Nick Evans. A. He says "If your customers spend 99% of their online time on sites other than your own perhaps you should focus on trying to be present where they are rather than paying a fortune to drag them to your site?. Facebook and Twitter) More than half of companies surveyed (55%) use Facebook to improve brand awareness and reputation. networking sites.g." ( • • • • Some 70% of companies are planning to increase their marketing budgets for off-site social media (e. Just under half are using Facebook as a marketing channel (47%) or for publicizing new content (46%) The most common uses of Twitter are for improving brand awareness and reputation (50%). http://www. www. The shape of digital to come” March 2010 What this basically means is that we have to seriously rethink our SEO fuelled “come visit my website” strategies and instead think long and hard about how we can go out to where our people are. low influence approach. February 2008) • • • • • You are reading a selection of pages from Marie Page's e-book The Art of Conversation available from www. 14 December 2007. E-consultancy. when they want. Key findings include: • • Social media is a great tool for listening to customers and improving products and service based on feedback Whilst nearly two-thirds of companies (61%) say that social media provides tremendous opportunities for their business. From monologue to dialogue: changing the marketing approach. What's new in marketing. .Shift happens This is a great clip introducing the reality of social where they feel comfortable in a community of trust. consultant with digital marketing firm Jaywing. compared to a just over a fifth (21%) whose social media activity is managed by their PR or communications team The biggest barrier to better social media engagement for companies is lack of resources (54%) Two-thirds of marketers are planning to increase investment in social media even though less than one-fifth can effectively measure ROI Friedlein is referring to the concept of atomisation where your communications and offering is broken down into smaller sizes and spread across multiple locations and channels.usingconversationalmedia. says "Dialogue marketing needs to focus on making sure the customer can "pull" information and messages where they want. better brand reputation (66%) and increased communication with key influencers (62%) The most successful companies immerse themselves in the social media channel and take a strategic Sample of content from The Art of Conversation available at www.

transparent.usingconversationalmedia. retweeting or giving a “shout out. or competitors. establish brand guidelines for individual and group participation within your company so that you can build trust with and recognition from others whether you are on Twitter. Social networks are human networks – so don’t be afraid to share about your hobbies.usingconversationalmedia. but only if you don’t talk over the opportunity. or competitors. and influentials. partners. make sure to disclose your interest in the matter.” Social media offers a unique window into the lives of in the book Social media etiquette Jess3 & Chernov. If possible. it ever really existed). You are reading a selection of pages from Marie Page's e-book The Art of Conversation available from www. if you are supporting the efforts of a client. Sample of content from The Art of Conversation available at www. colleagues. J's excellent Social Media Playbook: Everything Your Company Needs to Know to Succeed on the Social Web (2009) lists 10 basic principles that should guide participation on the social web: 1 Do Listen The most important first step you can take in social media is to listen before you “ 4 Do be gracious Applauding the good work of others and thanking others for their support are the cornerstones of any good community on or 66 Don’t share confidential information about your company. and authentic participation. colleagues. Adhering to a “listen-first” mantra will help you can gain valuable insights that inform how – or even if – you want to engage. http://www. colleagues. Facebook or blog comment sections. Additionally. blogging or posting favorably about your company Sample of content from The Art of Conversation available at www. For more on disclosure best practices. Social media demands honest. clients. or competitors. visit the Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s ethics / disclosure page: in fact. partners. 5 Do disclose Letting your online audiences know that you work for your company is essential if you are tweeting.This clip shows the scope of social media in Europe and Germany. . 7 Don’t criticize your company. as well as including your company’s name as an employer on your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. and even weekend adventures (to the extent that sharing this information is comfortable with you personally and doesn’t run counter to the company’s culture and values.) 3 Do be consistent When cultivating your social media presence. 99 Don’t reveal personal information about any of your colleagues. 88 Don’t spread rumours or false information about your company. Examples include tweeting side conversations or posting personal photos to Facebook or Flickr without their explicit permission. A great way to do this is filling out your Twitter bio with a brief line about your company affiliation. Whether it is citing a source with a link in a blog post. clients. customers. be consistent about the information contained in your profile and the content you share. 2 Do be authentic The era of online anonymity is over ( Typical best practice guide . clients.” be sure to credit and thank the original creator.

play with i 2deas. You are reading a selection of pages from Marie Page's e-book The Art of Conversation available from www. Your blog is a place for you to develop newsletter content. are accurate and honest. Yes there are hundreds of thousands of blogs out there but relatively few organisations have really started using them effectively.usingconversationalmedia. I blog most days and every week or so collect the posts together to create a newsletter which is then . And how do I know this? Well having been blogging and emailing for a fair time I then asked my customers what they thought of the frequency and content using a wonderful free online survey tool called www. The one area they seemed to all agree on is that the blog (in the UK at least) is one of the best. however. The results were informative. Blogging (excerpts from the chapter on Blogging) I was recently at a digital marketing conference where an expert panel including no less than e-marketing guru Dave Chaffey was taking questions & answers.surveymonkey. Every action online is. so make sure the content that you are creating and impressions you are leaving. research a topic or customer views and it will also yield dividends in terms of SEO as other sites will pick up your content giving you invaluable back links. no matter how big or how small. For the purpose of this section my business is irrelevant really. e-newsletters and other social media in an integrated manner (see diagram above) Blog central . but if the context helps you. integrate with Facebook pages. I sell training DVDs online to church based musicians.a formula for success I use traceable. they have found a tool that delivers on multiple Sample of content from The Art of Conversation available at www. and yet one of the most underutilised social media tools. and customers will get on with the job of tweeting and liking your work. In case you are interested my survey is here. Sample of content from The Art of Conversation available at www. confirming a lot of our assumptions and gratifyingly showed an extraordinarily high satisfaction rate (you can see the summary responses here).1010 Don’t misrepresent yourself or your company. My more tech-savvy customers get the blogs as they happen via RSS feed but most still prefer a less frequent summary newsletter by email.usingconversationalmedia. Where they have. at some level.

And if you are still struggling. There is a helpful animated graphic showing the lifecycle of a blog post here: http://www. And the Notes function on our company Facebook page picks up the new blog and posts it there (actually. There are things so second nature to you that you probably don't consider them interesting or useful enough to blog about. So sharpen your pencil and get ready for a one person brainstorming You should by now have a long list of ideas for your blog/newsletter.And of course each blog post is tweeted and from there my LinkedIn profile picks up the latest tweets. Can you turn those questions into a blog post? Actually. who didn’t also have a nearly endless supply of content to choose from” (Michael Katz – E-Newsletters That Work) You spend at least 35 hours every week immersed in a company within a marketplace .usingconversationalmedia. Think about what questions people ask you about those things. I'd suggest you try to do the same with your marketing or blog team. I’m not going to give you the answers (at least not right now) but in true active learning methodology. All this (as can be seen from the diagram) produces lots of interactions with people. A lot of these are customers . Write a list of all the questions you are asked about your business on a regular basis: • • • • • • • • • • • How do I…? Should I…? What do you think about…? How do I know if…? Is it worth spending money on…? Do you know where…? What would you recommend for…? What do you predict will happen to…? Can I have an expert opinion on…? What’s happening with…? How did you manage to achieve…. your topic of interest. one of the reasons I wrote this book in the first place was that I was fed up with people at parties discovering that I "know about social media" and expecting me to download all that knowledge in a few minutes.usingconversationalmedia. I suspect that most marketers working in a business are perfectly capable of writing an endless stream of interesting and engaging blog or newsletter articles.? You are reading a selection of pages from Marie Page's e-book The Art of Conversation available from www. These aren’t boring company profiles. I've found Notes to be a bit problematic . I’m going to facilitate you to find them yourself. your products. video clips/posts etc funny but relevant to your market Sample of content from The Art of Conversation available at www.usingconversationalmedia. I've rarely met someone who loves their work that hasn't got something interesting to say about it. Let’s see what you already have inside your head that you could write about. here are some practical ideas: • Humour frequently refuses to pick up the blog as it goes live but instead randomly posts it a number of days later.wittily written articles. They answer the genuine questions that your customers and others in your industry are interested in hearing the answers to. Its not difficult to fill several flip charts with . You may find it works for you but if not simply do it manually .com/special_multimedia/2008/ff_secretlife_1602 What should I blog about? When I teach on blogging I normally get the audience to split into groups and brainstorm blog post ideas. This quote from an old book on e-newsletters remains true for blogging: “I have never come across anybody who knew enough about a particular industry or topic to start a business in it. Now I’m a teacher.of course you know plenty about it. your company. You may not have all the answers. It also brings in lots of potential customers many of whom will return again over the weeks learning more about us before considering a purchase.its a couple of minutes work). Often people can go on for hours if given a range of topics to talk about and a little gentle questioning. new product reviews. What you need to remember is that you are the expert on your industry. your sector. You can set many of your social network updates to automatically update on others ( Sample of content from The Art of Conversation available at www.and its important to maintain and enhance the relationship with them. interviews with the CEO. but I bet you know someone who does. LinkedIn and Facebook etc) so that updating on one will trigger a cascade of updates on the others.

com/musicademy for my Facebook fan page and www. you can choose any of them as the landing Page for your Facebook Ads and off-site promotion. including Events. Think about what your customers are likely to want to click through. Reviews and Discussions. Cadburys Gorilla or this fabulous sequence from Ameriquest).facebook. intriguing and with lots of industry relevant stuff too.php (you will need to be logged in). think about how you could create something similar for your industry Podcasts/vodcasts Polls/surveys Industry news More in the book. If the functionality you want for your Facebook Page isn’t yet available via an existing application. If for some reason (like me) you can’t access anything on the Facebook Ads pages then try switching off your Firewall/Malware protection. Since each tab has its own URL. You can use the “Notes” function like a blog. you can build your some classics (willitblend. You are reading a selection of pages from Marie Page's e-book The Art of Conversation available from www. You can now start to fill your page with interesting information. Facebook has made several of its core Facebook Profile Page applications available for tabs. The name of your page should ideally be your company name.usingconversationalmedia. Choose a category carefully – it will help you rank in relevant searches. Once you have some fans (people that have clicked “like” on your page) then any updates you post to the page will feature on their own Facebook wall. add in Youtube video . You can also choose which tab to set as the default when users who aren’t yet Fans organically navigate to your Facebook Page from within Facebook. DON’T fill your page with loads of tedious stuff about your products. publicise events. And make sure you have plenty of content before sharing it.usingconversationalmedia.usingconversationalmedia. link to other Facebook pages and all sorts of other activities. start How to promote your Facebook Page You are reading a selection of pages from Marie Page's e-book The Art of Conversation available from www.. There are thousands of Facebook Platform applications built by 3rd party developers available for use on your Facebook Page. Here’s a really simple one that I have created and follow the instructions there.• • • • • • • Repost other blogs (more about this later) YouTube/Video clips Virals . @mariemusicademy is also my Twitter name and the login I normally use when I comment on blogs – I shouldn’t need to tell you why that all makes The Wall tab is for dynamic Sample of content from The Art of Conversation available at www. You’ll find a simple wizard which will help you create the page. Do a bit of research and find out what works for you.. the Info tab has static information. photos. To select a vanity url for your page go to http://www. How brilliant is that? Once you have at least 25 fans.facebook.. I was using Kaspersky and found that it was blocking access to these pages for some reason. the Photos tab contains photos albums and Fan photos.facebook. Take a look around at some other pages.. Make it fun.. Third party developers can also use tabs. I’ve got www.facebook..usingconversationalmedia. you can register your Facebook username which gives you a friendly url featuring your brand name (a “vanity” url).com/mariemusicademy for my personal profile.facebook. Facebook (excerpts from the chapter on Facebook) How to set up a Facebook Page Go to Sample of content from The Art of Conversation available at www.

3% 5.0% 2. in your newsletters and other communications Use a Twitter name badge on your website http://twittercounter. Unfollowing works the same way. helpful reading. but that's fine .3% 1.0% 14.0% 10. Friendfeed.7% 2. In all cases keywords are King. Keep your 'pub personality' in the pub! It's not the answer to everything. TweetMeme Lists shows the most popular Twitter Lists (as well as the most tweeted links). understand the controls associated with the chosen Sample of content from The Art of Conversation available at www.0% 2.this will show your most recent tweet Friendfeed enables you to create “rooms” for select groups of people. Listorious is a directory of Twitter lists by category.0% There are all sorts of other widgets that you can use on a blog to encourage retweeting and following Advice from social media practitioners (excerpt from longer chapter) Its always really helpful to read lessons learnt from more experienced practitioners and what follows are some y recommendations from a survey on social media that a friend of mine (Nigel Jones) carried out as part of an ( es) Masters dissertation. Looking at these lists is a good way of finding lists to follow.) Once you find a list you like. From there you can either follow the list or follow the creators of the list (not a bad idea as they may well add you to their list later .7% Finding Twitter lists to follow You can see what lists people have created by looking at their profile page. your website. Do your homework.0% 4. blogs and social networks in one place and allows you and others to comment on them. it also gives you some interesting additional insight into the individual and their interests.0% 18.0% 5.3% 9. A well thought out strategy is essential in order to demonstrate credibility. There’s a helpful explanation of how it works here http://www. Be organised.Twitter (excerpts from the chapter on Twitter) Promoting your Twitter name We cover some of the applications that will help you with promotion . (For the nosey/researcher types.0% 8. Make regular updates but don't bombard people. Let conversations develop before jumping in and defending a company position.3% 1. other. use Facebook.0% 0. Keep blogging. more of an additional resource to be used.7% 1.usingconversationalmedia. know and Essentially.squidoo. ensure that you take time to set up your profile in the way that you would like the world to read about you. it is far better to let defending non company people support you.3% 9. Friendfeed is a way of amalgamating all your feeds from Facebook. You can join rooms to research a subject. and I hope. Watch other people and learn before diving in. Make postings acebook. Its also a very helpful way of finding the top bloggers in your industry You are reading a selection of pages from Marie Page's e-book The Art of Conversation available from Use a Twitstamp on your blog .another great example of the Twitter virus at work). You can select 6 tags to describe what you tweet about and also search Listorious for people either by tag or by list topic.7% 2. Many of them contradict each reading. In the meantime consider the following: • • • • • • Add your twitter name to your "signature" on your outgoing emails Add your twitter name to your business card Write about your tweetfeed on your blog. They make for fascinating.0% 14. set yourself a time to do it as it is so easy to run away with it and do more social media stuff than your actual job. click "Follow this list".its all part of the conversation: conversation Recommentations for Using Social Media 20.3% 16. Essentially.0% 12.3% 17.3% 4. read up on terms and conditions of the sites. or to keep up with a topic of interest.0% 6.usingconversationalmedia.3% 1.3% 5.

usingconversationalmedia. Sample of content from The Art of Conversation available at realistic about the time involved and potential outcomes.its packed with need-to-know stuff about social media. share event details etc. You are reading a selection of pages from Marie Page's e-book The Art of Conversation available from www.usingconversationalmedia. Be very clear about what you are trying to achieve and set aside sufficient time .com If you like what you have read here there are 109 pages in the actual book .ask questions. Create and pay attention to your .Its too easy just to promote (yes I do this too) but Engagement is key .