Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Flipboard 0 Too often when we communicate, we focus on what we want to get out of the conversation instead of who we’re talking to. This is especially true for brands. You read a lot about “owning the conversation,” which is supposed to mean that your brand comes up the most often when people are talking about a certain industry or topic…but really just means that you’re approaching communication like a jerk. I mean, raise your hand if you want to listen to a person or a brand whose goal is to “own” the conversation like a bratty toddler. No thanks. To be a great communicator, you have to focus less on your goals and more on your audience’s needs. What’s their life like? What do they care about? When you approach communication like a real conversation, one where you listen just as much as you talk, people pay attention. A fine example: fashion brands on Instagram. Most of these feeds are product shot, product shot, product shot. Us, us, us. Image: Gap via Instagram Image: Prada via Instagram Image: Forever21 via Instagram Now look at Zappos. Instead of talking at its followers, Zappos is having a real conversation with them, with back and forth and listening and all that good stuff. How? If you post a selfie with the hashtag #nextootd (ootd = “outfit of the day”), a Zappos stylist will make personalized shopping recommendations for you based on your style. Image: Zappos via Instagram What makes this campaign extra brilliant is that it’s based on existing behavior. The hashtag #ootd already has been used 23 million times, so Zappos isn’t starting a new conversation. It’s joining an existing one, listening to what other people have to say, and contributing something of real value. It can be tempting to be all about getting your talking points out there, and it’s not wrong to tell people about how your brand can make their lives better. But the right way to do that is by having a conversation. Share what you offer when the time’s right—which is after you’ve taken the time to listen. Twitter Tweet Facebook Share Email This article was written for Business 2 Community by Kane Pepi.Learn how to publish your content on B2C Author: Kane Pepi Kane Pepi is an experienced financial and cryptocurrency writer with over 2,000+ published articles, guides, and market insights in the public domain. Expert niche subjects include asset valuation and analysis, portfolio management, and the prevention of financial crime. Kane is particularly skilled in explaining complex financial topics in a user-friendlyView full profile ›More by this author:VoIP Basics: Everything Beginners Should Know!Bitcoin Investment, Trading & Mining: The Ultimate Guide for BeginnersIs This a Better Way to Set Your 2020 Goals and Resolutions?