For conversations about branding, face-to-face is where it's at

With social media's rise, there's been a lot of talk about "the conversation." How many e-mail blasts have you gotten that invite you to follow a company on Facebook or Twitter so you can "join the conversation"? Probably quite a few. That's because, as much as marketers and advertisers talk to consumers, they know that what really counts is how much consumers talk about their brand and branding. But are these conversations happening on social media sites? A new study suggests that some are -- but many, many more conversations about brands are taking place the old-fashioned way: face to face. Eighty-four percent of people have face-to-face conversations about brands, while just 35{2204c5d06a2333403476cf9e3e7e547d79f3545ee5a4cb715bc6c3341feceb9f} talk about brands on social media. Social media marketing author Jackie Huba says the lesson is "have an integrated approach to your marketing efforts." In other words, don't just rely on the latest social media trend. We may be a teensy bit biased, but we think promotional products are a fantastic way to get people talking face-to-face about brands. An attractive, unique t-shirt can be a conversation starter, and someone may ask a friend where they got that blinged-out mug, unique custom flash drive, or luxurious messenger bag. Digital is great (heck, we love Facebook andTwitter), but for real-world conversations, real-world items can't be beat.