On Ranty Friday this week I am talking about social media experts, gurus and mavens. You know the ones.
Mavens. Did you even know the word existed? Well apparently it does and is often used these days in relation to social media. Along many other synonyms.
When it comes to social media these days I see more and more people calling themselves one of these terms. But seriously, can you be an expert in something that has no rules? There are no rules to Social Media, there are ways of doing things, suggestions about what might work, what might engage your readers, but are there any rules?
Are there buggery.
Let me tell you a story.
Last year Mr B and I were invited to dinner in one of those clubs in that London that is for members only. That you often see really cool people leaving from when you flick through Hello at the dentist. That has a waiting list as long as your arm for membership and even if you get to the top of the list you need to be vetted, approved, give your inside leg measurement and probably a large chunk of your income. But hell is it worth it.
We got there slightly early and were shown to a table in the bar (our names on the door, obviously) to await the arrival of our host. Somebody I had been Tweeting for months and months. Somebody in show business who knows all sorts of household names and who I had got on well with over tweets and text conversations late at night when the time difference was more in their favour than mine.
But up to that point we hadn’t actually met. About ten minutes after meeting and a glass of wine down our host looked at me and said “i am really surprised you are you, actually”. You see our host was convinced that from the Tweets I sent, the people I talked to and the way I talked to them that I was part of some social media experiment and that they were about to appear on some kind of “You’ve been framed” type programme.
“But I have been watching you tweeting Sally Bercow like you are best friends and she invited you to Prime Minister’s Questions”
“Um, yes, she did”
“And all those famous people that follow you, and that you chat to like you actually know them and have done for years”
“Well, that’s just me”
Does that make me an expert in social media?
I have won a prize for Social Media, does that make me an expert?
Could I run a social media campaign for a company?
It simply means that I know what works for me, personally.
Now let’s get something straight here, I am not talking about people that run social media for companies, or put together and get involved in campaigns. Nor am I talking about people who do actually call themselves the above names.
What I am talking about, is individuals that sell services to other individuals telling them how to run their personal social media. For up to £200 a day. They are not advising companies on how to engage their audience, no, I think they do a great job as they know what they are doing and really can boost a company’s profile online. These are people are telling people like me “This is what works on social media and I can tell you how to do it” .
It is madness. How on earth can one person tell another person what to do on Twitter or how to use it. It’s personal. It is your feed. You use it how you like. As much or as little as like and say what you like (within reason).
I get really flipping grumpy about they way some people do follow Friday stuff on Twitter. I also get really grumpy when you get tagged in a conversation but don’t particpate and eight hours later the same conversation is still going but has gone off on a tangent that you care even less about that you did the original conversation.
But that is just me. I hate it. Others don’t. So should I preach those as rules and take money from people for imparting this advice?
“Follow everybody who follows you”
Behave. I am not following people I don’t want to, or who just tweet copy and pasted quotes or who constantly auto tweet stuff and don’t interact with people.
“When somebody follows you, send them a direct message to thank them and send them a link to your blog”
Shut up. Do that to me and I will unfollow you again
Two rules I have seen people being instructed to do. These are not rules. And whilst they might work for some people. They don’t work for me, or the people that follow me.
The biggest interaction I get on Twitter is to ask who wants a cuppa at 6.30am. I can guarantee that is not in any rule book.
Maybe I SHOULD become a social media guru who tells people what to do on Twitter.
Anybody got £200 they want to send my way? You can have that tip about the tea for free, the rest you need to pay for.