"Encouragement" in Social Commerce - What? Huh?
I don't know if you are like me but I tend to step back and think about what I am doing when I sit at the computer and do things on the internet. I wonder about the impact of my words, keep a few Tuit lists in front of me and pretty regularly think about the changes I am seeing. [FYI, a bit OT and a bit not-OT - A "TUIT list" is a type of To Do list where you say "I'll get on that as soon as I get around to it. The hazard of a list like that is if it grows longer and longer you aren't really making changes in what you are doing. You're only making some silly list longer and wasting a piece of notebook paper].
About three years ago I got involved in "social commerce" - (selling online with innovative Web 2.0 stuff like Facebook, Twitter and blogging) - and made a strong commitment to myself to offer up encouragement to others while I was doing it. Bamm, a couple years down the road and here I am.
My current goal is I want to be a social influencer online who is thought of as encouraging and committed to what I am doing. "So what does that mean Dude?" I asked myself this morning. In a way I have no clue what a "social influencer" is, what I am committed to and what the results of my encouraging words are ...and that is a bit whacked because here I am doing it. In plain English, I am a dude writing a blog about a subject he is admitting to ignorance about. That's where the "What? Huh?" comes in to it.
I think the whole ball of wax here is built on the core subject of encouragement. Personally, I want to see encouraging stuff when I go online because it helps me to feel like I am not wasting time and energy. The Three Stooges flicks are hilarious and I could go pop their DVDs in and laugh for a while instead. [Laughter is always the best medicine for life stressors you know]. I could multi-task and do both at the same time - social commerce AND Three Stooges but things would inevitably get mixed up in my mind. Better off sticking to one or the other and following KISS. My wife knows all to well that I love going online and laughing while I am doing it and pretty simply, she knows how confusing I can get to other people as a result. She gets my punchlines but a lot of people miss out.
I don't know if you know this but "encouragement" is a bit tricky to define. It's a noun is about all I can say about the word. You and I could define it in entirely different ways. For example, socially we give encouragement to our family members when they are down. You might tell your Mom "I love you thanks for being my Mom" and I might do something passive like let her make me a nice dinner when she really feels like it. My Mom won a Statewide piemaking contest in Indiana when she was a kid and I think that is one of the big reasons why I am here. She loves to cook and my Dad loves her for doing it, especially when she is cooking for everyone else she loves. Does it mean a lot to her when I come to the dinner table? It means the world to her. You give encouragement online in a zillion different ways and get it from others in a pretty big bucketful of different ways too. See what I mean about the trickiness in defining the word?
I think encouragement in social commerce is all about attempting to motivate others to succeed at what they are doing, helping folks to overcome common obstacles that block their path along the way and, probably most importantly, offering up the big-picture idea that someone else is online with them who is trying to be encouraging the best he can. Doing stuff online in social commerce like those things above "encourages" me, whatever that means. Am I working on my goals and making my Tuit list a bit shorter? Who knows? I know I have no clue. Do you need encouragement like that? You can bet on it.