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Conversation Media: A New Way to Look at Social Marketing

January 29, 2015EdgeTheory

In the ever-evolving world of technology and marketing, there’s a looming, unconquerable riddle:  how can we create that perfectly crafted message, posted at the most ideal moment that’ll attract the precise audiences and relevant interests at the exact moment they’re looking (even though they aren’t looking specifically for you or your business)? Not only is that a daunting task, it might as well be impossible. Where consumers are simultaneously both farther apart and more interconnected than ever before, how do companies, from big corporations down to small mom-and-pops, take advantage of the gift and hurdle that is social media marketing?

The answer, which is forthcoming, was born in the South, more precisely in the Mississippi Delta, and was crafted, honed, and transportedto the {more} urban backdrop of  Jackson.

It all began with an innovative entrepreneur, Joe Stradinger, and his revolutionary social media marketing idea — the belief that businesses must cultivate a new strategy — conversation media. Though companies have attempted tackling social marketing, none have really embraced or acknowledged a true, established solution — until Stradinger. Once he realized the answer was in his Mississippi heritage, the art of conversation and storytelling, Stradinger had his eureka moment. The ability to involve consumers’ seemingly peripheral interests and passions with their actual search is a way to lure people in, people of all walks of life, race, beliefs, ethnicity, and affiliations of any kind because they’re online looking not only for something that they need but for that which they also want.

The answer to the riddle we presented earlier is (drumroll, please) conversation. The true vein of success in social marketing lay, not in simply being social online with consumers (answering questions and concerns), but in moving toward real conversations; thus, conversation media was born.

To implement conversation media as a social marketing strategy means understanding the key concerns of the business and industry you’re in, as well as the demographics who would use or search for you, even without specifically knowing about or searching for your company or product.  If you are a hotel and your target audience is the Gen Y market, then by creating messages around the nearby bar and music scene, for instance, you will attract far more people and gain a more specified following than by simply describing the nearby beautiful scenery or design-decorated rooms. Whether or not something is promotional specifically for your brand (or in this scenario’s case, your hotel), your messages will garner far more looks and clicks if they are conversing with your audiences’ interests. Are there great, adventurous outdoor activities or quirky museums or boutiques in your surrounding area? Talk about it! So when your target audience goes searching for hiking destinations or  hip shopping spots in their vacation destination area (aka your area), they’ll find you “accidentally” and decide to book a room with you.

This idea caught the attention of the rather formidably successful, Jim Barksdale. After realizing Stradinger’s revolutionary idea and conversation media’s potential, Barksdale became a true champion of Stradinger’s and what would become Leadify. No longer a start-up, Leadify has emerged as an impressive tech enterprise and continues to grow both in clientele and successful conversation. Businesses and industries cannot be too involved in social marketing, and by creating the conversation around your own brand and audience, allows for a greater presence and broader reach online. Not only is a conversation with consumers a more natural and appealing approach to social marketing from the customers’ point of view, it means gathering a glimpse behind the curtain, into the other side of the conversation — the side where your consumers or potential consumers are discussing you and your business — while allowing you the opportunity to take greater strides in molding your reputation and becoming the authority in your industry.

Conversation media is the new way of social marketing. It’s time to have real conversations, and who’d understand that better and implement it better than Mississippians, people who love to talk and born to make conversations with friends and strangers alike?

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