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Recently, Face book migrated its messaging platform to a threading model. Before this change, each message you sent to another party would create a new item in your inbox (and theirs). This produced an inbox experience that was cluttered and difficult to navigate. Treating messages as conversations is one of the features that gave the phone its mass appeal, and one that Face book was smart to adopt. Face book even took it a step further and combined chat features with its messaging platform to create one integrated product. If you send someone a chat message and he or she doesn’t respond, the chat messages is deposited in the inbox. In essence, all communication is distilled into one contiguous thread over time, and single messages start to lose importance.
For those socially engaged, overall conversations start to carry additional meaning, and begin to develop their own larger value. Conversations have become more than merely the sum of their parts, and this needs to be addressed in social marketing. This change, brought about by innovators like Apple and Face book, is a shift away from the mail-carrier model to a more social web experience. Traditional mail is sent as individual, dislocated units. Data-driven marketers of today are still using data points to target consumers and send them highly tailored direct response emails. Response and success is measured in terms of open rates and clicks. Today’s social marketing models, however, require brands to think differently about messaging.
Marketers must move away from a push marketing mindset (which is appropriate for other CRM channels) and focus on conversational marketing. The value of a socially-targeted, conversational message is multidimensional. Like push marketing, targeting and segmentation can get you a long way towards having your message resonate with your audience. But in the social sphere, the message is additionally valuable based on the conversation that it creates. Successful social messaging creates conversational threads and also spawns new conversational threads. Re-tweeting, commenting, and ‘liking’ are newly invented standards for messaging success. As pointed by RBM – a Marketing Firm in Hong Kong, messages are also valuable in their ability to create public recognition and personal connections with fans and followers. A brand’s interactions with its constituents are one of the most valuable brand-building tools it has at its disposal. The ability for these interactions to be both highly public and tailored to the needs of constituents creates goodwill that is impossible to reproduce in other marketing channels.