How to turn one conversation into a lot of conversations

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One conversation is nice, but more is better. If you’re not using these techniques to turn small, one-to-one conversations into bigger ones, you’re missing out on some serious word of mouth.

What to do:

1. Use the multiplier effect
2. Take advantage of your spotlight
3. Connect your talkers

1. Use the multiplier effect

Give a fan one extra sample and she’ll share it with one friend. Give her 10 extra samples and she’ll walk around her office giving them away. This is the multiplier effect, and it can turn a quiet recommendation between two friends into a much larger conversation. Other ways to use multipliers include adding room to tell several friends with your tell-a-friend forms (instead of just one), handing out multiple coupons to share, and encouraging them to bring a bunch of friends instead of just a few.

2. Take advantage of your spotlight

As a brand, you have a spotlight or two. Your blog, your home page, your email newsletter — they’re all opportunities to highlight things. And, when you use them to highlight your biggest fans, that gives them credibility and attention. This can turn a big-but-unknown fan into a respected expert. It can also turn a small conversation buried deep online into a bigger, more interesting discussion.

3. Connect your talkers

We love to meet people who share our passions and interests. For a brand, connecting talkers can turn quiet, disconnected love into big, raving conversations. You just need to find a way to bring them together. Microsoft does it for IT professionals, Fiskars does it for crafters, Harley does it for bikers, and eBay does it for sellers. Who are your fans? What are they obsessed with? How can you bring them together? Start with a small group of eager talkers — and just see what happens.

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