By Janette Speyer and Katrina McNeill
In our modern digital world of smart phones, tablets and people glued to a computer at their desk, conversations are seemingly majority virtual. Connecting to your audience online is now a marketing necessity. Do you know how to start a virtual conversation?
Make yourself accessible
If you expect someone to want to engage with you, you need to be accessible. Have a picture on your profile, have a full description of who you are, add a place where you can be reached, be it a number, email or website.
Get out there!
Find a few (or many) places where you have something in common and can participate or ask questions. Where? Go join a forum, hold or join a tweet chat, explore Google hangouts. There seem to be endless opportunities to join a conversation.
Just like a physical conversation…
Just as in “real life” you will want to prompt a conversation with some great, thought provoking questions. Make sure they relate to you audience! An example might be a music production group asking, “What’s your favorite song of all time?” or “If your life was made into a movie, what would the soundtrack be?”
Do your research
Utilize a topic trend search on your social platform of choice and look into what people are talking about, then join them. But remember, you have to have something substantial to add to the conversation to get people to engage with you, so be creative and thought provoking!
An image is a fantastic and easy way to engage your audience. Try sharing an image that relates to your category, but is still fun and interesting. Another thought might be asking your audience to contribute captions to an image that could have many captions and offer a small prize to the best one. The caption contest is a lot of fun and very engaging, but be ready to monitor for inappropriateness!
Keeping the conversation going
Now you have a few tricks up your sleeve to start a virtual conversation, but just as in a physical conversation, introductions are the easy part, the real challenge is keeping the conversation going. It would be a waste of time building up a conversation if you don’t go on to monitor and encourage multiple interactions with members who have contributed. Continued conversation is how you build a strong online relationship.
Are you maintaining your online relationships? If you are, what’s the best method you have tried? Share right here or continue the conversation on Facebook or LinkedIn.
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