Ten Tips for Effective Conversation
Conversation, whether between old friends or new acquaintances, is what makes us human. It builds connections when we communicate with empathy and emotional intelligence.
Spinnaker believe that communication between brands and consumers should be no different. Brands need to borrow from the techniques of good conversation across all consumer touchpoints, from social and PR to advertising and paid digital – to practice its art.
Here are their 10 pointers for success:
1. Timing is everything
It’s always important to pick the right moment to ensure you have the biggest chance for impact. Get the timing wrong and your message will fall on fallow ground.
2. Personalisation matters
This is more important than ever in a fragmented media world where there is too much competition for time-poor individuals who are constantly being bombarded by messages through multiple platforms and devices. Be human-centric not customer-centric.
3. Listening is conversation
This is easy to forget. People don’t like being talked at. Understand your audience by learning about them and delving into conversations they are having. Use primary research and one of the many social listening tools out there. By being more attentive about their needs and passion points you will learn more about your audience and build a more fruitful and long-lasting relationship.
4. Be complimentary
No one likes a Debbie Downer or negativity. Many studies show that positive social posts actually encourage positive interaction. By flattering your audience, you encourage their endeavours and consequently drive positive interaction between them and your brand.
5. Authenticity rocks
So many brand practitioners talk about brands being authentic. What this means is that consumers appreciate brands which are true to themselves, their audiences, and are caring and responsible. In essence, stand in your own truth and be counted.
6. Be empathetic
Stay in sync with the situation and mood. It’s important to remember that digital media is about connection, it’s not about a need for approval. Real human connection is about empathy and conversation, not likes and shares.
7. Find common ground
Mutual points of interest ignite deeper dialogue and discussion. Some topics to find this trigger point include food, humour, free swag or that great British conversation point – the weather!
8. Be relevant and topical
Stay in tune with trending events in the world around you and your audience, and build dialogue around such opportunities when they arise. These could be national awareness days, an election, or a huge sporting event.
9. Use humour with caution
While some brands excel at sassy responses we think caution needs to be exercised here. Even if you think you are funny, be mindful of jokes and subjects which could be deemed insensitive. Remember the time when fashion brand Benetton instituted a sexist “no girls allowed policy” on Instagram to promote its boys range which resulted in a furious social media backlash? We bet the marketing team wishes it didn’t.
10. Silence is golden
This proverb dating back to the pre-internet era still holds true. There is no need to communicate when there is nothing to say. Enough said!