The Art of Social Media Conversations (an Interview with Jason Falls)

social media expert interviewIn this video I interview Jason Falls, founder of Social Media Explorer. Jason is an expert in helping large corporations build social media strategies.

In this interview, Jason shares the biggest mistake businesses make when using social media. He also shows the similarities between social media and public relations, how to engage customers and his excellent insights into the future of social media.

After you watch the video, be sure to read the takeaways listed below and let us know what resonated with you most.

Here are some of the key points Jason shares in this video:

  • Listen to your competition as well as your current customers and what they are saying about your company
  • Social media conversations are dialogues and even “multi-logues” where others listen to your 1-on-1 conversations
  • Social media is about building long term lasting relationships with customers
  • Listen for and respond to both positive and negative comments multiplies the good vibes around your brand
  • Soon businesses will be creating social businesses where customers come for community and not just to buy your product
  • The best social media programs take the online world and move it to the offline world

What’s next for Jason? He’s busy consulting, writing projects and creating an online learning portal for businesses to learn basic social media techniques.

What was your biggest takeaway from this video? Please share your comments below.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author, Michael Stelzner

Michael Stelzner is the founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, and host of the Social Media Marketing podcast. He also authored of the books Launch and Writing White Papers. Other posts by »




More Info
  • pauloconnor_ie

    My biggest takeaway is the idea that the best social media programs take the online world and move it to the off-line world. That reverses my perception of traffic flow with regard to social media, as so many are seeking to drive traffic INTO it.

    Great piece!
    Thanks

  • chariselynn

    I definitely agree with pauloconnor_ie & I really appreciate the point on not just blasting a message out there. But instead creating a conversation, creating a community, & creating a gathering for consumers to converse and bring offline into the real world. Thanks for this!

  • http://www.highercallingcommunications.com ChristyKSchutz

    Thank goodness Jason reiterated to businesses that they can’t just jump in and start participating without taking the time to listen first. We run into client’s time after time who just want us to set up their Facebook page or their Twitter account, but they have NO idea of what kind of conversation is going on already.

    I also liked Jason’s take on how we need to move online to offline. I firmly believe that Social Media can serve as a way to bring people together in the flesh. I believe people are hungry for a closer-knit, more meaningful sense of community…beyond their computer screens. I tried to put my brain around this in a recent post I wrote on the Sociology of Social Networks ( http://bit.ly/bSXGhp ). As more and more businesses learn to do this right, I believe they will enjoy the benefits of fierce customer loyalty and a competitive edge that will be really hard to beat!

    Nice interview!!

  • Guest

    Thanks for reminding us of the importance of building relationships with others using social media sites. After all it is all about listening what others have to say and engaging into communication with them.
    Cheers!

  • sarageorge

    For us Baby Boomers who are embracing social media at work and at home, Jason’s notion of dialogues and multi-logues is like a light bulb going off in the head. If people like you and Jason stay at it, folks like us might eventually “get it.” Thanks for the info!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks so much!

  • http://buhlerworks.com/wordpress JEBworks

    The sooner companies realize that the days of one-way message based marketing is dying fast – if it’s not already dead – the better. To be successful on the social web requires first of all the right culture and the willingness to give up control over your brand and seriously enter the conversation with an open mind of engaging with customers. Unfortunately today, all too often the discussion is about tools and tactics. Those are only effective with if they are based on clear objectives and strategy. Otherwise the result is what Seth Godin a while back has termed a “Meatball Sundae” and that is an ugly thing to behold…

  • hollyrose

    I love how Social Media is taking us back to the day of “customer service”. 30+ years ago I was in retail marketing in Kansas City…and in those days we “listened” to our clients to find out what they were wanting. We all know what has happened over the years with companies cutting out what they considered “frills” (ie…taking care of the customer) and only looking at the “bottom line”. I see this rebuilding of community online as an excellent way to bring back good old fashioned “relationships” in business. Great interview and informaton!!

  • http://twitter.com/thinkstrategy Mat Maynor

    Great interview Michael and Jason. I could not agree more with one of Jason’s last comments about companies that utilize social media to help facilitate and engage customers in a real world experience. I too think Panera is doing an excellent job at this and I think Einstein Bros. might be onto the same thing.

  • whistlerheather

    I love the fact that you need to be social to be involved with social media; combined with the fact that you need to spend the time to learn the technology… You need to be involved which means listening more than you talk… Thank you Jason for putting this front and center…. Coming to you live tonight from Whistler where I have been tweeting all about the 2010 Olympics!!! Having a blast LISTENING to our visitors about our resort.. Cheers!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Heather – Glad you liked the interview. Been watching all the Olympics here on TV. Must be cool (literally) to be there.

  • kristibeckman

    Mike,
    Good interview. I hail from Germany, but I’m in Afghanistan right now training the NATO Training Mission on their social media strategy. I’m tracking with Jason, so that is great!! Thank you for sharing and if you have any tips for this fantastic PA team out here, let us know! http://www.ntm-a.com @nmta_cstca

  • http://www.meryl.net/section/blog/ Meryl K Evans

    I looked up a hashtag in Twitter for a very specific type of product. I went through pages and pages of results finding nothing of value. They were all promoting their own products or announcing a job opening. Not one bit of useful info or link about the general category of products. These vendors are not listening in Twitter at all — they just watch for someone mention a competitor’s product or if anyone knows of any good X products… they respond “Check out X product.”

    This is not the way to use Twitter in business successfully.

  • http://twitter.com/careysullivan Carey Sullivan

    Thanks for posting the interview. A friend and I were just talking last week about what’s next for social media. I’m interested to hear more of your thoughts Michael and Jason.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    I very much agree Meryl there is a TON of noise out there. – Mike

  • davechomitz

    The idea that …. best social media programs take the online world and move it to the off-line world…..speaks so clearly to me.

    Thanks for a great interview.

  • http://jasonfalls.com/ JasonFalls

    Thanks, Paul. Happy to provide some thought starters.

  • http://jasonfalls.com/ JasonFalls

    You’re welcome. Thanks for commenting!

  • http://jasonfalls.com/ JasonFalls

    Thanks, Christy. Appreciate the compliments. I’m off to check out your post now!

  • http://jasonfalls.com/ JasonFalls

    Appreciate the comment Branko. Thanks for saying so.

  • http://jasonfalls.com/ JasonFalls

    That’s the nicest thing you’ve said to me in a while. Heh. (For those that don’t know, Sara George is my mother.)

  • http://jasonfalls.com/ JasonFalls

    Amen to that, JEB. Appreciate the additional thoughts there.

  • http://jasonfalls.com/ JasonFalls

    Totally agree there, Holly. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

  • http://jasonfalls.com/ JasonFalls

    Agree, there Mat. Einsten is doing some neat things. They happen to be working with an agency here in Louisville, too, and the digital folks there are friends of mine. Love what they’re doing. Just wish they had more locations.

  • http://jasonfalls.com/ JasonFalls

    Thanks Heather. Glad to bring some focus to the whole social media mess. Thanks for commenting.

  • http://jasonfalls.com/ JasonFalls

    Stay safe, Kristi. What you’re doing certainly makes what I do seem rather irrelevant. Keep up the good work.

  • http://jasonfalls.com/ JasonFalls

    No doubt. Unfortunately, we’re never going to see the end of spam or bad marketing.

  • http://jasonfalls.com/ JasonFalls

    I really think what’s next is people figure out how to use it. They find it’s about communications and not technology and begin reconnecting with their customers. That and Google will buy Twitter. Heh.

  • http://jasonfalls.com/ JasonFalls

    Thanks Dave. Glad to push your thinking a bit.

  • http://russellparrott.com/ parotstalk

    Great, have retweeted, more people must read/watch the sooner that people realise you annot jsut set up twitter/FaceBook etc without a strategy and a way to measure ROI the better. I have just (yesterday) started a blog focusing on this subject.

  • ProstateCancerC

    Excellent interview Jason. In 8 minutes you aptly articulated the essence of social media. You can’t imagine the number of times I’ve attempted to explain this issue to folks who still continue to put out 1-way content in this space.

    I do have a question though. Is there a time when being a “broadcaster” does make sense? For example, a large newspaper outlet may use their main brand for news output [monologue], while concurrently allowing their columnists to micro-engage with its customers [dialogue]. Does this type of duality work, or would you still forsee the need for the brand itself to become 2-way in the channel?

  • BillBaum

    Thank you Jason.
    I now have a new understanding of effective social dialogue and what one might call “the art of social media.”
    You have uncovered so many nuggets of useful information in such a concise and compact
    presentation. To be honest, I never seriously looked at social media from the perspective of the other person or persons.
    You’re absolutely right, it’s not just broadcasting a sales pitch.
    Effective social media is building relationships, sharing information and bringing the online discussion to the offline community.
    Thank you again,
    Bill

  • http://thewisdomguy.com/ Hank Wasiak

    As usual Jason, some great points and advice. I think that Social Media has morphed into the fifth pillar “P” of the marketing mix…People (Right up there with Product, Price,Place, Promotion) Businesses must embed a people strategy into their corporate cultures and operations. A whole new role and perspective for the CMO. As hollyrose points out, In some ways it is back to the future of one on one customer knowledge and service and now it’s on positive steroids.

    Hank Wasiak

  • http://www.ghennipher.net Ghennipher

    Jason always gives great social media tips, but this one really hits home for me. I’m often contacted by companies who want me to create broadcast ‘campaigns’ for them. I have a fundamental issue with that tactic, so I spend most of my time actually educating them about the social/community/conversation/relationship aspects of social media as it relates to their customers. Just because automated tools allow digital media campaigns to look a lot like traditional media campaigns doesn’t mean it’s a good idea!

    Thanks for the great tips! The thing most businesses really need is not more tools, but more understanding of how to become social companies.

  • kristibeckman

    Thanks, Jason! Your work is definitely not irrelevant. You and many others are the folks who taught me to communicate in this realm for the U.S. military. In today’s information fight, staying ahead of the enemy is critical and social media helps us do this. So, thanks for what you do! :o)

  • christelhall

    Jason/Michael – thanks for a good interview and post. What I can relate to most in Jason’s comments is his point about social media’s similarities to PR. In fact, after 25 years in PR, I can tell you that the two-way dialogue is one of the main differentiators (pointed out by PRSA and professional APRs) between advertising (one-way message) and public relations. The fact that social media can add another dimension (multi-logue) is not only what helps make it viral, but what helps the community understand where a brand is coming from and if they are providing great customer service (or not).

  • emilyharris

    Jason,
    Great information, I learned a lot. The company that I work with has exclusive rights on a custom video widget that can be shared on any social platform or web page. This product literally has thousands of uses including training.

  • http://adagencyonline.net/ philipzelinger

    The shared wisdoms of this post reflect the obvious, which unfortunately is not as “obvious” as it should be to many companies trying to capitalize on the new social media that it discusses. Simply put, human nature has survived in the virtual world of the Internet and people will always drive processes vs. processes driving people.

    The ability to monetize relationships has always been a challenge for the business world, as is evidenced by the reputation of insurance salespeople as someone to avoid at a party or risk being cornered into a sales pitch on whole life vs. term insurance. The point is that businesses that push themselves into social networking communities are seen as party crashers. Old school methods of B2C marketing are giving way to the more acceptable C2C messages delivered by conversations amongst friends.

    I, for example, have born the burden of being a “car salesman” for most of my adult life but I have learned to do business with friends in both the real and the virtual world and I let them do the “selling” for me. Everyone wants a friend in the car business and the efficiencies and leverage provided by new technologies on the WWW have taken networking to a new level. Auto industry marketing platforms like the consumer centric http://ronsmap.com, for example, provide Word Of Mouth Optimazation, WOMO, by allowing car shoppers to dicuss their experiences before, during and after the sale with online friends in face book and other social networking communities to solicit opinions about the vehicle and/or the dealer during their online car shopping trips. Applications like this provide efficienct and politically correct access to social networking sites by marketing from the inside out vs. from the outside in. After all, what are friends for!

    The wisdoms of yesterday are fueling the opportunites of tomorrow with human nature remaining the constant and technology providing the element of change.

  • http://adagencyonline.net/ philipzelinger

    The shared wisdoms of this post reflect the obvious, which unfortunately is not as “obvious” as it should be to many companies trying to capitalize on the new social media that it discusses. Simply put, human nature has survived in the virtual world of the Internet and people will always drive processes vs. processes driving people.

    The ability to monetize relationships has always been a challenge for the business world, as is evidenced by the reputation of insurance salespeople as someone to avoid at a party or risk being cornered into a sales pitch on whole life vs. term insurance. The point is that businesses that push themselves into social networking communities are seen as party crashers. Old school methods of B2C marketing are giving way to the more acceptable C2C messages delivered by conversations amongst friends.

    I, for example, have born the burden of being a “car salesman” for most of my adult life but I have learned to do business with friends in both the real and the virtual world and I let them do the “selling” for me. Everyone wants a friend in the car business and the efficiencies and leverage provided by new technologies on the WWW have taken networking to a new level. Auto industry marketing platforms like the consumer centric http://ronsmap.com, for example, provide Word Of Mouth Optimazation, WOMO, by allowing car shoppers to dicuss their experiences before, during and after the sale with online friends in face book and other social networking communities to solicit opinions about the vehicle and/or the dealer during their online car shopping trips. Applications like this provide efficienct and politically correct access to social networking sites by marketing from the inside out vs. from the outside in. After all, what are friends for!

    The wisdoms of yesterday are fueling the opportunites of tomorrow with human nature remaining the constant and technology providing the element of change.

  • http://www.palmspringsgreathomes.com/ Stephen C. (Steve) Love

    Jason & Michael: Thanks for another insightful post. Thought you’d be interested in the following:
    Was sending a note to a former music biz colleague in Aussie when I had an epiphany. I use social media extensively (see my website & blogs for various links) and I am as passionate about this as I’ve ever been about the music biz (feels to me 2 me like it did in the ’70’s when we’d discover a new, great band or song daily….this time it’s a new, great Internet app!…). As before, this period of creativity is a game changer.

  • http://denovati.com/ Courtney Shelton Hunt

    It’s hard to argue with Jason’s insights, but I have noticed a trend lately that I find troubling: the equating of social media with its external applications such as marketing, PR, sales, and customer service. Even more concerning is the limited focus on the use of social media by commercial entities and their customers.

    The potential impact of social media in organizations is FAR greater than the dialogue between businesses and their customers, and its potential impact extends to public sector and non-profit entities as well. To limit the conversation to a small subset of applications that are really just the tip of the iceberg is not in our collective best interests. I hope we can recognize that the uses of social media to enhance the interactions between businesses and their customers is a relatively narrow slice of a very large and growing pie.

    Courtney Hunt
    Founder, Social Media in Organizations

  • Pingback: How To Better Contribute to The Social Media Conversation in Your Niche | Social Media Magic | Optimized Marketing Strategies and Services()









Pinterest
Join our Social Media Marketing Networking Club
Get Your FREE Copy of the 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report
Wondering how your peers are using social media? Get this free report (50 pages, 80+ charts) and never miss another great article from Social Media Examiner.
Check out the Social Media Marketing Podcast!