Three Reasons Why Social Conversations Matter

1 Comment | by Elise Perkins

Guest post by Duncan Alney

People are having conversations on social media all the time. Read that again. All the time. 24/7/52.

Consider these characteristics of social conversations:

  • They’re happening on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, blogs, Tumblr, LinkedIn and more.
  • 99 percent of the time there is no moderator.
  • These conversations are both proactive and reactive.
  • Participation is voluntary, and in many cases, flies in the face of good judgment.
  • These conversations are rich with data.

And this, my friends, is a beautiful opportunity for you. These conversations can be analyzed for trends and insights – and can even be done in real-time.

Identify valuable trends

We recently assisted a major, global brand in identifying a new customer demographic based on conversations. Previously, they were not considering that age group of women as a strong decision making target audience. This brand will now adjust its brand experience, messaging and a whole lot more to optimize their marketing because of this new information.

Identify real-time, mention-based influencers

The use of keywords and a community of influence to identify potential influencers is key. The ability to find people who identify themselves in a conversation is truly powerful. Recently, we did this very thing and found a very influential lifestyle blogger who has a secret obsession with a beauty brand. This person has a highly engaged audience that she influences – and she’d never been involved with a beauty brand before. Without sifting through conversations, we would not have had the ability to identify this particular blogger for beauty-related work.

It’s scalable

While conducting a focus group or a phone survey might yield a face-to-face vibe and the ability to dig in deeper by demographics, social conversation research offers the ability to assess thousands and even millions of people’s points of view.

As my friend and colleague, Jason Falls, founder of the Conversation Research Institute says, “Conversation Research is, simply, researching online conversations – those found in social media, or any other online mechanism that enables user-to-user discussion – with the purpose of discovering insight. We must keep the definition broad to allow inclusion of many varieties of sources, discussions, insights and purposes.”

You can’t afford to not consider the power inside social conversations. And if you ignore it, do so at your own (and your brand’s peril). Please contact me to schedule a time to discuss this opportunity and how you can put it to work for your organization.


Duncan Alney is the CEO and Director of Influencer Programs at Firebelly. He is the very qualified mastermind behind all of the organization’s work who juggles the roles of catalyst, program overseer, problem solver and strategist delicately. For his personal life, Snapchat is his Social Media of choice because it’s real and temporary, but for business he prefers Facebook. His social media advice: Build programs around insights to be responsive, yet strategic.

About Elise Perkins

Elise Perkins founded ep communications in 2014 after seven years of working for trade associations and think tanks. Today she focuses on building brands for businesses and people, using a savvy mix of content and influencer strategies. She sits on the board of Washington Women in Public Relations.

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