Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Power of Appreciation

Recently I had a birthday. I'm not saying that to get any more well-wishes (please forward all checks to my P.O. box), rather I am reporting to you on what I noticed from the other side of the coin.

Usually I wax philosophical about how it is a really good strategy to give approbation and praise to those that you have as friends on Facebook. I call it "Social Capital". The idea is that if you congratulate, celebrate, empathize and relate with others in your network, they will do the same for you, and it will increase awareness of your business. More importantly, it makes others feel good.

But up until now I was simply guessing that such a practice makes people feel good. Then, on October 31st I opened up my Facebook to see a bunch of Happy Birthdays on my wall. I have to say, it really made me feel...well, special. And because I felt special, I wanted to personally thank each and every person for the birthday wishes. Since that day two weeks ago, I have had an even greater dialogue with each of those individuals. Some of them are business associates, some are acquaintances, and some are friends. All of them are people that I appreciate to a greater degree, simply for clicking a button or two and leaving a Happy Birthday message.

My point is that you can do the same for others. Follow the golden rule and give the same sort of appreciation that you wish to receive. Not only will it help your business, but it will make your day flow a little better as you find that people really do care.

Tom Ossa
Rockland Web Design
(845) 271 - 4488

P.S. Want to integrate all your social networks in a snap? Call Rockland Web Design! We have a simple, very low-cost solution that will save you time and effort, and help your business gain more exposure.

3 comments:

K said...

The premise I’m working off of is this: The Birthday wishes on your wall made you feel special because you believed the wishes were genuine.

Herein lies the/a conflict (for me): …You closed the article with - “as you find that people really do care” - when the premise of the article suggests that they do not (care). Or (rather) that they do not necessarily have to care. Praise in exchange for praise to self promote is not “care.” It is self interest. It is the polar opposite of “caring.” The word “care” contradicts all things prior to its use. Perhaps a more productive closing might be to suggest that even a slight exchange of pleasantries (in a social networking venue) can be illuminating in more than one way. But great blog, Tom. You’re such a gifted writer as well as thinker.

Kim

Tom from Rockland Web Design said...

I mean, I actually agree with you - if somebody is just posting to get some sort of return from it, then it's not kewl. I guess what I was trying to say is that the by-product of caring for others is that they'll help the sender of the good vibes in both personal and business endeavors.

For instance: the whole social capital concept is based on the concept of "doing unto others", which is a great start. But the truth is that people are pretty keen when it comes to identifying sincerity (in my travels, women are better than men in this aspect, but that's just my viewpoint). If somebody sees that any of us is just writing some sort of corporate form letter without any meaning to it, it's just not as special as a person that takes the time to write out something heartfelt.

Thus, the social capital will have more value if it is actually not focused on as the primary purpose for communicating with others in the first place.

[Soapbox eject - now!]

Tom

K said...

I know the heart of your blog is in the right place because it’s who you are...

However, as we’ve acknowledged, historically, …the reality is that the line between business and sincerity is delicate. And regardless of delivery (i.e., a handwritten note vs. a generic corporate form letter), the origin of any “good vibe”/”feel good” initiative (regardless of how big or small or “seemingly” visceral in nature) will always be the same in the context of business, - a self serving place. A holiday card from the cable company will always have an expectation of future business attached to it vs. any sort of genuine “caring.” Business: It is what it is. ...However, I acknowledge your point that regardless of the inevitable “insincerity” that exists in business, some good energy can potentially come from it. Hence, your “greater appreciation and dialogue” with the people who sent you a happy bday wish and your inclination to want to reciprocate with a display of appreciation. So, yes, if “social capital” is a natural by-product of genuine caring, then it will certainly have more value if the pretense for business is not the primary impetus for the relationship in the first place as you said. - Truth attracts truth. Resultantly, it may be more likely to manifest in a purely genuine way such as in a “pay it forward” or “Domino Effect” which I believe is your overall point.

Honestly, I agree with your big picture. I just think the parameters of your blog need to be a little more clearly defined. And the venue (FB) and the inherent social dynamics of that venue need to be acknowledged. I think by doing that, the dissonance relative to the business/sincerity line would be easier (for me) to negotiate relative to the heart of the blog.

And, perhaps, all of the above exemplifies why there are Groups, Fan pages, etc. along with Personal pages? Although, in this case, it wouldn’t be productive to your point because the audience is separated, entirely.

Kim