Before I begin this post let me start by saying there are far too many people in this industry who ‘one day’ decided that their boring day job isn’t for them. They have now decide to join ‘the cool kids‘ and become a newly acclaimed social media coach (if such a title should be allowed yet).

I am simply going to tell you that you shouldn’t hire someone who calls themselves a ‘Social Media Guru‘ or ‘Expert‘, other people should be calling you that for starters. Make up you’re own mind if you agree or not, frankly it is becoming a disease, a plague, there a far too many people ruining small businesses overall perceptions of social media.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of other legitimate people out there who are truly helping educate people to understand the value of social media and also helping businesses to measure their involvement on this marketing channel more effectively.

Twitter and Social Media are Still YOUNG

Twitter is still young

Twitter celebrated their fifth anniversary in March. Only two years ago, the mainstream (all those celebs, footballers and media types) didn’t even know what Twitter really was, now just look at where we are today!

Charlie Sheen signs up to Twitter and becomes the fastest followed celebrity in the history of Twitter, in just over 24 hours he accumulates over a million followers.

5 years…all summed up in beautiful celebration by the hilarious video by Funny or Die.

Compared to say Radio and TV, social media is a relatively new communication channel. It was only really 2 years ago that Twitter was properly accepted into the mainstream, I like to think that this date was christened fully when Oprah finally took to Twitter.

Now, when you turn on your radio or watch the news you’ll see presenters and reporters mentioning Twitter all the time, asking you to follow them to keep updated with the latest news or talk to them directly.

Twitter is still growing as a communication channel, people are still working out how to properly monetise it and how they can take it further. As a Marketing channel, it is rapidly changing and keeps growing from day to day. What’s new today can soon become old tomorrow.

There is a new measurement tool released pretty much every month to measure, track and report on social media more effectively.

Watch out there’s another Guru about!

Social Media Rockstar

So you’ve being tweeting for a while? You’ve been using Tweetdeck and Hootsuite for about 3 weeks now, you’ve accumulated a massive following on Twitter, so what? No one cares. It doesn’t make you a qualified ‘guru‘ or an ‘expert‘. I call these people ‘social media spoofer’s‘ or you might prefer the term ‘Social Media Douchebags

Telling signs that you’re dealing with a social media spoofer:

  • They are always mentioning how high their Klout score is (Klout, is a measurement of authority on social media but it’s pretty damn easy to game)
  • In their Twitter profile they have the words ‘guru’, ‘expert’, ‘ninja’ or ‘coach’ mentioned.
  • They are following 10,000 people and have 10,000 followers back (most likely auto-generated I might add!)
  • They don’t have a presence on more than one social network, they just sick to one
  • They are always posting loads of links on Twitter to blog posts about social media (but have never actually written one themselves)
  • The words ‘Rockstar’ or ‘Wunderkind’ have been used to describe themselves frequently
  • They will never respond to your Tweet, how could you ever see it if you’re following so many people back!
  • They will probably have an ‘auto DM’ message that says ‘Thanks for following me back, check out my wicked social media 2.0 mega bucks program here…

You should also check out this List of Social Media Gurus on Twitter: a Public Service for CMOs.

If you do actually want to hire someone to help you with your social media marketing judge them on their knowledge, experience and what content they put out on Twitter themselves, read their blog posts and look at how well they engage with their own audience. That’s a telling sign that you’re dealing with someone who actually knows their stuff.

If they never mention the words ‘measure’ or ‘analyse’ once in any conversations with you please run a country mile, because all online marketing can be measured. Social media doesn’t always have a monetary ROI, but you can measure its impact with a variety of professional tools to see if your efforts are making a difference to your business objectives.

I hope you hire the right people that know their stuff. Remember, an ‘expert’, ‘ninja’, ‘guru’ or ‘rockstar’ is not a descriptive word you should use to describe yourself, if someone else likes to refer to you as one then that’s fine!

I’m going to be blogging about another post in the next couple of days about Twitter so stay tuned!

Twitter Sand Pic Photo Credit By Rosaura Ochoa

Published by Illiya Vjestica

Illiya Vjestica is MD at Smartdog Digital, who specialise in Web Analytics, Social Media & Search Marketing. Illiya is passionate about helping his clients to understand the value of digital marketing, helping them to measure and improve the performance of their website traffic and digital marketing campaigns.