11 October 2013 0 Comments

How to properly turn a conversation to a campaign online

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

Online Conversation,Online campaign, Social marketing, Digital marketing, Rules of Engagement, Online Business Development, Brand Engagement Online, Online Advocacy, Social media campaign, Digital media campaign, Online CampaignVision and focus are two words which have relative meaning. They also have one thing in common- they blindfold.  Sometimes when we are pursuing our goals passionately, every other thing seems irrelevant. We may be looking but our minds are fixed on the goal before us. At this level, even if the physical eyes are starring at the opposite direction they will do the owner no good. The inner eyes are in full control and see brightly.

When it comes to online campaign, some people do forget others are important. They focus more on what they want to achieve. With this, some go overboard to abuse the platform as well as other online media users without knowing. They post and tag people with contents that are not relevant to their friends without asking for their permission. This is a criminal case which many ‘receivers’ often let go without raising an issue. All they do is either silently delete the offensive content or block the individual. Have you noticed the common trend on FaceBook? Many fake love seekers constantly send love notes and requests to your inbox and required you get back to them through a private mail instead of the medium they use.

Because of these associated challenges of turning conversation into a campaign, many experts have advised that should be a no go arena. They argue, a conversation online should remain what it is why a campaign should be what it is also. They emphasized ‘Never turn conversation to a campaign’. We quite agree with this only with a little caveat. Before we go ahead, let us say you are not under obligation to accept our own opinion. If you know you have a challenge with this, it is good you remain within the confinement where you have potential to be successful: make a conversation a conversation only, use campaign for what it is.

For those who can, here are some ways to properly turn a conversation into a campaign online.

Start a general but specific conversation: this may sound confusing. But anyone who has been online for long should know what this mean. Your general conversation should be specific to what you stand for and what drives you. Anything short of this will make your brand a generalist. No one will think you are serious that way.

Find out what interest them and their challenges: within your specific conversation, look out for what interest your followers, fans and friends and build a conversation around this while you are pursuing your own goal. In addition, find their challenges and make this your concern also. People can feel it when you care.

Be helpful, generous with solutions from other sources: to be the best, never be selfish in sending them other sources of solution: articles, papers, case studies and other group discussion around their issues

Offer your own unique solution: after the above, never forget who you are and what you stand for. Be proud of yourself and your offerings and let them know also how your offerings in addition to other helpful sources can help them overcome their challenges. Never be offended if some do not buy from you or consider you an expert strong enough to help them for now. You have got to build your credibility overtime. But as you will realize, social selling has come in already at this point. Handshake is gradually moving towards the elbow without any assault intended. We believe at this point conversation is becoming a campaign, whatever the nametag we assign to it. Only that we should be carefully this is not always the goal. People will see through the façade.

Be open and let them know they can seek solution: Let them know they do not have to buy from you but you will be available if they consider your brand good enough. By this you have not shut the door.

If you do these properly, many will think they owe you. In fact with these, conversation will have been subtly moved into a campaign zone without the hard feeling that you are doing a hard sell. When you help a friend out by giving helping hands, they will likely want to help. The issue here is that some of them may not be able to buy directly from you but they can become an advocate as well as word of mouth adviser for your brand. Think long term value when you are on online media.  Whatever we do online, let us remember conversation will achieve more when properly annexed.

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