Last Thursday morning, I had the privilege of hearing Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan), the New York Times bestselling author of Trust Agents, speak at an event was hosted by JTMarCom and Stage Post Productions which benefited Social Media Club Nashville. I soaked up a vast array of knowledge from Chris Brogan (literally I took six pages of typed notes).
If you are not familiar with Brogan here’s what I can tell you about him, his blog is a must-read and his twitter feed is quirky, informative, and engaging. He is a master of social media, partly because he acknowledges that the game is constantly changing and that the only rules is that there are no rules.
Here are a couple of things that Chris Brogan reminded me that have stuck with me (like super glue):
1. Social Media is work.
It seems like daily, in meetings or impromptu conversations with co-workers, I hear “Social Media”, “blogging”, or “tweeting” mentioned as simple, cheap, and easy marketing solutions. And commonly the person expounding on the need to get our authors and brands engaged in these new mediums has no experience using them.
What they often neglect to understand is that using social media correctly as a business tool is work. It takes a lot of focus, time, and energy to build a strong and engaging online presence. (Case in point, Brogan revealed that it took him 8 years to secure his first 100 followers.)
To be successful at building a loyal and enthusiastic audience:
- You must create a platform being mindful of how you can stand out, how you are different.
- You must build an audience and make sure you are there “before the sale.”
- You must take time to get to know your audience – what they care about, how they talk, what they need, and how you can help them.
- You must live and die by your database understanding that the platforms are constantly changing but your “real” followers will follow you to the next technology.
Yep, social media is work. A lot of work. Fun work.
2. Social Media magnifies.
My impression is that there are two keys to Chris Brogan’s success. One, he works hard. Two, he is just plain likable.
Brogan is someone you want to know and interact with. He interacts daily with hundreds of thousands of people (no exaggeration). And his friends and followers love the exchange of knowledge, his blogging tips, and the random banter. His blog and his twitter feed are microphones, enhancing his collaborative spirit and his genuine nature.
Likewise, if you are not likable, if you self-obsessed, if you are boring, if you are a constant cynic, if you take and you don’t give back, Social Media will only amplify those shortcomings. And it certainly won’t help you sell anything!
These are just a couple of simple takeaways from Brogan. He has a lot more knowledge to share so I highly recommend you purchase a copy of his book, Trust Agents.
PS - I really enjoyed this smart summary of Brogan’s talk by Kyle Chowning. You should read it. I’m just saying.