“Social Media Experts” Are Really Only Experts at Cliche
I saw a great post over on Conversational Marketing today called 10 Questions to Evaluate a Social Media Expert. It is a really funny, yet pretty useful blog post about all of the social media hacks out there that call themselves Social Media Experts (or Gurus). Calling yourself a Social Media Expert / Guru is like being Hansel from Zoolander – so hot right now. I’ve been meaning to do a similar post, so thanks Ian for inspiring this post – I encourage you to click the link and read his wonderfully sarcastic (yet amazingly insightful) post as well.
Here’s my list of warning signs that a person you are talking to isn’t really a social media expert:
- They call themselves a Social Media Expert or Social Media Guru. Seriously, that is total lame-sauce. If you really were an Expert or Guru (btw, Guru…seriously? Are we Harry Potter?), you wouldn’t have to tell us that you were one, we’d already know. Go cast social media spells at Hogwarts with your twitter buddies, I’m going to stay away from anyone who claims to be an expert in anything.
- They mention Twitter in the first 10 seconds, or talk about Twitter for over 25% of the conversation on Social Media. Twitter isn’t social media. Twitter is a media channel that works in some applications, and doesn’t in others. Twitter is not the end-all, be-all strategy for success on the internet.
- They call it “Social Media” over and over without explaining their definition of what that means. First of all, “social media” is a complete bullshit term. I challenge you to find me an example of online media that isn’t social in some aspect. The only thing I can think of is an old-school, Web 1.0 web page that is basically a flyer or brochure published on the web with no ability to interact with the site. If so, there are so few of these sites any more it would be easier to identify the anti-social media on the web. However, I’m okay with using this term, but you have to define it first. You can define the term however broadly or narrowly you want, but you need to define it otherwise you’ll never really make sense – everyone thinks a different thing when they hear the phrase social media.
- You say the phrase ‘so-and-so really gets it’ when referring to using social media effectively. AHHH! At least you’re consistent in your use of cliches. -1 additional point if you then talk about Zappos and Dell on Twitter…yes, anyone with a pulse and internet connection already knows this – they made money using social media – whoopee! Apparently you’re the one who doesn’t “get it” if that’s the best, most creative example you can give us.
- They see Social Media as a one size fits all strategy. It’s not. Each company has different goals and objectives, and what works for one client really well might work awful for another one. If it were as simple as applying a process over-and-over, there wouldn’t be a need for “social media experts,” as everyone could just do it yourself. You need someone who can understand the pros and cons and make thoughtful approaches to connect with customers and partners. Sometimes that means not doing any social media at all (gasp!) – some companies really do work best under the radar (besides Halliburton).
- They tweet, facebook, blog, digg, etc. more than 20 hours a day. You must really think you’re important if you feel the need to share your thoughts every 15 minutes from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed. Perhaps this explains how you’re so narcissistic as to call yourself a social media expert in the first place. News update, Hoss – if you don’t have a life outside of your social networks, then that’s scary. If you really have all that time to update your social networks 24/7, then do you have any time leftover to focus on your clients? If you have such little human interaction in your life, are you really the right person to help drive my brand? No, and No.
- You talk about twitter the whole time. Again, enough with the Twitter. We get it. It’s so hot right now. Well, so was AOL 8 years ago. What’s your point? There always be a bigger, better thing right around the corner. You have to think long-term. If you focus your entire advertising around one channel, and that channel then slowly diminishes in importance (MySpace, anyone?), then what do you do?
Anyway, go check out the post at Conversational Marketing. Here are my favorite quotes:
If you know more than 5 people, chances are you now know someone who declares themselves a social media expert. How can you tell if someone’s claim of expertise is legit? Here’s my quick quiz. Ask each question and take the appropriate action:
3: What is social media?
“Blogging and Twitter and stuff”. Excuse yourself for a bathroom break and don’t come back.
“A trendy term to describe a new kind of mass media”. Totally acceptable.
4: What’s a social media campaign?
“Voting something to the front page of Digg using my proxy server and 35 computers”. Flee the scene, and get to a minimum safe distance as soon as possible.
“I have this great software that will put a link to your site on 21,000 forums and 10,000 blogs…”. Push them down the garbage chute. Don’t be seen with them in public.
7: How do you build an audience?
“I auto-follow 20,000 people on Twitter”. If you’re OK with it, kick them in the groin for me. If not, nod politely and move on.
“I follow interesting, relevant people on Twitter, comment on relevant blog posts and try to get into the conversation”. Home run. Try not to weep with joy.
10: How does social media impact SEO?
“It builds relationships that turn into links later”. HIRE THEM NOW.
Read more: http://www.conversationmarketing.com/2009/07/10-questions-for-social-media-experts.htm#ixzz0M2bHZrRh