Monday, February 13, 2012

Social Media 'Gurus' Are Not

So, you need a social media guru, huh? Good luck finding one.

You'll have a much easier time finding a social media professional; someone who is making a living managing social media accounts and producing effective solutions for their clients. The idea that anyone, especially this early in the game when it comes to social media marketing, could have acquired vast knowledge of social media is a misnomer.

This is not just my opinion, it's obvious to anyone who does a little investigating into the nature of social media. Specifically, the fact that the social media landscape is constantly changing and hardly a well-defined set of tools. The recent rise of Pinterest is a great example of this. You might think a "social media guru" would have seen this coming, predicted its rise and been right there saying, "look, I knew this was gonna be big." But no one has. It took everyone by surprise and although we can all see their growth we are still struggling to understand just how to use it correctly.

I have read dozens of social media marketing books, attended countless webinars designed to explain the real "secrets" of social media marketing, and experienced the first hand frustration of discovering that there are no secrets.

There are some common sense steps to take; some obvious tools you should be using and some obvious ways you should use them. (Shameless plug: I talk about these in my book.) And it's true that a professional social media manager can help you effective build and leverage a social media network to achieve whatever it is you might be trying to do. But to believe that a single person has all the answers; has mastered the fluid nature and poorly defined landscape of social media is to leave yourself open to unscrupulous marketers looking to make a fast buck off people who are trying to find their way.

Do yourself a favor, don't fall for the hype. If you need effective social media management, monitoring or marketing, find someone who has a successful business doing that. If they really know what they are doing they'll be making a good living doing it. Otherwise, they're likely just trying to make money from people who don't know any better.

1 comment:

Emily Hill said...

Oh..so agree that I have to pipe in!

The best sense, is common sense. I see all kinds of newbie experts in the field of book marketing (my field is publishing). People who can't get their own 'How to Sell Books' into Amazon's Top 100 (without giving it away for free)pitching their books and their marketing expertise as though they knew what they were doing.

People! The proof is in the pudding! Don't follow hype - take every claim one step further by checking out a social media experts' (a) TwitterReach; (b) Facebook follow; (c) Amazon book ranking (d) number of Google-URL pages to their name.

Smart Post!