I’m Not A Social Media Expert And Neither Are You

It seems as if every time I attend a networking event I’m meeting new social media “experts,” “gurus,” “ninjas” and “rockstars.” Quite frankly, I’m not a social media expert, and damn it, neither are you.

Want to know who the real “rockstars” are? They’re people. Real, honest, people; with real, honest faces.

The people who don’t use social media to earn a paycheck are the most valuable voices in the space. And more often than not, they’re the people these self proclaimed “experts” are forgetting about when they make recommendations to companies and brands big and small. There is an infinite problem in measuring your success by the number of tweets you produce daily, the number of friends you were able to corral on Facebook and in the number of referring links you’ve been able to garner. Why? Because more often than not, there is little to no attention paid to whether or not there’s anything worth saying at all and no thought put into what happens once the conversion metric has been satisfied. That comes down to a lack of strategy on the front end.

Kick ass creative? Check. Kick ass social media analytic suite? Check. Kick ass bloggers? Check.

Nothing valuable to say? No plan for what to do with people once you’ve brought them to your site? EPIC FAIL.

I think Joe Pulizzi nails it down perfectly in this post where he says:

Publishing is marketing, marketing is publishing. If we’ve learned anything over the past few years, it’s that the majority of new media marketing efforts rely on a keen understanding of publishing. That means that you (the marketer) need to take your sales and marketing hat off and put on your publishing hat. Instead of features and benefits communication (look at most e-newsletters, which are most times product or offer driven), are you delivering information like a publisher does to readers?

I can’t stress how important this concept is, especially when it comes to sharing your content in the social media space.

Believe me, there’s no way in hell you can consider yourself in expert in understanding something as fluid as the social media space. It changes daily and it gets deeper and deeper by the day. Social media doesn’t have a beginning, an ending or an in between. But if we all begin to start thinking of how we deliver our information on the front end (think about how it’s tagged, the tone you’re presenting it in, who is saying it and why you’re saying it in the first place) and couple it with a strong plan of action once conversion occurs, our content is useful to those swimming in the communication stream and to us, the publisher.

Stop worrying about your ninja skills and start building your strategic muscles. And please, stop calling yourself a guru. It just sounds ridiculous.

Photo: Sanja Gjenero