Sunday, June 3, 2012

Conversations, Social Media, and E Commerce

There is a tremendous focus among the leading minds of the internet on the concept of "conversations."   The thought process is quite apparent at blogs such as Arnold Waldstein, William Mougayar, and AVC and with start ups that are attempting to facilitate "conversations" such as Engagio and Disqus.


I think that Arnold states the obvious when he says, "Engagement is the new currency of the web but it’s still very scarce."


We are constantly reminded about engaging the consumer, developing communities, and all the other jargon that is used to define the illusive benefit of the web.  Its one thing to discuss the concept of "community" on a blog that gets 200,000 visitors a month on average and enjoys over 150 comments a day to any article, on any topic that is posted; that is an engaged community where commenting has become conversations.   

The real battle, is between, is the internet truly a tool to redefine social relationships or is it nothing more than another marketing/advertising channel?  I hear a lot about "community managers" and I cannot help, after searching the web for "what does a social media community manager do" but realize that the concept of social media as nothing more than a marketing/advertising channel is winning by a long shot!

The reality is that social media needs to foster something more basic than 'community' or 'engagement' and something fundamental to 'conversations' and that is a sense of BELONGING.  

I would recommend the following two articles:



In a world of big business vs. everyone else, the battle between the web as just another advertising channel vs. fostering engagement, communities and conversations, is one that we must take seriously.  No conversations occur without a sense of belonging.  Nothing becomes a 'brand' without a fundamental belief on the part of the consumer that the 'brand' belongs to or holds value to them.  A community is nothing more than a 'place' where someone feels they belong.   Someplace between promoting products, seeking business connections, and or hyping our own expertise, the web has to foster a sense of 'belonging.'


I think that one small company has found the ideal, and I enjoy reading every single one of their posts:  Door County Coffee & Tea.

3 comments:

Carl Mistlebauer said...

http://web.hbr.org/email/archive/dailystat.php?date=060512

William Mougayar said...

Carl, I just saw this great post of yours via Engagio. Yes, belonging a good factor and motivator for the Community aspect.

I'm curious what is Door County doing so well on their FB page? Why are they your favorite example?

William Mougayar said...

Carl, I just saw this great post of yours via Engagio. Yes, belonging a good factor and motivator for the Community aspect.

I'm curious what is Door County doing so well on their FB page? Why are they your favorite example?