Trust Agents from Chris Brogan and Julien Smith is not a new book, but one that is still a must read for anyone slightly curious about social media and online marketing.

That’s the beauty of this creation. Because the authors focused so heavily on how to build networks, and why they are important, it is a timeless piece at a point where many books in this industry are out of date by the time they go to print.

This isn’t a book about the latest aspects of Facebook and Twitter. It’s not a technologically geeky book about aspects of social media platforms that were created yesterday.

It’s a book that proves once and for all that this new form of interaction is not going away, and if you’re looking to go anywhere in business, you need to be building relationships all the time, and meeting people where they are at—that means online.

How do you build relationships? How do you become an agent of trust? You build armies, reach out and interact with people, and become a human artist, according to the authors. You interact with people, and listen as much as you talk. After all, you need to be someone that people think of, when they have future projects.

Instead of focusing on sheer volume and treating the people in your social networks as a statistic, try interacting. Use mentions in Twitter to start conversations. Ask questions, post interesting content and build relationships.

If you somehow missed this book when it was released in the summer of 2009, go back and check it out. While this may seem like light years ago in the timeline of social media, this book is still a mandatory read for anyone interested in establishing online relationships.

Matt Brennan is a Chicago-area marketing writer and copy editor. He is also the author of Write Right-Sell Now. 

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