The 4 C's Of Social Objects.
What the world definitively does not need now is yet another blogpost about social objects. I just want to remind you that regardless of what social media agencies might say, the social does not have to be about socialising in the sense of directly interacting or indulging in the dreaded conversation.
Consider that most quoted of social objects the iPod. It fulfils 4 C's of social media, but conversation is the last of them because it's specifically designed to isolate you from conversations. Remember that when you think of social objects in respect of your own marketing efforts.
Talking is just one way that we communicate. As Mark continues to tell us, ideas spread predominantly via copying. We see something that we like and we adopt it ourselves. We don't have to discuss it with the previous user. The "conversation" has happened anyway.
Confirmation follows from copying. Seeing the social uptake of something we've bought serves to confirm to us that we made a good choice. Nobody needs to tell us that, but every time we see it, we feel better about our decision and the product/service. A lot of marketing (think car advertising) works on that post-purchase reinforcement.
We see fellow users and delight in the realisation that not only did we make the right choice, but that the act of doing so ordained us with membership of a community of like-minded, savvy people. Our people, but not necessarily people with whom we have to have a conversation. Kathy Sierra summed it up perfectly when she wrote of the nod.
And finally there is conversation. But it's not conversation about the product/service. Most of the time (as I wrote before) we don't want that. However, we enjoy conversations that spring from the preceding C's. Those are the conversations you want to inspire or simply faciliate amongst your users and prospects.
Interruptive conversations are much more interruptive than they are conversational and are the result of imposing an old communication model or a new communciation world. Avoid them and your product's social life will be a much richer and happier one.