seriously, really are you all that?

Our consultancy has become more and more focused on the social space over the last few years, why not, we try to stay ahead of the curve or at least between the lines. It is the future of all things marketing and branding. Plus, it is just damn fun! However the social space brings something out of many who have claimed the right to be a “social media expert.” I thought I would just share a few ramblings about an observation of late, well not of late; it is just how it is in the new media world. First, a disclaimer, this is only a rambling of a few of my thoughts and I support everyone’s entrepreneurial spirit, I am one of you. Often, even daily, I look at the new ventures in the space, searching for the next trend. Around here we live and die marketing, branding and advertising and have for a very long time. So I am not pointing anyone out specifically, just a trend that I see and have some concern with happening in my chosen vocation as a, dare I say, professional marketer!

One of the great benefits of the Internet is the ability for all to have a voice. We have been exploring and reaching into the new digital horizons since its inception and what a fantastic adventure it is and is to come! But, with that ease comes those who may portray themselves, let’s just say in a false light. Easy to do and I guess they have the right, but what about ethics? That is of concern to me and many from the old school of marketing, advertising, business, ETHICS. Can we all please check that? I will not go any further but to say please read the Statement of Ethics by the American Marketing Association.

With the proliferation of social sites, everyone is scrambling to claim their personal brand and certainly are encourage too. But, wait just a minute, you do know that many out there are just offering those trinkets, stickers, score, etc. to entice folks so they can sell ad space and reach, right? Again do not get me wrong, like I said we live and die marketing. I am one that loves to grab a Mayorship, Dukedom, badge, score, fan sticker, and any other creative swag that is out there to grab, it is just to damn fun not too! It is also a fantastic way to build a personal brand. However when I visit someone’s business web-site to gather what ever it is that I have been directed to or searched for, I am often presented with a flashing screen resembling the racing suit of a NASCAR driver embossed with tokens, badges, scores, and the latest widget of some automated self promotion score advertising that this person is “all that,” hey now! Can you not just be you, that is what social is right, just being you? Are we becoming a competition of my score is higher than yours and I have six more widgets on my page than you to try to gain a client? I think most who seek the service of a professional can see through much of the hype. Really, are you all that?

Again let me say I am thrilled that I am the Duke of my favorite local cafe, the Mayor of the middle of nowhere, I have some arbitrary score based on someone else’s analytics that tells everyone “I have some influence” and I got a sticker for watching my favorite movie! Heck, I am even a “Founding” something of one, how cool is that? BTW, you have the opportunity to claim a Mayorship or Dukedom of the bowden2bowden llc office (good luck, me and the other head check in often). I will continue to play in this “prospect mining” space because it is most helpful to keep my skills focused between the lines. The brands, company and idea folks that develop these programs, apps and enticing hooks are, dare I say, true marketing brains! They get it, do you? So I think it is great that you have a score of let’s say 60 or even 30 and that your index 53, I got ’em too and when we sit down for a bourbon or coffee we can chat and compare or I can see it in my stream when I visit those sites, I do often. But please, take the widget thing for what is, free advertising and a driver to their site, are they giving a direct link to you? Remember I came to your site to see you!

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11 thoughts on “seriously, really are you all that?

  1. One more thought about all those crazy numbers people are tooting: Some of them are not real at all. People are paying for Twitter followers, Facebook likes, etc. It’s really gotten crazy out there. If you are looking for a true social media expert, do your due diligence and don’t rely on all those trumped up numbers! OK, that the end of my addition to your rant! We are on the same page :)

    • So true Martha! I have had potential clients ask to fluff their numbers, why? What does it show! Influence, importance I guess. Anyway everyone is entitled and all are encourage to verify. Thank you Martha for the comments and add…

  2. Have a voice is the key part. engagiing your audience is your goal. But succeed is something more difficult. the more the people talking the more the quality needed is higher. So you want to be seen and really engage your audience? Be you, be consistent, be steady and try to avoid focusing on the medium or on tricks & tips: build your content.

  3. Randy,

    nice rant! :-)

    I am in agreement with you and as a social media manager, I cringe at the word ‘expert’. I am in the process of (re)branding myself as an ‘engagement specialist’ because I also refuse to use the word ‘expert’. I do not know it all, claim to know it all, or claim to know it better. I just do it ‘my way’ and have painstakingly build a FB following and Twitter audience. Funny thing is; the busier I am with clients, the less time I have for writing and gadget and badges, so my word of caution is this:

    If you see a social media manager online ALL day with their OWN stuff and promoting their own services, chances are they have 0 clients to speak off!

    • You are one that I think of when the word ‘social’ comes out Dorien, I am fairly sure you get it! As for ‘expert,’ I have been a student of marketing all my life. However certain chosen titles lend themselves to place one as an expert in their field. In todays rapid paced new flavor this week or new gaget this day, I have a lot of learning to do…NJoy!

  4. Hey Randy, tell us how you REALLY feel! Just kidding! :) I don’t know how to respond to your rant other than I hope you feel better for getting that off your chest. :)

  5. I am a huge proponent of building one’s presence online by way of organic methods. If you work at it and build trust others will take note and follow you on whatever channel you’re on. Gaming the system by inflating your numbers only lasts for so long. Like ok for example Lady Gaga has how many followers?? Does she really engage with all of them? Does her team make sure they are all genuine followers and does she follow them all back?? I have found following celebrities online to be daunting at best. I follow MC Hammer, Alec Baldwin and Marly Matlin on Twitter and have tried to engage with them but to no avail.

    I would rather engage with bloggers and fellow social media peeps in the trenches where I am at.

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