Characteristics of a Good Social Media Evangelist


We’ve talked about the specific ways to support social media evangelists in the previous post, Supporting Social Media Evangelists. But how can you tell which of your evangelist candidates will give you the best performance?

No matter the style of the evangelist, you will probably value the following characteristics of a good one.

  • Energy
  • Good Leadership
  • Community-Oriented
  • Good Storyteller
  • Empathy
  • Confidence
  • Inspires Trust
  • Credible
  • Loyal
  • Open
  • Accessible
  • Warm

In his groundbreaking technology evangelism book, Selling the Dream,[1] Kawasaki created the following checklist to determine if you are an evangelist:

  • Do you have a desire to make a difference?
  • Do you fearlessly believe in a cause?
  • Do you work for a cause for the intrinsic satisfaction that it brings?
  • Do you give up other things to make a commitment?
  • Do you enjoy fighting the mediocre, the mundane and the status quo?
  • Do you get accused of being driven, showing chutzpah,[2] or having more guts than brains?
  • Does your spouse threaten to leave you?

While we’re not sure items 5-7 will be appropriate for all organizations, the first four certainly are.

For a good overview of online evangelism, read the three-part blog posts entitled, Evangelism beyond boundaries[3] by Tata Communications International’s president, Vinod Kumar.

This series started with a question, How Can Social Media Scale? Obviously, we think that cultivating evangelists is key to the answer. The next post, Creating a Social Media Evangelism Program, sums up our proposed approach for scaling the relationships that are key to social media success.

We’d like to hear your thoughts about online evangelism. Use the comments box below to let us know what you think.

So what do you do with evangelist candidates once you understand their styles and how to approach them? That’s the subject of the next post in this series, Supporting Social Media Evangelists. If you’d like to weigh in on the conversation, reply below and perhaps I’ll incorporate your ideas in the next post.

See the previous posts in this series: How Can Social Media Scale?How to Scale Social Media,  and Identifying Social Media Evangelists,


[1] Kawasaki’s Selling the Dream: amzn.to/98Tjsg

[2] Chutzpah, or audacity: bit.ly/cJGlEg

[3] Kumar’s Evangelism beyond boundaries: bit.ly/c6vkCG

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About Social Media Performance Group

Social Media Performance Group is a premier enterprise social media consulting company that offers a unique approach to integrating social media into the enterprise — forget about the tools, it's all about the strategy! Rather than focusing on the tactics (do this or that on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube), first we work with you and your senior leadership to comprehend your corporate strategy. Once we understand your strategic objectives and goals, we show you how a comprehensive social media strategy can integrate with and support your corporate strategy. We take an enterprise-wide view based on our unique Enterprise Social Media Framework, which maps social media to all appropriate touchpoints in your enterprise. We go beyond the obvious quick hits — sales and marketing — and help you achieve social-media-driven results in areas such as product development, customer service, and employee engagement and retention. As a result, social media is not just bolted on; it is integrated with, and provides support for, your company's existing strategy and operations, yielding unprecedented results.
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