I have noticed a number of blogs written by social media gurus intending to caution consumers about the many, many social media hacks out there and how to recognize them from the true “experts.” I certainly agree there are way too many people professing to be social media strategists whose only claim to fame is the ability to create a Facebook page. I have come across some myself. There is no way they could possibly help a business develop and implement a successful marketing strategy with a social media component.
That said, when I read the “I am a true expert, beware of imitations” opinions, I can’t help but think of a South Park episode where George Clooney’s smug cloud is about to collide with the smug clouds from hybrid drivers in South Park and San Francisco, causing the “perfect storm” of self satisfaction.
I don’t know, maybe its me but it all seems so self-serving. There are weak and strong in every profession. The weak hurt, the strong build. People get that. Companies get that. Have you talked to your stock broker lately? No one pays for advise that turns out to be a cost when the expectation is that it will be an investment.
But what really upsets me in these hack vs. expert discussions is the idea that if someone hasn’t put in the time they can’t understand the true value of social media. Understanding the value of social media isn’t about who was the earliest early adapter. It is about knowing how to help others use social media in a way that can actually have a positive impact on their business. If you can do that, time spent with social media is almost irrelevant.
So the real necessary ingredient is not time, but rather a passion for helping others succeed. Its being motivated by a smart, innovative marketing plan which positively impacts a business. Because first and foremost, what this should be about are the people who have invested their lives in their businesses. And of course, the smile you see when you ask “How’s it going?”
So, to all those who drive hybrids and actually make a living as a social media strategist…get over yourself. Stop worrying about the qualifications of others. No doubt, if you’re any good, you have a client counting on it.