I had a couple #followfriday and direct messages lately calling me a “Social Media Guru”, or an “expert”. Honestly, it made me a bit uncomfortable, so I decided to share this video and then speak to these over used and rather silly titles:
The bottom line is I am not a Social Media expert or guru! What I am is someone that was fortunate enough to have lived in the music world and was doing “web2.0” marketing from 2000-2004 (before the value of doing so was recognized). To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing then, I just knew it made sense. I was simply trying to garner exposure for my fun little website with a $0 dollar marketing budget. In 2004, Barry Libert bought the company I was a sales executive for and from that point forward my career was transformed. In 2004 I was a Community Manager for Shared Insight (today Mzinga) and in 2007 & 2008 I moved into a Strategic Consulting role with Mzinga. Early 2009 I was laid off and brought what I knew to Authority Domains and their customers. Does my experience make me a “guru” or an overused term on Twitter– “rock star”? No! I say I have been afforded the opportunity to be educated on a fledgling industry and have passed on my experiences to those organizations in need!
With the economy being as it may, it is imperative that you have a strategy to show ROI and create realistic benchmarks for your brands Social presence at the outset. If you don’t, you might be setting yourself up for career suicide. Remember everyone is accountable, so a clear strategy with an identified niche is necessary. If you need help doing this, my suggestion is to go old school and look at a “guru’s” resume (notice I don’t hide my resume?). Unless they lied, the resume will give you a clear indication of just how long they have been in the Social industry. Remember, according to Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers– “People don’t rise from nothing,” he writes. “They are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot … It is only by asking where they are from that we can unravel the logic behind who succeeds and who doesn’t.” He also goes onto explain “… these statistical “deviants” benefit from their ancestry, their culture and where they live. To this fertile soil add sufficient ability, opportunity and 10,000 hours of deliberate practice.” In other words it takes 10,000 hours to be a “master” of anything-or in this conversation-be a “guru”. Has Social Media been around long enough for anyone to master it or put 10,000 hours in?