5 Keys to Building Forever-Followers—Chris Brogan Style

Yesterday, I had the spontaneous opportunity to attend the Author’s Way event and see social media “typist” Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan) talk about his perspective and approach on all things social media. He also dived into the heart of his new book, Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust (Amazon link).

A lot was said over the course of four hours and I took about six pages of notes. However, there were five things that I walked away with that have brought a paradigm shift in my thinking of social media.

Prepare to have your mind changed:

1) The more things you can create and giveaway, the more you will get back in rewards
Seth Godin says that value comes in execution, not in your ideas. It’s a loud call to stop hording and start giving. Chris said that he posts 98% of his ideas and thoughts online. The other 2% are unique to his clients. Furthermore, he stated that 75% of his leads, ie: income, come from something he’s said online.

2) To increase your Twitter influence, be helpful
Chris suggested that you utilize a 12:1 tweet ratio; for every 12 times you retweet, promote, talk about, or push someone else, talk about yourself once. How do you do that? Http://search.twitter.com is the best place to get started. Identify your interest, find what people are saying about it and enter the conversation. In return you’ll create trust which gives you social capital which increases your value and influence.

3) Twitter is a business winning tool
This is for the naysayer business owners and CEO’s. Being active on Twitter is like sharing a meal, playing 18 holes or a face-to-face meeting. Not one of those functions will seal the deal by themselves, but when used together you’ll create a winning outcome. Chris gave the example of Frank, an employee at Comcast who started @comcastcares on Twitter. One year later, Frank now manages a team of ten people who are dedicated to servicing Comcast customers on Twitter alone. Personally, I’ve used this team on at least four times. On two of those occasions, we troubleshooted and scheduled an appointment via Twitter. I never had to call or email. Now that’s a way to keep my business.

4) Think like they do
It’s not good enough to throw your thoughts out there, you have to find out what people are saying, what words they are saying it with and look for those conversations. Chris brought up an example of a hosting company that wanted to find new clients online. Rather than searching for “hosting” or “web hosting” they looked for phrases like “server is down.” Whenever that phrase was used, the company would reply with an offer for three free months of web hosting. New clients came rolling in.

5) Winning is table stakes for the next game
This is a point that I felt like Chris couldn’t stress enough. The implications were multi-fold: A) Never start from nothing. B) Build off of and on previous successes. Why is this important? If you don’t connect with your followers on a personal level, they won’t care to follow you when you move on to the next game.

Finally, I’d like to leave you with some things he said that stood out and were helpful:

  • Why don’t kids use Twitter? They already have a social life.
  • Be everywhere—create and maintain bonds
  • If you sit still in business, you’ll get stuck in business
  • Structure yourself to always be in front of opportunities so you can give them away

There were so many other great things said. If you want to hear it all, I encourage you to buy the DVD and his book. Between the two, you’ll be set.

Thanks Chris for coming to Nashville. This was very helpful!

Did any of the above change your social media paradigm?

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