It doesn’t take long to find heroes in the social media world. OK I really hate the word hero, I know everyone has their good and bad points so perhaps the term ‘leader’ is a closer description. I know I’m not alone in my choice of top social media leaders, I admire Brian Solis for his deep analysis of the psychology of social media and how it changes business, Mari Smith for knowing everything about Facebook, there’s even a few in Ireland but I’m not going to embarrass them by naming them here. For me Chris Brogan is top of the heap. I’ve been reading his blog for as long as I’ve been interested in social media but it wasn’t until I saw this video that I was totally sold.
So what was it that attracted me to him from this video? It was his giving more than you take, or sharing rather than broadcasting philosophy. This is something I try and mirror at Spiderworking.com and although I don’t quite manage his 12:1 suggested ratio of sharing v promoting, giving more than taking is a rule that will stand you in good stead whenever you use social media. But it’s not just that video, Chris is a full on blogger, he blogs daily but still finds time to Tweet, update Google+ videocast, write books and work. This is the stuff our leaders need to be made of. Although this is a work ethic most of us would struggle to attain it does give us a goal to aspire to.
Last year when Google+ was launched I felt I began to find out more about Chris, he’s very open on his social network and shares a lot about his life. This human side is something that many business owners forget about, sharing your interests can help you find conversations that make business relationships stronger. It may seem trivial but my love of cats, cycling and cakes often become an ice breaker at network meetings.
Of course no leader is perfect! In the interest of balance I thought I’d try and discover his flaws. Chris doesn’t seem to be the biggest fan of Facebook, in fact when Google+ opened he famously left a profile image on his page saying ‘Moved to Google+’ (although I note his profile is still there and converted to timeline). Even in the video above he refers to Facebook as “…people from High School that you didn’t like trying to re-friend you”.
He has such a huge following that it’s easy for him to see benefits of Google+ or any other network he chooses to join. These benefits may not be there for the rest of us yet. For me the jury is still out on G+ as a social network and without a passionate following the size of his it can seem like a struggle. It’s easy to loose your perspective on a new network when you have a ready made community as Chris does. Google must be delighted to have such a strong advocate on board but for me it’s going to be when more ‘normal’ people start using the network that we will see the real benefits.
These are both minor quibbles, I find it hard to find anything to dislike about Chris or his approach, I even Googled ‘I hate Chris Brogan’ and ‘I don’t like Chris Brogan’ with virtually no results.
It’s for all of the above reasons that I’m really looking forward to attending Social Media World Forum (#SMWF) in London this March. He’s the keynote speaker and I’m sure there will be loads to learn from him. If you want to join me the event takes place on 27th & 28th of March 2012, tickets can be bought here.
If you can’t make it in person I’ll be tweeting, follow the tag #SMWF to keep up with the events on the day.
Do you have a top business leader, one that would make you travel to a conference to see them speak? Who am I missing? Leave your suggestions below.