The problem I have with most social media “experts” is that their expertise comes from experiences promoting themselves and their ideas via social media. Ask yourself, “Am I selling social media webinars, books, blogs, or consulting services?” If the answer is no— steer clear of these people, as their “experiences” do not apply. They live in the echo chamber of social media ninjas, gurus and strategists who get off spending 90% of their time arguing semantics on each others’ blogs and profiles.
Guess what happens when a bunch of social media experts communicate with each other? They tweet, they blog, they comment, they like, they stumble at a ridiculous clip. Based on these experiences, they turn around a write a “How to use [insert platform of the week] to increase business.” Reality? Hardly. Would you ask a guy in a Hogwarts uniform if it’s worth checking out the latest Harry Potter flick?
If you’re interested in becoming a social media strategist or consultant yourself, then dive in, join the echo chamber and take copious notes. But if you’re operating or working with a real business, ignore these people, dig in and do it yourself. If you need an expert to tell you how to be “authentic” or how to “engage” then you might need someone to help you be a better person. Be a cool person (or business) and you will be rewarded. Smile at the stranger on the street and you’ll probably get a smile back. We all know how it works.
Learn the technologies, find the opportunities and leverage the social media tools that best fit your business. We learned to do it with the phone, the fax, email and the web…and we can do it now. </rant>