Chris Brogan on Google+ for Business, Black Friday Marketing, and The Power of Building a Platform


Chris Brogan is a blogger, speaker, consultant, bestselling author and President and CEO of Human Business Works. Chris was one of the very first people I ever "met" on Twitter and I've been reading his blog www.chrisbrogan.com ever since. In this interview, Chris talks about blogging, his upcoming book, brands on Google+, Black Friday marketing, content curation tools, and more.

"If you REALLY want to know what bloggers have to focus on, it's building a platform."


Social Nerdia: Congratulations on your upcoming book Google+ for Business: How Google's Social Network Changes Everything. The book description says "This is a business book, not a technology book." Can you share more about how this book can help businesspeople?

Chris Brogan: Business people tend to get a bit twitchy when a new technology comes along. But what I'm saying with this book is that this is a book about how to use the telephone to sell, or how to use business cards as part of your selling, or what to talk about at the cocktail party to sell. The tech of it all isn't the worry. The problem is, for some unknown reason, humans get really weird when they start trying to use social media to sell. They forget the niceties and the human nature sometimes.

Social Nerdia: Google+ Pages have been around for a few weeks now. What are some examples of companies and organizations making good use of them?

CB: I love what Samsung USA is doing (and no, not because you work there). I love what Dell has done. I think that Pepsi is already getting great engagement on their site. For a small business, check out Allure Home Improvements. I think people can really learn from places like these. Oh, and Kodak! Great work, Jennifer Cisney and team.

Social Nerdia: Social media is becoming an important part of how brands do marketing. What did you think of Black Friday efforts this year? You know who I saw doing something interesting for Black Friday?

CB: Cali Lewis. Not a company, a person. Someone who works for a brand of her own, but who used Amazon associate links to point people towards products she endorsed, with a cut for herself. Did I see any brands doing something amazing with Black Friday? Well, at the risk of really seeming like I'm sucking up (I'm willing to risk this), I *did* like that Samsung had a nice summary on the Google+ page. Beyond that? Not as much on Twitter as I'd had expected, and I'm no longer qualified to talk about Facebook. I don't go there anymore.

Social Nerdia: What are your thoughts on content curation and services like Pinterest, Curated.by and Storify?

CB: I think that content curation is *finally* getting its due. Steve Rosenbaum wrote a grossly overlooked book, CURATION NATION, that deserves more eyeballs and thought. The specific tools will come and go, but people are finally understanding that curation is just as important as creation.

Social Nerdia: You've been blogging for over a decade and you've been using Wordpress for many years. Do you think Wordpress is at risk with the increased usage of Tumblr, Google+ and social media overall?

CB: I rarely worry much about the tools. I think that there's a huge group of people using Tumblr for curation and sometimes throwaway products. I think that people looking to use serious tools for serious business will stick with WordPress, but when I say that, don't presume that I'm being elitist. I'm saying that one set of tools, WordPress, delivers a lot more business value. I'm saying that Tumblr is easy and makes it very easy to share and create. Both are quite wonderful and useful. That's how I would divide them.
 

Social Nerdia: What advice would you give to bloggers who aspire to be book authors?

CB: Blogging and books are two different disciplines, but I will say that if you blog daily and if you can write thoughts up such that they have a beginning, middle, and an end, you've got some potential. If you REALLY want to know what bloggers have to focus on, it's building a platform. Book deals go to people with lots of followers and readers, not the people with the best ideas. Sorry to pop your bubble, aspiring authors, but Trust Agents isn't a great book. I just have a huge platform. Yep, there it is.

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