Being Popular Doesn’t Make You Successful

Yesterday, I jumped on Ustream to watch Chris Brogan answer questions and talk about his company Kitchen Table Companies.

Actually,  he was answering questions for us about our business and challenges.

Chris is a social media speaker and author of the book Trust Agents, (affiliate link) and blogs most days on

Popular doesn’t equal Success

I asked Chris about how he goes about hiring people and how he decides on who to partner with in business.

His response was that he looks for people that have had success. And the next thing he said I thought was powerful,

We keep mistaking popularity, for success in social media.”

Chris said it. I didn’t.

I totally agree with him though.

Social Approval

Social Approval should not be confused with Social Proof. Social Approval is wanting to be popular and liked.

Social Approval is feeling good about how many “followers” you have on twitter and how many “likers” you have on facebook.

Social desirability (the tendency to respond in such a way as to avoid criticism) and social approval (the tendency to seek praise) are big motivators in our psychology and culture. This is the way social networks work. Online and offline. 

You see your friends belong to a network and get “LIKES”, so you want that.

You see your co-workers belong to a network and get “RT” or an “@” so you want that.

You certainly don’t want to feel rejection or UNliked by anyone.

The problem with Social Approval, it doesn’t pay the bills…currently.

You might want to rethink that

I did a status update on the Productivity Junkies Facebook page and the first response I got was,

“Ummmm, I think you may want to rethink this stance. I feel disconnected from you now.”

This person was not giving me Social Approval. I was running the risk of losing popularity and a LIKER to my facebook page. You know what?

I don’t care.

My response back was,

“That’s fine Greg. I’m not here for Social Approval. I’m here to help people build businesses that profit. If you want to hear that is ok to do what feels right instead of what is proven and tested, you are at the wrong place.”

What did Chris Brogan say again?

We keep mistaking popularity, for success in social media.”

I’m here to build businesses. I’m here to give people a vision of their business and life, that they are to afraid to give themselves. I’m here to make people successful.

I’m not here to make you popular. Go talk to a PR firm to help you with that.

What is your business?

Are you in the business of being popular or being successful?

Where are you leading all these “followers”?

What are you doing with all these “Likers”?

You might have a lot of Social Approval and a really high Klout score, but are you truly operating a successful business?

Photo Of Chris Brogan Borrowed From Here