Inc.com recently featured a video that was dedicated to the concept of ‘how to start a conversation’. It contains very useful information, particularly for a type B personality, someone who struggles with shyness when meeting someone new. They can also be helpful for media marketers trying to make connections online. The tips contained within that video included: Talk About the Weather When meeting someone new and trying to break into a comfortable conversation, it is helpful to begin with a neutral topic, and one that is universally relatable. Everyone in the area is affected by the weather there, and will likely have an opinion on the current temperatures, humidity levels, or some other condition. Online, weather talk can be equally as productive, but is best done on a local basis.
Comment on the Locale Particularly if you are in a place that is new to both of you, it can be a good move to mention something about the location. Perhaps this is a comment about the architecture of the venue, or maybe it is about some tourist hotspot that you enjoyed. This can be very effective on social media as well. If you see that someone in your feed is visiting a location that you are familiar with, make a comment about what you enjoyed, ask if he or she has seen a particular sight yet, or suggest a favorite restaurant.
Compliment Previous Works The video suggested commenting positively on something that you have read or seen of the other person. The same rule absolutely applies online. When trying to make conversation on social media, it is best to begin with a topic that you know to be of interest to the other individual, and that is most easily done by commenting on that person’s achievement.
Compliment Clothing or Accessories This may not be as easy on social media, but can be effective, particularly if the person has posted a picture of a new shirt or accessory, or if a selfie was posted recently.
Ask for Help In person, this might mean asking the other person to get something out of your reach, asking that he or she help you carry something, or to perform some other physical task. Online, it can mean asking about some new tool, for tips on using a particular service, or for advice about some other aspect on online activity.
Many of the skills used in face-to-face communication can be very effectively reapplied in the social media arena. Knowing that can make it much easier to converse with potential customers, clients, and vendors online.