If you haven’t yet read Dave Armano’s BusinessWeek article, “It’s the Conversation Economy, Stupid,” kindly stop what you’re doing, take the phone off the hook, give the kids some Benedryl, and do so.Here’s a taste:
One of the engines that is driving “2.0” growth is the fact that communities are forming around popular social platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, Ning, Twitter—the list goes on and on. These platforms facilitate conversation. Conversation leads to relationships and relationships lead to affinity. Brand affinity, as companies such as Harley-Davidson (HOG) have proven, often drives communities to form around them. This is why anyone who plays a role in branding needs to become a conversation architect. Marketers, businesses, and designers must have an intimate understanding of how these platforms are evolving and influencing human behavior. There has to be an in-depth understanding of why some us of love to incorporate these services in our digital lives.I like that Armano emphasizes people over platforms. It’s very easy to get caught up in technological possibilities while not paying due diligence to the conversations you’re working to incite. Each social media platform enables conversation in a very specific way, and none of them work independently. As a business, before blogging or Twittering or Yelping or any of these other verbs that didn’t exist a few years ago, don’t stop with the knowledge that these create dialogue. Understand how and why as well.