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How to build trust in social communities: advice from Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

I’ve just finished reading Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith which is full of advice and information for people who want to operate in social media networks.
The book contains a lot of practical information about using the web to build influence, improve reputation and earn trust. I thought I would write a short list of things that might be helpful to people starting out using social media.

It's worth checking out the author's blogs for more information:
Chris Brogan's has a marketing/business perspective but contains a lot of useful information and insight into being "human" on the web.
Julien Smith has a blog at and has years of experience in online communities that he passes on.

Here are five things that I hope are of use:

One of the key things the book emphasises is building relationships in a way that means you are investing time and effort in others. This means being present, making comments on other people’s work and engaging with people. Being a regular commenter on blogs and other social media sites transforms you into a real community member.

Build networks by being helpful by promoting and sharing the good work that others do. Reach out to people who are newer to the web rather than focus on the big names. Look for the “rising stars” and people who are interesting, driven, talented and have potential and connect with them.

Leave a trail of where you have been on the web, so that your presence becomes visible. Show others that you have passed through. It’s important that you leave an impression in the community.

Maintain your network by sending out brief messages to check in with people on a regular basis. Think about keeping a database of contacts and including information such as the last time you sent an email, made or comment or sent a message on one of the social networks.

An important aspect of building trust and create a good impressing is your profile on a social media site. Use a profile photo rather than a corporate image, default logo or no image at all.



Fungai Machirori's picture


Oh yes, yes, yes! Those are good tips. Thanks Julie. While I try to implement most of these personally, it's always good to hear them said again and again!

from today i live out of my imagination
i am more than my yesterday
tomorrow i plant a new seed
nothing that lies behind easy
nothing that is ahead real
my within is all i have today
*Napo Masheane*

Julie Tomlin's picture

Hi Fungai

Thanks for your comment... I agree it's good to remind ourselves of these things. I enjoy your writing and see you are a strong voice. I enjoy your blog a great deal.



zoneziwoh's picture

Re:Social Communication Strategy

Many thanks dear Julie, I look the review you made.

Stay Blessed



Facebook:Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo Wondieh

Twitter | Instagram: @ZoFem

Auma's picture

Thank you,Julie,

These are helpfult tips.Asante sana :>)

Warm regards,

Julie Tomlin's picture

Hello Leah

Thank you for dropping by. I'm glad you found this useful.



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