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How to Make Conversation Online

Learn seven tips to move your conversations to relationships.

By
Lisa B. Marshall,
June 18, 2010
Episode #096

Page 2 of 2

Get More Online Interaction By Posting Videos or Photos

Another way to get more interaction is to post videos. Particularly on Facebook and YouTube, video is extremely popular (see my episode about creating good video content for more). If you look to the NBA facebook page, you’ll see a prime example of that. In fact, as of the time I’m writing, the landing page is a montage of photos, which when clicked show short related video clips.

Last week I mentioned that I read on Dan Perez’s website that 90% of Internet users prefer watching a video to reading an article. Short (less than 3 minutes) videos that are entertaining, directly related to your topic area, and that include very subtle shameless marketing are perfect. For a great example of what I’m talking about, view this video that award-winning film maker Dan Perez made. (By the way, I recently interviewed him to get some video advice. You can get this exclusive content by joining the facebook fan page.)

Share Personal Yet Universal Topics

Last week, I posted the video our family made. I did this for a couple of reasons. One, I was hoping to generate more interaction. However, I also posted this video in an attempt to share something personal, yet somewhat universal. All parents struggle with choosing appropriate childcare. Part of the reason I think Dan’s video is so appealing is that it includes his daughter. As with my video, it hints at a universal theme--parents do not understand the younger generation. So the quick and dirty lesson is be sure to include conversations--or better yet some text, videos, and photos--about things that are related to your topic area, personal to you (yet not too personal), and universal in nature. Topics like that are appealing, authentic, and likely to generate conversation. Some ideas for video include quick interviews, guided tours or perhaps something funny from the interns.

Reward Commitment to Your Brand 

Another obvious way to generate interaction is to give away stuff. More specifically, it’s important to reward commitment to your brand by providing free samples, products, or services only found via these social media interactions. After all, that’s why most people initially join the conversation to begin with--because they are interested in additional related content and possible freebies from you.

Hold a Contest to Get Online Interaction

Holding a contest is a great way to generate conversation and enthusiasm. In the past, Oprah’s cable channel (OWN) ran a video contest. I’m guessing that you probably heard about the contest at the time—either because someone asked you to vote, you saw an entry on someone’s facebook page, or you heard it through the news or a podcast (like this one)! The point is contests generate conversation, and person-to-person conversation is, in essence, word of mouth advertising- the best kind of advertising!

So there you have it, some quick and dirty tips for making conversation online. First remember it’s a conversation, not a one-way broadcast. Asking people’s opinion of anything that relates to your topic is a good conversation starter. Next, people love entertaining video and photos, but they also need content. Remember to occasionally share something that is personal yet universal and to reward your brand. Finally, consider holding or entering into a video contest. I believe that networking starts with conversations—lots of them. Some of those conversations will fizzle out, whereas others will build into a “connection”. Using these tips you can transform your online friends to real connections and eventually with time and effort into relationships.

This is, Lisa B. Marshall, The Public Speaker. Passionate about communication, your success is my business.

By the way, if you haven’t already become a fan of my Facebook Fan Page or a follower of me on Twitter, do it right now, or if you are in your car, call your cell phone right now and leave yourself a reminder for when you get into the office.

As always, I also invite you to join my newsletter or my professional network on LinkedIn (and Twitter).

If you have a question, send email to publicspeaker@quickanddirtytips.com. For information about keynote speeches or workshops, visit lisabmarshall.com.

Man on Computer image courtesy of Shutterstock

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