Ego Trap: Influencer Lists

I’ve been thinking about how ego traps operate in social media – which could also be called hero marketing (credit Seth Godin for suggesting the term).  Social media focuses on individuals.  Self-promotion lies at the root of ego traps, usually inclusive of helping and promoting others.

I don’t think ego traps are inherently "bad."  However, I believe that individuals should be fully aware of the implications when participating in a hero marketing scheme – particularly what they’re trying to accomplish and why.  Honesty with one’s own ego is the key.

There’s some chatter going on about "50 of the most powerful and influential women in social media."

Influencer lists are ego traps in action.  Why?

  • The list host seeks credibility as an authority, in order to win more business.
  • Those included on the list legitimize the host by linking back to the list.
  • Those left off the list (and/or their friends) legitimize the list by linking to it.

(To Ron Hudson’s credit, he comments on the digg story, "…digg this story so that they are discovered by more people. Keep in mind, you will also be contributing to my own popularity as well. With that in mind, digg or digg not.")  Other influencer lists include people on Twitter, marketing bloggers, or the Silicon Alley 100.

Influencer lists are great for discovering new voices and recognizing well-done work.  Let’s just be aware of and honest about what everyone seeks in the process.

Previously – Ego Trap: Industry Awards

Being: Peter Kim