Social media is an ever growing opportunity and challenge for most companies. They need to figure out how to generate a stream of Twitter content, how to keep their Facebook page relevant, and how to engage users on their website. It’s not so so much that it’s a lot of content, it’s that it’s a lot of instances of less content (tweets, status updates, etc) and because it is social it has to have a very different tone.
As we’ve heard repeatedly for years now: the market is a conversation. And the conversation has to be conducted in an human voice. You can’t fake it. Marketing departments sound about as human as text-to-speech. It may the right words, but we know it isn’t human and therefore we probably neither like it, nor trust it.
Community Q&A can help to change that.
By letting your visitors ask and answer questions, with you doing the same, you are having a genuine conversation. It’s pretty easy to answer a question in a human voice because you generally are more focused and not trying to appeal to everyone – you’re just answering a question. You visitors are part of your voice and they all sound different and have interesting things to ask and contribute. If you have this facility on your site then you are having a conversation on your site. So much for step 1.
How does that become social?
The nice thing about Q&A is that it is a discrete and enclosed entity. It can be sent out into the social ecosystem and be of interest to followers – because it is their voice and yours combined. So you can tweet it or send it to you Facebook page and it doesn’t seem out of place.
Now that you and your community are having a conversation and radiating it out in the social media, you can enhance each of the those streams with whatever platform relevant content you want. But the one thing you can count on is a steady stream of communication that is conversational and human. And that’s what social media is all about.