Chris Brogan is a smart and insightful blogger and one of the leading social media consultants/practitioners but his recent post on establishing an online presence and building relationships should be taken with a grain of salt.
The problem – at least the way I see it – is his prescription for social media success comes across as far too structured, methodical and contrived as opposed to being sincere, transparent and well-intentioned.
Brogan goes through 19 daily rituals for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs, which he describes as “chores”, that you should do each and every day. For example, on Facebook, he suggests you:
“Check in on birthdays on the home page. (Want a secret? Send the birthday wish via Twitter or email. Feels even more deliberate.)”
I’m sure it can be an effective technique but “checking in on birthdays” seems a long way from a sincere, from-the-heart kind of behaviour.
What makes social media so effective is it’s not a blatant sales vehicle or something that should be faked or seen as a chore. Strong brands and relationships within social media are built on a solid foundation of honesty, sincerity, friendliness and transparency.
You don’t “work” social media by methodically doing the same exercises day in, day out. Instead, you should focus on building your social media brand and relationships inch by inch without taking any shortcuts. In some respects, it’s like making new friends in life – nothing happens overnight but, rather, over time.
There are lots of tools and techniques available to extend your brand and content such as Facebook, Twitter, Friendfeed, del.icio.us and StumbleUpon but those are weapons within your social media arsenal.
But if you’re looking to build a strong social media presence and relationships, it takes time, effort and a straightforward and honest approach.