There’s not much going on in the internet marketing industry this morning. I suspect everyone ate too much candy.
While they recover from their belly aches, I’m going to do a little "belly aching" myself.
I’ve noticed–as have others–that there’s a growing number of people referring to themselves as social media "gurus," "experts," and "geniuses" (OK, maybe I made up that last one). What’s interesting is that many–note, I said "many" not "all"–of these self-labeled gurus have achieved nothing more than fame for being famous. In other words, peel back that first layer and you discover that they’ve not actually accomplished much in their social media guru career.
In fact, many of them remind me of Lovelace from Happy Feet. He was in the right place, at the right time, and managed to convince his peers that he was a wise and gifted seer. The same goes for many social media penguins.
Sure, they have lots of Twitter follower, but that’s easy to do–when you follow everyone back. Yes, they share lots of links, they speak at lots of conferences, and are the first person to whip out their iPhone at a Tweetup. But, ask them about their business successes and all they can offer up is that they helped such-and-such to "engage" their followers, or added a 1,000 friends to Company X’s Facebook fan page.
Where’s the increase in revenues? Point me to some of your client successes. Heck, show me where you’ve personally made money from your social media skillz!
Not that there aren’t any social media experts out there. Of course there are, they just don’t go around telling others how connected they are. They simply roll-up their sleeves and get on with it. They are in the trenches. They’ve used Facebook to add actual dollars to their bottom line. They’ve created a blog that increased the number of newspaper mentions. They’ve measured a decline in customer service costs because of their Twitter account. In other words, they’re so busy making social media work for them, they don’t actually have time to care about becoming the Mayor of the local Starbucks on Foursquare.
So, why am I writing this? As I said, it’s a slow news day. OK, seriously, why am I writing this? Because I see far too many people that are the real experts in social media, but feel dejected, deflated, and despondent, because they don’t have 100,000 Twitter followers, don’t speak at the latest "we’re all great social media pros" conference, and don’t get the recognition from their boss–let alone their peers.
So, this is not so much an attack on social media gurus, but a pat on the back and an "attaboy" or "attagirl" to those of you that have much to show for your efforts–even if the only Twitter List you’ve made it on, is your own. You’re doing great. You’re as much as a guru as anyone else. Keep at it!
As I write this, I’m fully aware that the above is in some ways no different from the "SEO snake oil" commentaries I have been quick to attack in the past. If you feel that’s the case, go ahead and attack this post. But keep in mind, if you have the time to critique this opinion piece, you might just be one of the ones that I’m talking about. Those that are truly the social media experts are busy building their business, so don’t have time for debates such as this.
PS. I am not a social media expert or guru. I just try to get the job done.