From Conversation to Conversion

Corporate blog – Step2: Writing down the Plan
(Step 1: The Mad Link, or how to step back to the big picture)
Following Beth Harte’s practical approach, at the point “Goal: To generate conversation around Product X (Solo), I accidentally misspelled and wrote “conversion” instead of “conversation”.
And, actually, isn’t the CONVERSION the ultimate goal of CONVERSATION? If considered in its most global acceptance?
It is the paradox of Social Media and, particulalry, the ROI issue: on one hand, it is not socially acceptable to have conversion’s objectives, taking the risk to be rejected. On the other hand, what’s the sense of putting so much effort and time in social media if not, in the end, having happier, more loyal and more customers?

Even if conversion is the addition of a mix of tools/strategies, good, sincere use of social media surely is part of the mix, as for other tools.
So, what do you think? Am I totally wrong in inviting the conversion into the conversation?

[Picture Credit: Swamibu]

The Mad Link

Mad Link
Ok. It’s decided, we need a corporate blog (a company in the mobile telecommunication softwares industry, sosoftware, with very few employees but very big potential).
Since the beginnigng of the company (2007), I wanted to create a blog, for the story was fascinating, full of rebounds and created by 2 visionary and colorful men. There was a story to tell.
But I had no experience with blogging and though a first blog version went online, it never took off. My own energies were all funneled by more general and essential things like brand’s creation, website, and all marketing stuff.
Now, one and a half year later, after having done my first steps with this blog, I’m ready.
But plenty of questions arise:
what technology to use? what kind of template? how to set up objectives? how to integrate the blog into the marketing plan? how many ressources are needed? what will a blog bring to the company? is it really useful? and many, many other questions that I even didn’t IMAGINE before.

Before I clicked. The first LINK.

On a post that sounded something like “50 things to know before you start your corporate blog”.
It was really interesting and full of practical advice and links. I clicked those links.
There was always another link that gave me the feeling I would know more if I cliked and read it.
But at the same time, I felt I still hadn’t got the point, so I kept on clicking and following links.
Many many experts out there giving lessons and giving the feeling there is a right way to do things.
Fear not to have the full picture. Clik.
More aspects about corporate blogging. Examples. Click.
Time to be on Twitter? Fine, let’s start Twitter. Write. Comment. Buy the Age of Conversation. Read.
Profiles. Blogs. Click. Click. CLICK!
One says:”make a plan”. Another says: “stop thinking, just do!” Right. But, wait. Here’s an article about “Business usage of Twitter”…

So, here is my takeaway lesson: START.
I am convinced about the interest of social media for our company.
I have aggregated a nice list of information sources, allowing me to manage it and stop being overwhelmed by the endless flow of news.
I know people I can ask for advice.
I have the information I needed to make up the marketing plan including social media.
I love being connected to like-minded people and I’m looking forward to getting to know more and more of them. To sharing ideas with them.
I want to enter the discussion with people interested by our products and know more about them, their needs, to see what will emerge out of those conversations.
It will be a long process.

I take back control over the MAD link and click when I decide to.
I do.

Time to write the plan.

And you? How was your first experience with blogging? Or before blogging? Did you jump and learn to swim once in the water or did you take time before to be sure to float?
Do you have some advice that help from being sucked up by the MAD link?

Here are some of the sources that most helped, inspired me in the middle of the jungle:
Blog-Well, by Lid, @MadLid, my e-ngel
If I started today, Chris Brogan
Why start a blog and 25 tips to make it work, Valeria Maltoni
Death by Risk Aversion
“Without failing, I would not know many of the limits that I was able to break through”, in a post titled 25 ways to fail and come out on top
Sustainable Marketing Blog
MarketingProfs Daily Fix , I think it was the first click (but not the last one!) Don’t remember what post, though. This one helped.
Before you start blogging, ask yourself these 10 questions, HubSpot
8 reasons that speak for having a corporate blog, ComMetrics
And a last one: The Social Media Hat Rack, by @AmberCadabra
STOP. Or you’ll get mad!

[Photo Credit: Deannedaffy]

emotion as connection

Leman Lake. Copyright Fispace

Leman Lake. Copyright Fispace

I’ve been reading really a LOT of blogs these last days, looking for how’s and why’s to create a blog, with a particular interest for corporate blogging (more about it in next posts).
Plenty of them were rich of insights, but, I got stuck only to a few of them, without trying to analyze it.
And it is when I read this post, by Valeria Maltoni, that I found one of these “convergent tracks”: culture leading to emotion leading to connections.
Culture convokes beauty.
Beauty convokes love, emotion.
Emotion opens to others, it becomes a connector, maybe THE connector. It makes you react, engage, give. A good emotion will make you feel more generous. More loyal, too!
So, one of the challenges, with blogging, could result into how to wrap an idea, a message in order to associate the message with a pleasant feeling. Obviously without losing of sight the rational side.
So, emotion wouldn’t be the Holy Grail, just the connecting point between the content and the reaction.
From what I perceived, I could say that emotional connectors are: sincerity, art, culture, beauty. In blogs, that can be translated by:
art of writing, images, music, humour and …. what else?

I do not resist to share additional BEAUTIFUL pictures of the place I live. So much emotion in front of such beauty.

Update: A special thank you to Valeria Maltoni for her kind and great follow up with “connections as emotion“.

Obama: Hope for Modern Democracy

Hope for More Democracy

Hope for More Democracy

I stood awake very late last night to get first results about the election’s results, but as nothing was said at more than 1 o’clock, I set on my alarm very early this morning and.. WOW! What an AMAZING and great surprise!

I read the full transcript of Barak Obama’s first presidential speech , watched on CNN, shed a few tears and was struck by some very powerful sentences:
“I will listen to you, especially when we disagree”.
“I hear your voices.”
“I need your help”.
“I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation”….

Doesn’t this sound like social media bottom line credo?
Democracy is by essence the participation of individuals into the political playground:
Democracy is a form of government in which the supreme power is held completely by the people under a free electoral system. It is derived from the Greek δημοκρατία ([dimokratia] (help·info)), “popular government” which was coined from δήμος (dēmos), “people” and κράτος (kratos), “rule, strength“. […]

So back to the present: by engaging each American to the development’s process, by encouraging the dialog with everybody, isn’t Obama just playing the rules of social media? Or is his victory already the result of having played those rules, knowing that he, better than any politician before, understood the mechanism of social media and gave truly the word to anyone?

This would mean that social media, web 2.0, is just the reflection of a larger reality, or, maybe, it is its projected image? The tool that enhances democracy.
I am sure that this subect has been dealt many times and much deeper by bloggers.

It also strikes me how much love Barack Obama inspires, a true emotion fills me when I hear him and, that too, must be a clue in his success, it makes people act, engage, and surely, respond when he says “Yes, we can”.

Yes, I can: get committed to my dreams.
And you? What kind of link between Obama’s victory, social media and democracy do you see?