As a content marketer, you are constantly looking for ways to control the conversation with your customers. But that doesn’t mean directing it. Sometimes, it can be as simple as letting your audience know that you’re engaged.

In her upcoming book The Digital Crown, Aha Media president Ahava Leibtag explains why the conversation you have with your customers is so important:

“People make assumptions about your brand based on their encounters with it in the actual physical world and online. Then they will talk about it—with their spouses, peers, colleagues and strangers—when they post an online review. As a business, you need to control that conversation.”

Follow our tips to learn how to get started.

5 Ways to Control the Conversation with Your Customers

  • Target your audience online: It’s important to know who you are talking to. Understanding how your customers use social media sites and website will help you understand who they are. You should adapt your digital strategy to correspond with your audience’s online habits. If they’re on Facebook, then you should be on Facebook. If they’re on Instagram, you should be there, too.

  • Monitor your brand: On Twitter and other social media sites, you can follow your company’s hashtag to see who’s talking about you. Remember, you can’t respond to conversations that you don’t see, so make sure that your social media team is monitoring what people are saying about your brand. Just like any conversation, it’s important to be a good listener, too.

  • Engage your users: Social media sites are not a monologue. It’s a two-way conversation between you and your customers, so be sure to respond and interact. If someone leaves a positive comment and you respond, your fans will see that you’re paying attention and available to them. If they say something negative, view it as an opportunity to turn a dissatisfied customer into a loyal one. By acknowledging that you saw their complaint and are willing to address their concerns, you can make an impression on that person as well as all his or her followers.

  • Know your brand’s online personality: Remember that your online presence should reflect your brand personality and be consistent. You need to know who you are in order to converse successfully with current and potential customers. Your company might not have the budget for a full time social media consultant, so instead you need to make one company voice for everyone to use when talking to fans. The easy way to do this is with “this, but not that” statements:

    • We are witty, but not silly
    • We are smart, but not stuffy
    • We are helpful, but not effusive

  • Pick and choose: As you respond to more of your fans, you’ll find that although everyone has an opinion, not everyone has something nice to say. Controlling the conversation doesn’t necessarily mean stopping bad conversations. Weight your options: is a rude comment really worth engaging? If the comment is just unpleasant, or worse, inappropriate, controlling the conversation might mean changing the conversation. Pay attention to the fans who deserve your attention, and let the rest go.


Don’t forget your free download of the first chapter of The Digital Crown: Winning at Content on the Web.

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