What makes a person or company a run away success on the web, able to connect with tens of thousands of followers and fans? Is it the science behind their social media practices and the effective offline marketing efforts or is it the personality of the networker, a person that would make friends in any social setting whether it is online or offline? Can success be achieved with just one of these “assets”?
I think it requires both.
Social media poster boys like Chris Brogan, Steve Rubel and Jeremiah Owyang would all be successful in any business because of their online personalities. They’re likable, offer candid perspectives on the hot topic of the day and prompt many of their fans and followers to think harder, delve deeper and ask themselves the right questions to arrive a their own unique perspective. People like to listen in on their conversations, rally support on their behalf, even adopt their opinions as their own. Successful social media practitioners seem to have personality in common. People want to follow them. At it’s essence, I might argue that this personality is actually their voice. It may not be who they are away from the office so to speak, but it’s that consistent undertone to every post, each interaction, every action online. Their personality conveys a consistent voice.
But what makes Chris, Steve and Jeremiah unique, outliers perhaps (as defined by Malcolm Gladwell in his book, Outliers, which is a great read and worth getting), is that they have mastered the ability to extent their reach with the social media tools available to them – the science of it all. They have crafted unique abilities to engage the right influencers, amplify their message across multiple social platforms and script their posts in such a way that most readers can’t resist jumping in on the conversation. Their daily habits have been revealed on their blogs, profile posts and even in the comments that they have made on other blogs. I would argue that they don’t really hold too many secrets. All three of them have been very quick to share tactics, advice and even words of caution with those of us that have followed. Having a defined voice is only the first part of the equation.
The message carries the punch. Chris, Steve and Jeremiah have the personality and have in their own way mastered the science of delivering their message. For this reason, I have personally benefited greatly from following each of them and enjoy reading about their muses each day. Perhaps the appropriate follow up post would be to explore how they define the message.
What do you think? Is success framed by the science or the personality? Both? Is there something else that I haven’t mentioned? I want to know.