As you wind down a project, you find that any little oomph that can lift you up and over the finish line is much like a lovely breeze on a burning hot day. It is thus entirely in the realm of happy serendipity that I had the experience I did yesterday.
See, for about 5 months now, I’ve been blogging about engagement online. A lot of people think engagement is an over-stressed segment of the online world because it technically doesn’t lead to you making money. I got some crap (for lack of a better word) when folks found out I’d be spending so much time on this “overdone” topic. But yesterday, I got the ultimate validation that while online engagement on its own may not have a business value, it is priceless.
Yesterday, I received the worst comment on a post I have ever gotten. The comment was pretty mean, but it was worded in a way that made me wonder if maybe they were right. I’ll be honest – it kind of took my breath away a bit. It’s not that I mind criticism or disagreement – it was just the tonality of it.
Suddenly, without me doing anything apart from saying I was sorry the post so disappointed the commenter, two fine fellows engaged the person in a way that diffused them and also let me know that folks had my back.
It’s true that a lot of people are using social media primarily for professional reasons these days, but we’re all still people. We all are taking risks by sending our writing and our thoughts out into the world everyday. And it’s true that you could do that in a very straightforward way and avoid the “people stuff.” But having experienced what I did yesterday, I have to say it was darned nice to know that folks have my back. I’m sure other people know I have their backs, too.
Is there a business advantage to this facet of engagement? It’s not a straight line. But if you’re here building your brand or your business, I wouldn’t want to risk missing the gentler, kinder side of human nature. What a joy online engagement can be through that prism.
Don’t you think?
This is post #98 in the Engagement Series. Just 2 more to go!!