Tag Archives: social media “experts”

Stop Following Social Media Influencers

18 Nov

facebooklogoupsidedown2


What does being a social media influencer mean?

They’re influencing people via Facebook? Or they’re influencing people about Facebook?

One issue with seeing social media as an industry (which I don’t) is this idea that you should have already heard of everything and everyone who is “an expert”. I constantly hear this from marketing colleagues and people who will soon no longer work with me:

“Do you follow Joe X?” (Joe’s name is blocked here to protect the ignorantly blissful.) And I always reply, “Who?”

This is usually followed by, “Whadya mean ya don’t know who Joe X is!?! How can you not follow Joe X?”

No, I don’t follow Joe X, and neither should you.  

No offense is meant to Joe X. Joe X is probably a good writer. I see Joe X’s blog occasionally in search results and I’m usually impressed by Joe X’s writing skills and ideas.  I couldn’t write as well as Joe X in a million years. I will be likely to read future posts should the subject appeal to me, or more likely, the keywords match what I am searching.  But following? Nope. It’s pointless.  

Who should you follow? Two Tactics:

 1. Follow influential people in your industry. If you’re in retail, franchising, food services, healthcare, automotive, or any industry,  there are many smart professionals with whom you should engage. Don’t worry about what they’re saying about Facebook or Twitter…pay attention to what they’re saying about retail, franchising, healthcare, etc.

2. Don’t follow any specific people; search and follow ideas!

“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.”
-Marie Curie

5 Things to Ask a Social Media Expert, Guru, or Ninja

8 Aug

 

syn_beverlyhillsninja_1
In case you’re being pitched to by a social media expert or you’re thinking of handing over your company’s money to a social media guru, here are some things to ask them. Oh, and I included social media ninjas too because you never know when they will strike!

     

1. Did your studies of the ancient guru or ninja arts take place on a remote mountaintop in Asia or at Florida State?

2. How long ago did you stop being a PR Guru?

3. Does that gmail address on your business card mean you’re too cool to have a real company email?

4. How much of your clients’ revenue increases are a direct result of your work? The metric I’m looking for here is called US Dollars.

5. According to Twitter, you have fewer followers than I do. Or anyone in my company. Or most of the consumers with whom we intend to engage.  So, uh, how long have you been an expert?

 

 

Andy Griffith and The 3 Stages of Social Media Engagement

3 Jul

Note: here is a republished post from November of 2011 I wanted to share as we remember Andy Griffith today.

As we begin to wrap up a year of explosive growth in Social Media usage and engagement, I’m seeing many Social Media Marketers moving into new stages of their own involvement. It reminds me of similar changes of audience engagement by one of the all-time great story tellers.
  
I speak, of course, of Andy Griffith’s portrayal of Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry!

Stage 1: Over the top and finding our way

At the start of The Andy Griffith Show, Andy’s depiction was the same as the characters he had been playing on stage and screen and in his popular monologues and comedy records for the previous few years. Andy was over-the-top, absurd, and loud. It’s what Andy knew how to do to get attention and laughs. 
 
Andy Griffith

Stage 1 Andy: All Laughs

We dig into our own history of past success and use those same tactics when launching our social media engagement. Sometimes it fits, but more often than not, marketers need to tweak their voice and role, leading to…


Stage 2: Getting down to business and finding our role

After the first season or so, Andy realized that it would be best for the show if he played the straight man and let those around him get the laughs. His decision to pay it forward catapulted the show into legendary status.

Andy Griffith

Stage 2 Andy: Paying It Forward

The character of Andy as the normal and wise hub for the crazy Mayberry citizens’ shenanigans is a great role model for how Social Media Marketers should carry themselves within their online communities. Be the Andy by helping solve your connections’ business problems, mediating different point of views, and most of all promoting others before yourself.

Note, many so-called Social Media “Experts” or “Gurus” are the equivalent of Deputy Barney Fife. They take credit for others’ heroics, crow about their own expertise, and obsess on the tools of the trade rather than the message. Barneys don’t really make a community worse; in fact, they can be funny. But in the end, we’re just laughing at them. 

 
Stage 3: Getting annoyed by and tired of those around us

It would be best if you as a Social Media Marketer could stay in a perpetual stage two. Toward the end of The Andy Griffith Show’s original run, Andy’s character further developed into a role that you don’t want to be. These episodes are easy to identify as they are in color and “Angry Andy” is constantly irritated by the dimwits around him.   

Andy and Aunt Bee

Stage 3 Andy: Annoyed

If you feel yourself getting easily agitated by the day to day engagement with the Goobers and Aunt Bees in your online communities, it may be time to stop and to move on to new challenges.
 

Don’t Be a Social Media Electrician

8 Mar

Social Media Electrician

In previous posts, we’ve discussed the negatives of being a Social Media Hammer Guru. Now I’m asking you to avoid becoming the social media equivalent of an electrician. 

Ever talk to an electrician who’s starting a job or project? What do they talk about the most?

Other electricians.

Specifically, they criticize the previous work done by other electricians who wired or rewired the place. There’s always lots of “that was done wrong”, “I would’ve done this differently,” and of course “that guy doesn’t know what he’s doing!”

The same goes for many trades: computer programmers, sales managers, and NFL coaches. It happens in any job. Maybe I’m giving electricians a bad rap.

Social media marketers and communicators can easily fall into this trap of spending all day pointing out flaws in others’ social plans and tactics. But unlike the electrical trade, there is not yet enough history to establish absolute Rights and Wrongs. As soon as we get close, platforms’ rules change, public sentiment shifts, or research appears showing us that we didn’t really know how few or how many consumers were engaged.

We will do ourselves a favor by not going down the path of the social media electrician or armchair quarterback. Social Media Marketing is still so new (yep, still no “experts”!) that we should relish this time of experimentation and crowd learning.

Andy Griffith and The 3 Stages of Social Media Engagement

12 Nov

As we begin to wrap up a year of explosive growth in Social Media usage and engagement, I’m seeing many Social Media Marketers moving into new stages of their own involvement. It reminds me of similar changes of audience engagement by one of the all-time great story tellers.
 
I speak, of course, of Andy Griffith’s portrayal of Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry!

 

Stage 1: Over the top and finding our way

At the start of The Andy Griffith Show, Andy’s depiction was the same as the characters he had been playing on stage and screen and in his popular monologues and comedy records for the previous few years. Andy was over-the-top, absurd, and loud. It’s what Andy knew how to do to get attention and laughs. 
Andy Griffith

Stage 1 Andy: All Laughs

 

We dig into our own history of past success and use those same tactics when launching our social media engagement. Sometimes it fits, but more often than not, marketers need to tweak their voice and role, leading to…

  

Stage 2: Getting down to business and finding our role

After the first season or so, Andy realized that it would be best for the show if he played the straight man and let those around him get the laughs. His decision to pay it forward catapulted the show into legendary status.

Andy Griffith

Stage 2 Andy: Paying It Forward

 
The character of Andy as the normal and wise hub for the crazy Mayberry citizens’ shenanigans is a great role model for how Social Media Marketers should carry themselves within their online communities. Be the Andy by helping solve your connections’ business problems, mediating different point of views, and most of all promoting others before yourself.

Note, many so-called Social Media “Experts” or “Gurus” are the equivalent of Deputy Barney Fife. They take credit for others’ heroics, crow about their own expertise, and obsess on the tools of the trade rather than the message. Barneys don’t really make a community worse; in fact, they can be funny. But in the end, we’re just laughing at them. 

 
Stage 3: Getting annoyed by and tired of those around us

It would be best if you as a Social Media Marketer could stay in a perpetual stage two. Toward the end of The Andy Griffith Show’s original run, Andy’s character further developed into a role that you don’t want to be. These episodes are easy to identify as they are in color and “Angry Andy” is constantly irritated by the dimwits around him.
   

Andy and Aunt Bee

Stage 3 Andy: Annoyed

If you feel yourself getting easily agitated by the day to day engagement with the Goobers and Aunt Bees in your online communities, it may be time to stop and to move on to new challenges.
 
 

Social Media Strategy = Snake Oil

7 Jun

 

Snake Oil

Go search Twitter right now for the phrase “social media strategy” and see who is trying to sell you snake oil. It’s not pretty!  A few Tweets every minute pop up by someone using that phrase.

I cringe every time I hear or read the phrase “Social Media Strategy”. It’s still being used frequently by so-called Social Media “Experts”. By the way, that’s a bogus term too, but that’s well-covered ground here and at many other places.
 

There is no such thing as Social Media “Strategy”.
 

You have a business strategy and perhaps a communications strategy and hopefully a communications plan.

Your Social Media tactics are a means to execute those strategies just like any other tactic or activity. Social Media can be a platform, avenue, channel, or tool.  
 
I have had many organizations tell me “We don’t yet have a Social Media strategy.” My reply is usually, “Do you have a telephone strategy?” Of course not; you use a telephone to make the connections and build relationships to achieve your business goals.

It’s the same with Social Media!

Social Media Douchebag

I hereby pin this badge of dishonor on anyone claiming to be a Social Media Strategist or Expert.

Social Media Experts or Hammer Gurus? Part 3

11 Feb

 

As discussed previously on this blog, a good carpenter does not call himself a Hammer Guru. Being knowledgeable in your tools of the trade is important, but you should focus on the job, not the tools.

And that’s what social media is: a medium, a channel, or a tool with which you may engage. Saying you’re an expert with the tools is saying nothing.

Too many PR people are riding the wave of corporate ignorance about social media and promoting themselves as Social Media Experts. As of today, here are the numbers of those whose Twitter profiles identify themselves as being the following:
  
Social Media Expert      382

Social Media Guru         218

Social Media Maven      163

Social Media Strategist  460

 
 

Strategist?!? There is no Social Media Strategy! You need a business strategy or a communications strategy and apply tactics – including the use of social media – to it.
 
I won’t go as far as Foursquare and give out Social Media D******** badges, but I’m getting close.
 

 

Another group of self-proclaimed experts, gurus, kings, queens, and mavens is the PR Measurement crowd. About 99% of the discussion at PR conferences, on blogs, and via Twitter is about WHY you should measurement PR activities and results. Rarely do any of these “experts” tell anyone HOW to measure. Maybe that’s the secret sauce that I haven’t paid for. Or the snake oil…

Don’t get me wrong – there are lots of smart PR folks who know measurement. But a PR person saying they are “into” in social media or measurement is like a politician saying he’s against waste. Wait, who is FOR waste? Again you’re not saying anything.  

A better long term reputation-builder is to show your skills in creating the messages and content and starting the conversations that will help your clients achieve their real goals.

So, I ask you – what are the best ways for PR prosfessionals to promote themselves as being great communicators without resorting to telling the world they’re Hammer Gurus?

Dear CEOs: Social Media Is Not E-Commerce

3 Dec

The first Black Friday and Cyber Monday since the Great 2009 Social Media Explosion are now behind us. The first reports are in and it looks like many retailers had a great week.

I wonder if any CEOs who recently “gave in” to their marketing advisors and signed off on SM efforts are right now going over sales figures for the year and wondering why they’re not seeing a big payoff from Social Media.

The reality is Social Media is not e-commerce.

I’m not criticizing any CEOs who don’t get that…yet!  For now, I am finding fault with any marketing directors (and God forbid any PR managers) who sold Social Media efforts internally as online magic that makes cash registers ring.

I fear that some people in the marketing and communications industry have set unreachable goals in order to sell their CEOs on Social Media Campaigns. Or perhaps they are measuring social media mentions in terms of Revenue per Tweet.

There IS an online community where any company can expect the cash register to ring the moment they establish a presence. It’s called e-bay.

But unlike social media, e-commerce and auction sites won’t allow an organization to engage with its customers, learn from them, build loyalty, and all of the things that social media can do that we haven’t thought of yet!

Thanks to my colleague Jeff Tidyman of eNR Services  for suggesting this topic. End of rant and enough blogging for today… I’ve got to go check on how my eBay auctions are doing. That’s where the big money is.

Social Media Experts or Hammer Gurus? Part 2

22 Jul

In an earlier post, I discussed the continuing sensation of some communications folks appointing themselves “social media experts.” Once again if you are calling yourself this, I implore you to stop! You’re saying nothing!
 
Social media is a tool; you need to be an expert in the messages you’re crafting.

A good carpenter knows more than just the inner-workings of a hammer and is therefore more than a hammer guru.
 
There are hundreds of twitter users who list in their bio that they are social media experts, gurus, kings, queens, and mavens. Uggggg!
 
fail 
I’m not sure what credentials one needs to make this claim. Did they discover LinkedIn two days before the rest of the world? Do they have more time to spend on Facebook lately since their PR agency business has slowed down?
  
One of my local PR community’s favorite butt of many jokes is one such self-described “mavens.” My favorite part of this story is that this CEO joined Twitter only after hearing about it on Oprah this past spring. You can’t put lipstick on an outdated publicity model and call it a social media consultancy.
 
Here’s another gem. I recently started following on Twitter a marketing and PR agency that says it specializes in social media strategy. What happened next? You guessed it…I received a generic auto-DM saying “thanks for the follow.” I hope they are not charging their clients actual money for their social media expertise.
 
Don’t misunderstand – there are many true social media experts out there. The best of them do not need to call themselves experts; their clients and peers are doing that for them.

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