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Newsletter #823: The “Great Conversations” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Starting and finding great conversations that lead to amazing word of mouth is easier than you think. A few ideas to get you started:

1> Ask your fans for help
2> Put them on a plane
3> Tag along for the ride
4> Check it out: Famous Objects From Classic Movies

1> Ask your fans for help

Your biggest fans would love to get involved — usually all you have to do is ask. When the New Jersey Devils hockey team needed help monitoring their brand in social media, they recruited fans to do it. These fans, known as “army generals,” monitor online buzz and post their insights on games and players. The generals are honored to do it, the fans love their content, and the Devils get help monitoring the positive and negative conversations about the team.

The lesson: Your fans are probably better at it than you are — so let them do the talking.

Learn more: MediaPost

2> Put them on a plane

Great word of mouth needs a forum to take place. Sometimes it’s a blog, sometimes it’s a conference, and sometimes it’s a Boeing 747 at 35,000 feet. That’s the location British Airways uses for their Face-to-Face Program which helps entrepreneurs create international partnerships by flying them overseas. On a recent flight, more than 250 small business entrepreneurs spent a seven-hour flight from New York to London networking with peers. They held meetings, shared ideas, and even created a few business deals — not to mention got a memorable hands-on experience with British Airways’ international flight options.

The lesson: To start great conversations, take advantage of opportunities to host them.

Learn more: Portfolio

3> Tag along for the ride

Instead of trying to start the next great conversation, could you join an existing one? Even though GM opted not to run flashy commercials during the Super Bowl, they still got in on the buzz by buying search terms related to phrases from competitors’ commercials. So even though they didn’t drop millions on a two-minute spot like Chrysler, they still got a boost in web traffic from people searching for the phrase, “Imported from Detroit.” It wasn’t quite as effective as creating the great content themselves, but it’s a lot better than throwing their hands up and hoping for better luck next year.

The lesson: If you see a bunch of buzz starting — even if it’s by a competitor — there’s probably a way you can get involved too.

Learn more: The Wall Street Journal

4> Check it out: Famous Objects From Classic Movies

Can you identify what movies these silhouetted objects are from?

Check it out: Famous Objects From Classic Movies


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