One-Way Talk vs. Two-Way Conversations with Consumers

One-Way Communication OR a Two-Way Conversation

The Engagement EffectOne way to engage the consumer online, as discussed in an earlier entry, is as easy as asking a question. This gets the consumer involved in the social media stream, as illustrated by Diet Coke’s Facebook page.

The soda’s effort is remarkable, asking consumers directly and feeding into their ego. When did they last drink and upload a photo. With almost 800,000 fans, thousands respond to each question (and post) by the worldwide soft drink maker. Considering the Snowball Effect, Diet Coke has access to more than 102.6 million consumers (remember, an average Facebook user has 130 friends).

While Diet Coke excels at getting the message out to the consumers, where Diet Coke fails is the next potential effort: Interacting with fans, friends and followers.

One-Way Communication OR a Two-Way ConversationIt’s the question of whether a one-way communication is better than a two-way conversation.

Of course, with so many consumers with whom to interact, it becomes close to impossible. However, it’s not impossible. After all, Diet Coke is asking consumers to participate.

Choose a few. Highlight them. Use particularly good photographs from consumers.

Local television news — at least here in the Atlanta area — has become particularly good at this. When there’s extreme weather, the best photos sent in from viewers make it on the air and are highlighted. Additionally, Sprout television (mostly for pre-schoolers) wishes its viewers birthday greetings live on television and on the web in detail (some would say excruciating) but if you’re a four-year-old who watches it every night, it’s a memorable experience.

So it would be for any consumer. As consumers see this over time, they begin to see others like themselves. There’s nothing wrong with choosing consumers to meet your demographics and targets! But sometimes the lack of slick model-perfect shots will bring consumers more on board thinking, “Geez, that’s me.”

And that, my friends, brings more and more consumers on board.


Published by

Michael Cheek

With more than 20 years of communication experience, Michael Cheek offers solid marketing expertise, especially in the digital frontier. He currently resides in Georgia but he's open to relocate anywhere the opportunities take him. Learn more at You can follow him on Twitter at and see more about his professional experience at Reach him via e-mail at

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