Recently, I had the privilege of hearing Brian Solis speak in person at Yammer in San Francisco. You’ve probably been hearing about Brian’s’ new book What’s the Future of Business because when Brian speaks, social media people listen. At this event, not only did Brian give his time freely, he also gave away stacks of his new books (in hardback, no less), stuck around for his fans, answered questions and signed autographs. So while the content of the book is innovative and exciting, the context and the giveaway are what really surprised me.
Social Media “Gurus”
Being in and around social media myself, every single day I get bombarded by people who call themselves gurus and leaders. Many of these self-proclaimed gurus spend little time actually engaging: instead, they broadcast! They don’t answer questions or engage with their followers. Instead (prepare to clutch your pearls!) some of them actually buy their followers. Brian doesn’t call himself a guru like a million others–he does the unexpected–by doing a massive giveaway. I’d say that’s inspiring! And also something that I’ll personally remember for a long time.
Brian focuses not on Gen Y (the “Millennials”) but on Gen C, where “C” “represents a connected society based on interests and behavior. Gen C is not an age group–it is a way of life.” To Gen C, connection is everything. Which means, ultimately, that if you or your brand are not spending time connecting, then you’re missing a huge opportunity.
Clearly, Brian Solis is famous already and doesn’t need to share his expertise for free. So why did he give away his book? I think he did it to drive home his point: if businesses want to connect with Gen C, they will need to create memorable and non-traditional experiences for their customers.
Are You Creating Experiences?
What are you doing, as an entrepreneur or a brand, to create experiences that will appeal to Gen C? Are you using a combination of social networks and more traditional marketing to sell your products or services? Please leave a comment below!