“Engage!” ch 18

3 Apr

In this chapter, Solis discusses the Conversation Prism and how the most important part about online communication is LISTENING!

One of his statements in this chapter that really stuck with me is the aphorism, “A happy customer tells several friends and an unhappy customer tells many more.”  That’s totally true! Even in my own experience, I’m way more likely to write a BAD review than a good one, more willing to warn people where NOT to take their business than to strongly suggest that they take it to a particular place.  I thought this was a good point for him to make.  Businesses need to be listening to these conversations because, like it or not, they’re going to be apart of them.  And they have about zero control over what is said about the company.  The only way they can change the conversation is to change their behavior.

The Conversation Prism itself contains a social map, which maps out the virtual social landscape from Yelp to StumbleUpon to flickr and about a million websites and networks I’ve never even heard of.  It’s really interesting when you look at the map and think about your own personal online landscape.  If I were to map out my own online social world it would consist of Facebook, Reddit and my email.  Up until this class, where I was forced to join and participate in Twitter, that’s all I did with my time.  I didn’t venture to any other social networking sites except to read a  blog or two.  I wasn’t active on any of them.

Any semblance of simplicity listening might have completely vanishes when looking at this map.  From the millions of blogs to the billions of tweets, from the discussion forums to the review websites, there is an endless supply of channels that need to be monitored. Businesses really need to have a plan for this.

Solis outlines what business and brands need to do to find the important conversations taking place about them and how to target their communication to influence the conversation (since they can’t outright edit them) to go in the direction that they want.

With time, the social landscape will only become more complex.  If they don’t start sooner or later, brands are never going to quite be able to manage and master the task of active listening.  Which sucks for them, because without being able to listen… they’ve pretty much already lost.

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