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The “Selling” of Social Conversation

With more and more people conversing on the web marketers are trying to create ways in which to sell our conversations. There is a proliferation of tools aimed at tracking, aggregating and influencing conversations. The increased demand for monitoring our conversations means that the value of conversations is going up. The question is who truly captures the value creation obtained from and with conversations?

On the other end of the spectrum marketers are trying to learn how to sell their goods and services through conversations, theirs and ours. While all things social appear to be a medium to extend a marketing message the reality is that “all things social” really represents a much bigger dynamic of change than just a change in the way brands and merchants market to buyers.

The Bigger Dynamic of Change

Just recently The Economist came out with a feature article titled “A World of Connections: A special report on social networking“. The article states “Online social networks are changing the way people communicate, work and play, and mostly for the better, says Martin Giles. The ultimate goal, he wrote, was to come up with something that, ?first and foremost, would make it easier for people to collaborate with one another.”

“This special report has argued that social networks have already done much to achieve  that  goal.  They  have  created trusted online venues where people can meet up using  their  real  identities.  They have  provided  ?rms  with  new ways  to reach their customers and those who inf?uence them. They have reduced friction in the labour market by allowing employers and  prospective  employees  to  connect more  easily  than  ever  before.  And  they have speeded up the ?ow of information within companies.”

“All  of  these  are  impressive  achievements. But  arguably the most  important contribution that the sites have made is to off?er a free and immensely powerful set of communication and collaboration tools to everyone  on  Earth  who  has  access  to  a broadband  internet  connection.  This  democratisation of technology is driving the socialisation of the web and fundamentally changing the way that people interact with one another, as well as with businesses and governments. ”

Beyond the Obvious

While the article in the Economist will in fact continue to raise the awareness of possibilities from a connected world it would seem that the conclusions in articles like these are a flash of the obvious rather than insight into changes fueling the obvious. At the end of the day social conversations are and will continue to change everything.  The Economist article ends with This  democratisation of technology is driving the socialisation of the web and fundamentally changing the way that people interact with one another, as well as with businesses and governments. ”

When people are unleashed from traditional constraints of interaction, collaboration, creativity and communications they become empowered to change the world around them.  People begin to learn that the world of possibilities isn’t what we’ve been taught to think rather it is whatever we can think and create together.   This dynamic unleashes creativity, innovations, beliefs and knowledge never before tapped rather untapped by what we’ve been taught to believe.

Social conversations are in fact selling change. But the change isn’t from the markets rather it is from the people, those that buy into the change. The social wave is building momentum and when it hits your landscape you won’t understand it unless you let go of what you think you understand.

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