Why Brands Want to Have a “Two-Way Conversation” With You

When you first hear the phrase “two-way conversation,” you probably think, “Well, what other kind of conversation is there?” But when it comes to brands, this phrase embodies a very specific marketing strategy: personification.

Ever since the advent of social media, brands have been trying to engage consumers in ways that make them seem more like people, rather than large corporations trying to sell you products or ideas.

Instead of the age-old press releases and ads that need to go through rounds of approval, social media-savvy employees (often from an ad agency) run a brand’s social accounts without much regulation from the powers-that-be.

Consumers have an endless number of choices in today’s markets, so brands use two-way conversation to get their attention, engage with and learn about them and personalize the online experience.

Why Brands Started Two-Way Conversations

Social media has proved to be a useful marketing tool, but it isn’t a surefire path to positive engagement. In fact, there have been a number of social media disasters that have taught brands — the ones involved, as well as ones that weren’t — a lesson about social media and public relations.

Think of the guitarist in 2009 who made a viral YouTube video about how United Airlines broke his guitar and refused to pay for it, or Kenneth Cole’s #Cairo tweet during the Arab Spring. And who could forget KitchenAid USA’s anti-Obama Twitter mishap, or CelebBoutique’s oblivious tweet after the shooting in Aurora, Colo.?

Social media disasters are bound to keep happening, but by utilizing two-way conversation — and, in turn, paying close attention to what consumers are saying — brands have found it easier to avoid them.

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