I’ve had colleagues, friends and family call me a social media guru, ninja, expert, etc. In fact, I’ve had a post/rant in draft form for months and was inspired by today’s Dilbert comic to finally move it from draft to publish.
Are you someone who uses social media tools? It is part of your job? Maybe you have “social media’ somewhere in your title.
The tough question
So tell me, are you a social media guru? Do people label you as the social media expert (or maybe “the Twitter expert” in your office). In my previous job, a few co-workers started referring to me as the organization’s social media ninja. I like using the term ninja better because if you’re doing social media right, you don’t need to be all flashy and narcissistic to do it well.
For some of us, this classification may have started in jest.
It can seem fun at first and why not have a label when lots of other people do – you have “the mom with endless hilarious stories“, “the guy who’s always coming up with new recipes” or the classic “party guy or girl in the office who entertains you with their weekend hi-jinx on Monday morning“.
But what happens when people start using terms like expert in their job description? Who defines what makes an expert in a subject area? Is there some sort of social media panel or council that decides who is or isn’t an expert? I don’t think so.
A lot of social media power comes from being strategic, smart and personable. In many cases, it’s a popularity contest. That’s not always a bad thing, but it’s important to know that if you want to have an impact, it will take time and energy and don’t forget that it’s a give and take arena.
Social Media Jargon
Have you hear someone refer to “tweeple”? My first thought is to break down the word into “twin steeples” as in, “that church has a lovely pair of tweeples”… but tweeple is a term someone will often use when talking to their Twitter followers – “good night tweeples. Sleep tight!”
You’re not on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc?! What’s wrong with you?
Another misconception about social media is that everyone HAS to be there. This isn’t true at all. If you don’t want to be here, that’s OK.
If you want to be a lurker and read what’s going on and what people are saying, but not participate in the full discussion – that’s OK! The whole point of social media is to provide a place for social interaction between people; no matter where you’re located.
So when an organization or company decides “we need do social media stuff”, it’s really important to have a plan of some sort. Work on some strategies and match them up with some tactics to help make it all happen.
“We need to have 10,000 followers” doesn’t cut it. Why do you need that specific quantity? How will you get that many people to follow you? Why will they follow you? What will you do once you have your followers? How will you keep them engaged?!
Social media engagement takes time and energy, it can’t happen overnight. There’s so much out there on the Internet, it’s also easy to find it overwhelming. Try a few things and don’t be afraid to make a few mistakes or trip up a little along the way. Maybe everything won’t work the first time, but with some planning and evaluation, you can find what suits your org the best.
What are your thoughts on the crazy world that has become social media? What’s your favourit aspect? What do you really hate or find annoying?