Bubbles & Butterflies

The guys from We Are Social dropped in today, and we were generally shooting the breeze about how companies dealt with the people who were having conversations about them in the modern age (which is something We Are Social help companies with, as you’ll know if you have a wee read through their site here)


Anyway, it being a Friday before a bank holiday, and with the spring sunshine pouring through the windows, the following metaphor arose from our conversation (and I thought it worthy of capturing and sharing it).

Very simply, the world of conversation is a meadow, and it’s full of Bubbles and Butterflies…


The Meadow of Conversation

The meadow of conversation is a pretty big meadow, full of lots of people saying things about your company, your products, your brands and so on. 

These things they’re saying… imagine they’re not little bits of text, SMS messages, facebook posts, blog comments, tweets and so on… because we’re in a meadow, let’s pretend they’re butterflies.

Little sparks of conversation, flitting this way and that, dancing across the meadow.  As they fly across the meadow, other people see them, which in turn causes more butterflies to populate the meadow.

Aaaah, butterflies…


However, although there are a lot of pretty butterflies that you like, there’s a certain type that you wished didn’t populate the meadow…

The Butterfly of Disgruntlement


Ah yes, the Butterfly of Disgruntlement; an ugly, carnivorous beast that feeds on all the other nice butterflies.  It’s also pretty ugly, so discourages other people from talking about you at all, so there’s going to be less butterflies around.

So yes, you’d like to rid the meadow of all the Butterflies of Disgruntlement. 

Except you can’t just wade in there with something that treats the whole meadow, covering everything at once; this is a delicate ecosystem. 

It’s going to be much better to capture precisely the nefarious butterflies with your net…


A tool of precision, isolating and remedying the bad butterflies before they can start to cause too much damage in the meadow.  That was my initial impression of what I thought We Are Social did… butterfly catchers. 

But Robin pointed out that they have another, more potent thing they can do in the meadow…

The Bubble of Delight

They can also blow Bubbles of Delight… they can put something into the meadow that is unexpected, wondrous, exciting and beneficial for those who see them


…which means they start talking about them… which of course in our meadow here means lots more wonderful little butterflies.

Bubbles & butterflies

So I guess that’s a way of thinking about how you as a company engage with the larger conversation that’s happening out there. 

Sure, you’ve got to have a great butterfly net that has a long neck to reach far, there’s no holes in the net to let the Butterflies of Disgruntlement slip through, and you take with you the spotters guide to different butterflies, so you know which ones to catch.

But make sure you take a little bottle of bubbles with you too… 


…because everyone loves bubbles.

I’m on holiday for a bit now, so I’ll leave you with that thought.  Happy bubbling…