Why Having a Rolling Dialogue with Your Audience is So Important
One of the best ways to combat how impersonal virtual relationships can feel is to create an opportunity for dialogue. Those early chat room experiences most of us have are proof that conversation is so important. From social media apps to emails and text messages, dialogue is an integral part in the development of technology. In some cases, dialogue is the driving force behind the entire concept.
As humans, we recognize the need to connect. It’s why we go out of our way to get it, sometimes taking potentially life-altering risks to make it happen. Conversations are the stuff that define our lives. They shape what we believe and create memories, giving us threads to pull on to help unravel some of life’s greatest mysteries (including what’s for dinner and which celebrity most recently got knocked up).
With the importance of conversations, especially when it comes to making connections, it seems obvious that it’s something businesses, especially online businesses, need to be doing. But, take a look around and you’ll find that the majority of businesses aren’t doing it. In fact, there’s a good chance they’re not saying anything at all. And, those that are, seem to think the only reason to publish content online is to “Sell! Sell! Sell!”
Missed Opportunity: 1, Your Business: 0
See, the content your business publishes is so much more than an advertisement; it’s an impression. It’s an opportunity for you to begin a dialogue.
Think about the last great party or event you were at. Then, think about the conversations you had. Immediately, you’ll be able to categorize these conversations - those that were awesome and those that were less than great. And then, of course, there’s also the completely unmemorable (but of course you won’t be able to recall those). If you were to look at what made the awesome conversations better than the not-awesome, there are a few traits that are likely to come up again and again.
1. You were part of the conversation.
2. You were asked questions and you were given opportunities to answer those questions.
3. You felt like the person you were speaking to really was listening.
4. You were amused, entertained, interested by what the other person was saying.
5. You were left feeling like you wanted the conversation to keep going.
At the end of a really great conversation, magic happens. You might feel like you just met your next significant other or your next best friend. Sometimes, you feel like you’ve known the person your entire life. As such, you feel compelled to do something after the conversation comes to an end - you’re ready to exchange phone numbers, swap business cards or find social media accounts that you can (non-creepily) stalk.
No matter what, when you’ve had a great conversation, you want to find a way to keep it going.
In the world of business, conversations still carry the same magic. When you create a rolling dialogue with your customers and audience, whether through a blog, emails or social media, you create an opportunity for a real connection to be made. This connection is the difference between brands and businesses with amazing, loyal followings (and unlimited potential) and those that barely scrape by.
Your audience is made of real people - people who want you to (virtually) look them in the eye and say something incredible. They want you to make a great introduction and sweep them off their feet. They want to learn and laugh.
Just like you don’t call your best friend and tell her the same thing every single time, your audience wants to have a real, no-details-left-out kind of conversation with you. And the only way to do that is to create content that feels like a rolling dialogue - Ask questions! Listen! And, most importantly, don’t leave them feeling like you’ve cornered them with no place to go because, believe me, they’ll find a friend to rescue them fast (and that friend is going to get their business!)