Monday, January 26, 2009

Intimidation from the Alleged “Social Media Expert”

Already this morning, I’ve read so many interesting and educational blogs. The social media guru population grows by outrageous #s every day…just as the debate grows of what actually depicts a social media “guru” or “expert”.

Recently I’ve read from some of the SM pros (that have been doing this for awhile now) complaining that social media “wannabes” are coming out of the cracks and tarnishing the reputation of those who are actually doing it right. I certainly agree with this to a point. Sure, there are those who don’t really get it, but think it’s a hip or cool trend they should be participating in. Or—even worse—those who believe it’s a quick, easy, and economical way to get rich and popular fast. Read 6 Dangerous Fallacies of Social Media if you believe that notion.

However, there are some of us out there, like myself, who actually do practice the original rules of the social media foundation. We listen, research, participate, share, engage and act as humanly possible to learn the evolving methods, tools, etiquette, and regulations of this bureaucracy. We may be newer to the field than some, but we take it very seriously and want to play the field respectfully, fairly and by the rules. As I start my social media consultancy, I know I don’t have to label myself as an expert, but a savvy PR professional with many years of both traditional and new media experience.

So before some of the so-called SM experts judge us newer to the industry, you may want to look, listen and learn whether we are real or phony.


  1. I couldn't agree with you more Lisa. We are too busy working for clients and getting them business to shamelessly promote our own sites. :D All kidding aside I have to tell you these "Media Guru's" aren't all that. They are not giving me any more information than I already know. *sigh* I firmly believe with time and only time can you finally play with the "big dogs". Or you can promote your clients and let your work do the talk... Don't you think?

  2. This is definitely a hot topic.

    I agree that the roster of social media experts is growing rapidly and it is becoming harder and harder to identify what exactly constitutes a guru, especially since the space is still undefined.

    Luckily, I'm a positive guy. I like to think that with the recent influx of new social media experts, the BS meter within each of us has grown a little stronger. We now know that the real judge of "social media character" (and expertise) should be the quality of a person's content and what they do to move the industry forward.

    Best of luck with the consultancy. I look forward to hearing great things.


  3. SEOcopy, I agree. But I do think most of the SM pioneers (even some I'm referring to here without names) are great at what they do and I often take their advice. So I suppose there's a bit of a dichotomy here;-) I just get fed up with the egos and the "I was doing it WAY before you therefore I am superior" attitudes.

  4. Lisa - thanks for linking to my post and deeming it interesting. Just wanted to say that I cringe when I even hear the word "expert" tacked onto the back of "social media." In a space still so new and incredibly quirky, how can anyone truly be an expert yet?

    Hope your week kicked off well!

  5. Thanks David. I appreciate your feedback and look forward to thrive (as I always do) on your inspirational posts:)

  6. I am confused to what a social media is. Your rant is probably warranted but where can you send me to find out what your are talking about. It is indeed interesting!

  7. Social Media is, and should be perceived as, simply another mechanism to hear and be heard. An extension of yourself as a human with human relationships.

    Just like any other format, there are good and bad things about the genre, and good and bad things about the interaction processes, and people who communicate better than others.

    Personally, I think it's rude to talk on a cell phone while at a table, but I know plenty of people who do it, and think it's perfectly fine. (Example of differences of opinion on a communication methodology.)

    I happen to be someone who uses networking events to meet new people and establish RELATIONSHIPS, but I know plenty of people who use those times as simply an ad.

    My feeling is that as people become more comfortable with new communication mechanisms, that they will continue to gravitate towards people they like, or people that they can easily communicate with, people that they need, or that need them. Doubtless we ALL will break some china while we're at it. And in the end, it will be interesting to see what happens next. It's all transitory.

    Keep communicating. It is, after all, part of what makes us human.

  8. Hi Lisa, very quickly you learn in this space that it's a bit like school again.

    A discussion ensues but after a while it's no longer about what's said than about who is saying it.

    Having said that blogs such as this and twitter have given me the opportunity to connect with some really smart people around the world, so it definitely has its upsides.

  9. Hey there Lisa,

    I think the problem is more about the snake oil salesmen that are conning people and businesses into thinking they know more than they do.

    Like any industry, this is damaging to all and only hinders social media's acceptance, rather than encourage it. And it's not just the social media *gurus* (the non-snake oil ones) that are noticing it. Normal people like myself are :)

    Cheers, and all the best with your consultancy!

  10. Thank you Dirk and Danny. I'm honored to receive your feedback. Two Brits I have a lot of respect for;-)

  11. I am learning the ropes and finding social media tools is something that you have to learn. No one is going to be an expert over night and you have to learn and ask questions! It is the only way you are going to succeed.

  12. I'm not a social media guru, just somebody who's fascinated with everything about it.

    I couldn't applaud the experts more for the findings they've provided, which inspires me to research and test things out myself. It's never an easy work, even just a 'simple' testing may take me days to accomplish.

    I respect your work, and expertise. Keep it up, I'm sure people will know eventually who's the real deal afterall.

    Social media/Blogging

  13. Good points. I tweet SEO tips for busineses who can't afford an SEO. They are basic tips to help -- sharing knowledge. An SEO "Guru" is going to find them elementary...but that's what they're supposed to be!