Being able to start and participate in a conversation really is an art. Online conversations are very similar to offline conversations and if you want to be successful in the social media world, you need to be able to do both. I wish I could write out a “ten steps to conversation” post, but to be honest I don’t think it works that way; and to be honest I don’t think such a thing exists. Instead what I can do is talk about some of the things that have helped me start and participate in conversations and then ask you for your tips to share with others.
If you write (or want to write) a blog, use twitter, facebook, or other social media platforms then you cannot simply expect that the conversation is going to come to you. You have to be able to create and foster the conversation and you have to get to know your audience.
My blog is a mix of many topics ranging from technology, to social media, to SEO, to random thoughts on life; but overall I would say that I am pretty consistent with writing in the sphere of technology. While I may not be getting traffic levels of folks like techcrunch, gizmodo, etc. I do have a very active community of readers who participate in discussions either through blog comments, syndicated comments (such as social media today), through twitter, or through email.
Here are a few tips for creating and fostering conversations:
Have a unique voice or personality
Many of you tell me that you love my attitude (first of all thank you for that) and that to me is important. If you have a unique voice and a strong personality then conversations will spring up around that itself.
Don’t agree with everyone else
It’s easy to say that you agree with Jason Calacanis or Michael Arrington or (insert big name here); and sometimes you actually may, but don’t be scared to disagree and don’t be scared to voice your opinion. When you go against the grain conversations start because people get a fresh perspective on an issue/topic.
I try to ask a question at the end of all of my posts because I genuinely care about what you have to say. I want to hear your ideas and your opinions; by asking questions I invite you to share your thoughts with me. I ask questions in my blog posts, on twitter, on facebook, etc.
Respond to everything
Part of being a great conversationalist is responding to people that want to talk to you. I respond to every comment, twitter reply/direct message, email, facebook message, etc. that I get. The fact that someone is taking their time to contact you or comment on something you have written is powerful, don’t take it for granted. One happy reader can turn into two, which can turn into three, etc.
There are many other tips that I can write here but I really want to open this up to YOUR ideas and YOUR thoughts. What are some tips you can give to other people to help foster and create conversations?
thanks for reading