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Saturday, 6 April 2019
Engagement, & What it Means to Different Generations
Times are changing rapidly, and I'm blessed to be in a career that is ahead of the curve when it comes to maximizing the freedom that comes with an E-commerce business. People are wanting the freedom to work where they want, when the want and how they want... but what does that mean?
Home office is set up, coffee in hand... now where are the clients going to come from?!?
One of the things that always surprises me is when people jump into an E-commerce, online, Social Marketing business they almost always do so because they are wanting a massive change in their work/life balance. However, they often bring along old limiting thoughts and habits that weren't working for them in the first place. It's not unusual for those individuals to expect people to flock to them on their platform/website of choice. This expectation immediately limits their reach, and stalls growth. Often, even worse, they try to use the same reach-out methods on all the different platforms and often alienate themselves from making those engaging connections that could really make a difference for both them and their possible clients.
I am grateful to have a diverse team of leaders in all age brackets in my organization. I've learned that limiting thoughts on engagement and making connections (talking to strangers) can afflict us all. No one age group is better/worse at it... just different. Millennial's prefer Instagram, Snapchat and of course my Gen X crew is all about the Facebook and LinkedIn (so far, but Instagram is sneaking up list as well), and Baby Boomers are more comfortable on the phone and Facebook. It doesn't matter where you start as long as you commit to stretching yourself out of your comfort zone, and opening up and sharing is the one common denominator in today's world. A closed, locked down profile also sees no engagement.
Momentum in todays online world lies in ones ability to foster CROSS-GENERATIONAL ENGAGEMENT skills. The ability to identify how a particular individual feels most at home communication wise, and meeting them in that place. Learning the tools of the trade in todays E-Commerce market is all about understanding the "dance" of each platform and making those authentic connections.
Engagement can look like many different things... it can be as simple as reaching out to spark a conversation in the lineup at the grocery store, thanking a new follower on Instagram, mailing a sample to a prospect in another city who requested one thru a Facebook Story Poll, meeting strangers for coffee when you get a referral, driving outside of your town for a networking event or attending a Wellness retreat. I have done and do all of these things, but you know what i don't do... i don't not try new things. You never know how that next connection could be the missing piece in a project, team or your next dynamic leader.
I do not have all the answers. I do know that every day in every way I work to get better at making authentic connections with dynamic people. Then I do all I can to help them grow their network, career or business. We all benefit when we lift each other up.