Online Learning Journal

INF206 | Salinafix

Social media and the art of conversation

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The Slideshare presentation on the future of social media entertainment has some interesting statistics and points on the changing habits of TV watchers but in my opinion the more important points for social media in any area of business are in the accompanying notes. Specifically, the social media marketing campaign diagram: Involve, Create, Discuss, Promote and Measure (Hayes & Papworth, 2008). All five areas are concerned with the art of conversation. Having a conversation is a skill and just because social media doesn’t take place face to face, doesn’t mean you don’t need to practice!

As Hayes and Papworth (2008) write, you cannot fake being involved and engaged. People who use social media are quite attuned to fake people. You need to be authentic in your online life both as an individual and as an organisation (as well as your offline one!) Understanding the social web leads on to making your content relevant (Hayes & Papworth, 2008). Who is your online community of interest? This is a key point for libraries and information professionals engaging online. Are you trying to reach the right group of people? The entire world isn’t on Facebook (although it seems like it), so is your organisation in other places online? Talking? Are you creating your personal learning network (PLN) with the right people?

Next up, discuss. Yes! Create a conversation, ask questions, point people to a library website, Pinterest board or another website of interest to your online community. The article makes a terrific point . . . “effective social network marketing comes from deep understanding and experience of communities and how they operate and what motivates them”. (Hayes & Papworth, 2008).

And lastly, promote and measure. Be genuine and authentic in your promotion, your conversation. And measure what you do, track the retweets, check out your Pinterest followers and Facebook likers (Hayes & Papworth, 2008). This all comes to back to knowing your audience, understanding your community. If you get a great response to tweets about romance writers, likes about Harry Potter, repins of Fifty Shades or likes on your YouTube video on how to load an e-book onto an e-reader, then you know you’re on the right track.

It’s all about the conversation isn’t it? How to keep the flow going, sometimes pausing for awkward silences whilst you figure out how to embed a YouTube video or how to Storify a great conversation. But then you get back into the conversation and everyone heads off on another tangent or makes a new friend.

Hayes, G., & Papworth, L. (2008, October 26). The Future of Social Media Entertainment. Personalize Media. Retrieved November 26, 2012, from


One thought on “Social media and the art of conversation

  1. Pingback: Evaluation (2a) « Online Learning Journal

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