For the next month, I will be partnering with IBM to start a discussion about Smarter Commerce. Along with talking about what it means to me, I will be asking my followers what it means to them. I invite you all to share your insights and stories by commenting on blog posts, discussing on Twitter and Facebook, uploading photos and sharing with your circles to expand the discussion. IBM will also be helping to promote these talks, with the goal being to spark a social conversation that will lead to innovative new thoughts and ideas.
What Is Smarter Commerce?
Smarter Commerce is everything from the way we live our lives, engage in relationships and go about our jobs. Ask yourself these questions:
- What does Smarter Commerce mean to you?
- What role does technology play in your life?
- In your career?
- How has social media affected your evolution, and how has networking and collaboration helped build your personal brand?
Smarter Commerce In The World Of Travel Blogging
[pullquote]It’s about not just using the resources you have at your disposal, but using them wisely.[/pullquote]
As someone whose job is thoroughly embedded into their life, Smarter Commerce is woven into everything I do. Each time I post on Facebook about an upcoming trip, Tweet out a photo of a spectacular site, upload a video I’ve created showcasing a new city or share a post I’ve written detailing the most memorable aspects of an adventure abroad I’m interweaving the threads of my personal life and job. In a way, it makes the world so much smaller and so much bigger for the same reason: The ability to reach a massive amount of people from your different circles all in one shot.
That being said, it isn’t just about sharing. This is “smarter” commerce, after all. The trick is to be engaging. Don’t just share a photo or post, but engage your community in a conversation. Find a new angle for an already done story, take the time to upload a beautiful photo to Facebook instead of just sharing it as a link and stop retweeting for the sake of retweeting but instead make sure it’s actually something your followers will find interesting. It’s about not just using the resources you have at your disposal, but using them wisely.
What Smarter Commerce Means To Others
I reached out to the travel community to see what Smarter Commerce meant to them. Some responses:
[pullquote]In my professional life, realizing that social media provided careers in its own right put my life in a wholly different path than it was previously on.[/pullquote]
“I can’t imagine I’m alone in saying it’s hard to picture life without social media. It permeates everything I do, personally and professionally. In my everyday life, I think of how to best phrase what’s going on and how to capture a picture of where I am or what I’m eating to be able to get the most comments, Likes, retweets, etc. In my professional life, realizing that social media provided careers in its own right put my life in a wholly different path than it was previously on. In some ways, it has made it so there’s little difference between friends/family and other people that follow me in more professional capacities, as everything I do is related to making engaging content. The only difference is the demographic that I’m trying to reach at the time.”
-Roni Weiss, Owner & Founder of RW Social
“Smarter Commerce = better,faster choices. We plan all our trips using technology & social media, whether it’s a mobile app like airport life or booking a trip through Expedia.com. We rarely go anywhere these days without already knowing someone when we get there because of Twitter. Our brand, our show was born on Twitter and continues to grow and thrive because of it!”
-Sandra Mckenna, Co-Host Producer at Midlife Road Trip
[pullquote]Social media has played a huge role in my success as it allows me to reach potential clients from all corners of the globe and to create online relationships. My career wouldn’t exist without it.[/pullquote]
“To me smarter commerce means that I can do anything online, on the go at anytime. It also means that I can get real time answers to any questions not answered online quickly. As a Suitcase Entrepreneur, technology plays a huge role in my life. I have the ability to work from anywhere in the world that there is an internet connection. Technology has enabled me to have this lifestyle that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Social media has played a huge role in my success as it allows me to reach potential clients from all corners of the globe and to create online relationships. My career wouldn’t exist without it.”
Networking and collaboration are important in any business, but especially when you’re self-employed. Some days my network is my life line. When I’m stuck my network offers solutions to get unstuck. They are my cheerleaders and vice versa. Just as technology can be isolating, it can also bring people together. Nothing makes my day more when someone sends me a photo of a cute monkey, or suggests a book to read about primates (my blog is titled Monkeys and Mountains). To me that is the ultimate way of showing that my brand has reached people.
-Laurel Robbins, Editor of Monkeys & Mountains
“I’d say technology plays a huge role in both my life and career. I can only go a very few days without it per year. I need it to stay in touch with my family and friends and also to get all the work done. I just realized I have spent almost every day on Facebook in the past 6 years! There is no other ”place” where I spend more time per year than on social media. And my brand would mean nothing without networking – networking with my existing readers, engaging new readers, but also networking with potential sponsors and partners.”
[pullquote]For me, Smarter Commerce is the way of the present and future, taking our current networking possibilities, and expanding them farther than we had ever dreamed.[/pullquote]
“Now more than ever, technology plays such a leading role in my life. As a travel writer, my work is able to be shared with an infinite amount of people, and as a community manager I depend on that accessibility to create a community of like minded individuals. Before the era of smart phones, wifi, and social media, I was forced to depend on introductions through my personal connections. Now, I can reach out to anyone, showcase my work on a global scale, and aim that much higher. One of my most memorable press trips, was put together through a discussion on a LinkedIn group. Traveling through Northern India for two weeks was incredible, but nothing compared to the amazement I felt at how this all had come together. For me, Smarter Commerce is the way of the present and future, taking our current networking possibilities, and expanding them farther than we had ever dreamed.”
-Leora Novick, Editor of An American Girl in Transit and Community Manager at Rock the Post
“Technology plays a huge role in my life. I always need to be plugged in because I do social media for brands, and need to constantly look at news and answer relevant questions. Social Media has given me the power of community, of a strong digital network and helped me form numerous personal and professional relationships. It has also shaped my digital voice and brand in such a way that a good portion of my traffic and livelihood comes from these channels.”
-Charu Suri, Editor of Butterfly Diary
What Does Smarter Commerce Mean To You?
Let everyone know in the comments below, and help to spark a global social conversation.
#spon: I have been invited by IBM to share my honest thoughts and experiences around Smarter Commerce, and as part of this collaboration, IBM may provide me with product, access, content or other forms of remuneration. All opinions are expressly my own.
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