What is Conversation?

How can marketers operate in the highly diversified, community based, conversation driven social media world?
(and, by the way, how do we help them do that too)

There has been tons of writing about it on social media marketing blogs and, to summarize, the bottom line looks like: They need first to become part of it (not just monitor on the sideline but join them as someone else said) and, second, they need to adopt a new engagement model (listen to people first). And it’s hard work.
Can they ignore it? Nope….it’s not going away.
Social Media is becoming mainstream everywhere, so companies are struggling with:

  1. How to find a large number of relevant communities where to engage
  2. How to organize active listening; and this spans from product marketing teams to PR
  3. How to develop social marketing campaign that mix blogger outreach, buzz, viral marketing and more traditional online advertising on web2.0 properties.

Conversation, our online application to find/listen/engage with communities, enables a marketing team to get better at 1, 2 and 3. Conversation is designed for collaboration and sharing thus its work group ready and you can have multiple users working together and sharing at the same time.
To get started, you create a custom database of relevant social media based on your target. This is done through a combo of blogsearch/bookmark/upload features. Social media is a very dynamic world thus having an integrated way to populate and maintain your list of target communities is critical. For our own usage, we’ve built a database of 600+ blogs talking about social media marketing and it’s growing over time as we discover new blogs we hadn’t seen before.
Once you’ve populating your database, you’re automatically subscribed to all the communities and you can listen to them using a composite view of the content that has been published by them (using the same example as before, we store 20 000 posts in our database and get more than 200 everyday). Of course this is a massive amount of information but the trick is that if you do it as a team with the right tools, it’s doable. Our list is easy to scan and, when you find something relevant, you can read the details and reply to it or just share it with a note. By the way, the list is searchable. You can even set filters to make your favorite topics stand out.
Though the debate is still on, we suspect the right social media engagement model will mix direct interaction with influencers, participation in conversation, and use of buzz/viral and mass traditionnal online advertising mecanism. Conversation provides useful data on social network profiles, advertising network profiles and more so you can plan and manage your ‘campaign’ saccording to your need.

Voila, a picture is worth a 1000 words so here’s a demo of the beast.

And a few screenshot based on a wireless project a client is running on our app:

Blog list —

Post list —

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