As much as I love the concept of social media, I am shocked dismayed stunned annoyed with the number of opportunists who have dubbed themselves ‘experts’ of these new(ish) channels of communication.
I’ve been playing in the digital world for over 10 years now, but I would be the last person to say I’m an ‘expert’. Enthusiast? Sure. Participant? Definitely. Addict? Perhaps. But really, who has ‘mastered’ these new realms? We haven’t even had time to fully explore them!
Oklahoma City is (surprisingly) in the forefront of this digital revolution, which is fantastic to see. We have in our midst several companies/individuals who are using (and, in a few cases, abusing) social media to their advantage. Some of these folks are giving seminars, speaking at public events and even writing books about ‘social media strategies’.
I love the fact that we have so much interest in this phenomena here, but does getting on Twitter throughout the day really make one an ‘expert’? Does publishing your own book make you an authority? Heck, I could write a book next month about playing guitar… and I could relay stories of all kinds of succesful musicians who have sold millions of albums… but that wouldn’t mean that I know the first thing about successfully navigating the waters of the music biz.
Don’t get me wrong… When someone like Gary Vaynerchuck writes a book about HIS experiences and what made HIM successful, I listen (or read, as the case may be). The major difference here is that he’s not selling me on his services, he’s giving me advice. And, I would add, that the small price of his book, Crush It!, or the opportunity to hear him live TONIGHT (http://www.OKcrushIT.com), is certainly money well spent.
So… Is there a point to all this rambling? Ummm… Sort of.
Beware of the ‘Social Media Guru’. Hiring a professional marketer with social media experience to help your business get involved in this revolution is a great idea. Hiring a self-professed social media expert to handle YOUR business online can be a fatal mistake. Even worse, I suppose, is having your 19-year-old intern handle your brand in the digital world because “he’s familiar with that stuff”, but that’s another post.
Now, get back to work.