What Is Conversational Currency?

by Jay Deragon on 06/10/2009

conversation-currencySocial Media and all the related tools are creating a new currency whose worth increases over time. We call this Conversational Currency and it is created by the propagation of your conversation and its relevance to your audience.

Conversational currency is created by people who share their enthusiasm for a topic, a conversation, with their peers. Because conversations are peer-mediated, they have more authority—this much we know already. However, what Conversational Currency reveals to us is the value conversations create which is reflected by endorsement, or propagation of a conversation by the community of peers.

A conversation turns to currency when people discover something meaningful in a “conversational” experience, they are prepared to spread the conversation as if it were their own. Conversations about brand experiences, topical perspectives and innovative ideas have become a new currency

Today value added conversations are increasingly creating a draw to people whom have an affinity to a brand, an experience or a topic of interest. What we consume and how we consume it are important parts of developing “conversational currency. Conversational currency is created by the propagation of a conversation by others that incorporate your conversation into their own narratives. The more valuable your conversation is the more likely they are to be propagated by others.

The conversational process is a form of powerful currency that transforms the relationship between individuals, brands and media perspectives. In this new type of transaction, individuals and brands can provide people valuable conversational currency by successfully delivering outstanding and meaningful information, knowledge and innovative ideas and perspectives. In return, the conversation propagates and, by extension, increases the value of the discussion by drawing attention, attraction, affinity and subsequently an increase in the audience. The audience then adds its perspective, insights and value to the original conversation thus creating a “new currency” of exchange and value creation.

What Determines The Value of Your Currency?

Conversations propagate based on the rate of interest.  Bankers don’t care about money; they care about the rate of change of money. People don’t care about your tweets, they care about the rate of change of your tweets.  People don’t care about your message; they care about the rate of change of your message relative to their position. Rate of interest in your conversation is reflected by the rate of change. The more your conversation “changes” from one to one to a million the higher the interest rate becomes.

You deposit money in a bank for “use and interest“. Social media is about depositing conversational currency for use and gaining “interest” from it. A conversation can and does create a currency exchange of value, if you know how to create interest.

The last mile of conversational currency is the conversion of conversational  interest rates to a return. A return from your conversation is represented by the application of the relative information, knowledge and innovation which is applied to a transaction. A transaction is the exchange of value for economic return. The economic return is not only represented by the currency of money but by other forms of currency that eventually lead to money. Get it?

What say you?

{ 16 comments }

Gianluigi Cuccureddu June 23, 2009 at 1:37 pm

Great article, hitting the nail.
Now let’s see if marketers get how to transfor the conversational currency into return.

Best regards,
Gianluigi Cuccureddu

Andy Chiodo June 12, 2009 at 12:09 pm

How interesting!

In my book — Social Capital – How to Get It, How to Use It (available on Amazon)– I define this, using The Great Wheel of Relationship (C) and talking about the four attributes of someone who will be successful in creating their own Social Capital.

We are on the same page when it comes to the use of Social Media to create Social Capital.

Business is based on relationships, whether online or F2F. The result is Social Capital.

Thanks!
Andy Chiodo
President,
Value Positioning Development (R)

Fiorenza Mella June 11, 2009 at 8:41 am

An article about conversational currency http://bit.ly/mUHT9

Konector June 11, 2009 at 4:09 am

What value do you place on #socialmedia conversations? – http://bit.ly/9FEuE

Steven Burda June 11, 2009 at 1:48 am

Great article – thanks!

http://www.linkedin.com/in/burda

dan June 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Looks like you coined a new term (pun intended)

Shane June 10, 2009 at 3:56 pm

What Is “Conversational Currency”? http://bit.ly/5nHjh

Ajay Kapoor June 10, 2009 at 12:29 pm

RT @innovate: What is conversational currency? – http://ow.ly/diNx – reminds me of a post by @heykeenan about value of your social graph

Brian C. Citizen June 10, 2009 at 11:13 am

Daily Deragon Dose: What Is Conversational Currency? http://tinyurl.com/lnaxgs

Braden Kelley June 10, 2009 at 9:55 am

What is conversational currency? – http://ow.ly/diNx – Relationship mktg & social media are about creating value in conversation #sm #mktg

Braden Kelley June 10, 2009 at 9:55 am

What is conversational currency? – http://ow.ly/diNx – Relationship mktg & social media are about creating value in conversation #sm #mktg

Alan See June 10, 2009 at 10:24 am

RT @JDeragon: New blog post: What Is Conversational Currency? http://bit.ly/mUHT9

Jonathon Shaevitz June 10, 2009 at 9:10 am

RT @smconnection: What Is Conversational Currency?: Social Media and all the related tools are creating a new .. http://tinyurl.com/lnaxgs

Jonathon Shaevitz June 10, 2009 at 9:10 am

RT @smconnection: What Is Conversational Currency?: Social Media and all the related tools are creating a new .. http://tinyurl.com/lnaxgs

Mary Adams June 10, 2009 at 8:28 am

I recently came across an interesting way of looking at the currency of individual contributions in a knowledge setting. See my post about the beekeeper model at http://icrating.com/blog/2009/05/13/the-value-of-sharing-knowledge/

Of course, Dan Robles work also deserves mention: http://icrating.com/blog/2009/05/14/options-as-a-means-of-valuing-knowledge/

Cheers

Scott Rooks- Grant Funding Consultants June 10, 2009 at 7:36 am

We turn conversational currency in to buy traffic. Why traffic? It leads people to our value offer which creates money, advocacy or change in the form of acceptance and use. Returns are like conversation they come in terms of value to the individual or group and what their strategic objectives are to accomplish their mission

Timely post one that creates thought and conversation.
Good job..

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