Trust Agents – Book Review

by | February 28, 2012

I finished reading Trust Agents, Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation and Earn Trust,  by Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan) and Julien Smith (@Julien) as part of my Masters class Enterprise Social Media @ Syracuse University iSchool.

The book is very well written and provides very practical advice for anyone who wants to participate in the social media world.

The authors talk about the 6 Characteristics of Trust Agents

  1. Make Your Own Game – standing out
  2. One of Us – being one of us and belonging
  3. The Archimedes Effect – leverage knowledge, people, technology and time
  4. Agent Zero – developing access to wide networks
  5. Human Artist – developing understanding of people and interactions
  6. Build an Army – developing mass by harnessing people’s collective actions

I love these quotes

When you conclude that talent, though not quite a myth, is certainly overrated, you start to realize that you never need to see yourself as below anyone.  Instead believe only that you don’t yet have the experience that the other person does, then find a way to get it. @chrisbrogan Trust Agents

In social media, human is the new black

3 A’s of customer service – Acknowledge, Apologize, Act

Attention is and will continue to be our scarcest resource

Three things to add value – feed the machine, be helpful, make things

Trust Equation

Trust = (Credibility x Reliability x Intimacy)/Self Orientation

  • Credibility = the signals people send out to show that they are who they claim to be and as good as they say they are.  The higher the value of C, the more you can trust someone
  • Reliability = the more people show up on time, the more you’ll trust them to do so in the future
  • Intimacy = one of the most powerful emotional factors in trust.  The feeling you get from individuals is important, and it shouldn’t be discounted just because it’s emotional.  Do you feel comfortable around them? Could you tell them a secret? That’s intimacy
  • Self-Orientation = this is the only negative; the higher the value of S, the less we tend to trust a person.  An example of a low self-orientation would be someone specifically recommending a better competitor instead of themselves. An example of high self-orientation would be smarmy, self-interested company sycophant who’s always looking for a sale instead of making people feel comfortable.

I highly recommend this book.  If you want to get more out of your social media interactions try some of the approaches and practices outlined in Trust Agents.  I have put some of the steps in place for my social media interaction and find that I am making more connections and sharing with more people!  Awesome!

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