Social media elevates the power of Nice

Today, Erik Qualman, at ClickZ, published his proposed list of social media thought leaders. It lays out his plan to create a crowd-sourced ranking of the most influential people in social media today.

As I scanned the list of 32 contenders many of the names were familiar. Some more familiar than others. I counted at least 8 of them (25% of the list) with whom I’ve had a conversation or two in the past year.

This is one clue of how powerful social media can be.

Back in the day, before social media technology, it would have been highly unlikely (impossible?) that I could have done the same thing. These folks are celebrities in their fields. They run in different circles than I do.  They have really full dance cards.

Yet social media enables me to reach out and connect with them. It flattens our world.

If social media enables me to have a conversation with a Guy Kawasaki,  think of how it could help you connect better with your customers. By breaking down silos and flattening hierarchies, think of how it might help more people inside your company get to know more people outside your company.

Erik’s list also has descriptions of the 32 social media superstars. A clip that caught my eye is the last part of the blurb describing Chris Brogan.

“He takes time to respond to almost everyone that reaches out to him”

I can vouch for this. Every time I email or tweet Chris, he responds. So does Lee Odden. Ditto for Frank Eliason (who seems to answer his cell phone at all hours).

They’re living one of the most important rules of Amazing customer service: Treat everyone well.

In their book, The Power of Nice, Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval suggest that being nice to others is a valuable asset in our careers (and the rest of our lives.) They offer example after example of how simple little things (like responding to a stranger’s email) can make a difference in your job and business success.

They’re right.

These “social media thought leaders” get this. They treat people well and it works for them. Social media just makes it work better.

The article was written by Kevin Stirtz