Don’t you get frustrated by seeing or hearing about the same conversations over & over again on Social Media? What the so called Social Media Expert, the Social Media Guru, do we even know what those terms really mean? I’m sure the frustration is only with those who have been around a couple years already, those who have been watching this environment fragment, morph, change shape and even become mainstream.
I took part in Mack Collier’s #Blogchat tonite, what fun that was, if you haven’t taken part or even heard about it, you are missing something. Tonights topic was, How social media consultants should use SM themselves. It was a wild conversation with many people tonight, but thats what it’s all about, sharing and helping answer questions. The chat tonight got me to thinking, so here I am sharing my thoughts.
The fact we are still having the same conversations about Social Media means that a large part of those in the work force still don’t understand or know how it works. When we are still asking questions like, How do I get an SM job, and those asking that question barely know how to use the tools. They want to know because it sounds like a fun job! The truth is, it may be fun, but it’s much harder work than many believe.
Tomorrow’s Social Media Consultants or Advisors must have some experience, must be able to show that they have done what they are selling, teaching or preaching. Just knowing how to use the tools does not qualify them, at best it’s a hobby at that level. The most successful SM consultants have done something in the field of communication, have some marketing experience, understand business and how it truly works. The push & pull of Social Media isn’t going away anytime soon, at least not until we as a people understand it better.
On Tonights #Blogchat was about how Social Media Consultants should use Social Media themselves, that question alone raises the question, is Social Media understood?
Beth Harte made a profound statement tonight, “If you are a consultant that isn’t driving business using smart MKTG that includes SM, how can you do it for me?’ Mack Collier responded to Beth “I think it’s a balancing act, if a consultant has no SM footprint, how do they know what they are talking about?” Beth is on to something there with her question, but this is only one part of the problem, there is more to being a Social Media Consultant than just one expertise of having a footprint. Beth also shared the following, Social Media is more than just tools… Blogs are more than just blog posts/content. Sometimes we have to keep it simple for those asking the questions.
I threw out some bait in the chat and had some interesting exchanges, I said, The truely successful SM Consultants have one characteristic in common – Humility – they know who they are. While that may be true, Eric Urbane also made a great point by responding with, With due respect, this humility stuff has little to do with Results, What CEO hires someone because of humility?
Eric’s point is valid, my point was not about tactics and strategy but more about the person, the softside of the consultant. I said, If a SM Consultant has to look good, they don’t have humility, they have vanity. Humility is rare at the mass level. If SM Consultants know their stuff, there is a quiet calm, peace, and humility within… they will be well liked and hired far more often than not, looking good and being right is not important to them. Solving problems and helping people (clients) is.
The same holds true for SEO Experts, Shannon Evans shared, I also get frustrated by SEO ‘experts’ who don’t even have decent seo on own site! They gotta eat the dogfood too!
Social Media Consultants have to bring something to the table more than knowing how to use the tools. Danny Brown said, Ask for tangible results – any SM consultant worth their salt will have physical results to show you.
A true Social Media Consultant is a student of the works, finds and builds results to back them up, they know who to call and where to look so they can bring accurate sound data to share before promising anything. A good consultant rarely promises, he walks along side of the client and teaches them.
I’m being very general in this post and you need to know this could go much, much deeper, I would recommend contact Beth Harte & Mack Collier to get real insight into what was talked about tonight. They are smart, well grounded humble people that understand the seriousness of what Social Media Consultants should be. They might even be able to answer the question of the night, How social media consultants should use SM themselves. Oh, and they do understand the Push & Pull of Social Media.
Every Sunday afternoon I play soccer with a great bunch of guys, we’ve been getting together at the same field now for over ten years, trying to stay in shape of course. In July of this year I took a tumble at warp speed and broke, no shattered my left shoulder at the clavicle joint. Here it is now late September and I still have not been cleared to play, do you have any idea how frustrating that is? To know you can’t be out there with your buddies, knowing you can help your team mates win. Half the fun is the strategy, who plays what position and who has the touch up front and finish the play by putting in the net. As this is just drop in soccer we get people at various levels of ability, from 17 to 56 years of age and every once and awhile someone comes out that doesn’t have clue what you can and can’t do, they don’t know the rules. So they run around all over the place not knowing what to do and never really ask for help, and when they do, they forget what you said almost as fast as you said it. Given enough time and they come out more often, eventually, they find there way and start to contribute in a meaningful way.
You are probably wondering where I’m going with this, the question is, are you one of those soccer players running around trying to accomplish something meaningful in the game? Are you playing with the Internet and Social Media the same way? You’ve setup your Blog and you’re telling everyone to come to your site but you haven’t taken the time to learn how or what to do with all those visitors. There are a great many people out there you would consider successful, but there is a far greater number that haven’t realized their 15 minutes of fame yet. You have two ways to approach the Internet & Social Media, you can learn from those who have gone ahead of you or you can try to figure it out yourself.
I can tell you from personal experience, learning from those who have gone before you and succeeded is much easier, that is the choice I would make if you’re just getting started. In fact, if you’ve been Blogging for awhile you should study the leaders anyway, learn the guidelines and then figure out how to make them work for you. Pay attention to what they do, but don’t try to act like they do…why? In Social Media circles you will hear the mantra, be real, be yourself and be honest. So trying to act like someone else won’t let the uniquely designed you to come out, and you will be known as someone who is not authentic and phony.
Everyone loves guy’s like Gary Vaynerchuck, Chris Brogan and Scott Stratten but you will never be able to duplicate how they deliver the message and do what they do. You can however, learn what they do and then learn to make it yours, learn to make it unique by being who you were meant to be. Gary wrote a book soon to be released in October called, ” CRUSH IT ” and Chris’s book which is already out and amply titled, ” TRUST AGENTS “, tell you what I just shared, be sure to order a copy and learn from them first hand.
As you can see, help is closer than you think. No matter what your niche or area of expertise happens to be, study what Gary & Chris do but also pay attention to others like Amber Naslund, David Armano, Mack Collier, Olivier Blanchard, Trey Pennington and Kris Colvin. Spend some time in the Silicon Valley circle to by watching Robert Scoble and Louis Gray. Most of the above have sites with video’s you can view so you get an idea of who they are, and what they are doing with Social Media Networks. As you can see there many to follow and learn from, but they all cover their interests and passions in their own unique way. Also keep in mind some of these people are paid to do what they do in Social Media Networks, but that’s what makes them great case studies.
– Amber Naslund works for Radian6, they provide tools for real-time social media monitoring and analysis designed primarily for PR and Ad agencies.
– David Armano, is the Senior Partner at Dachis Group, was created to unlock the value of social technologies for large corporate enterprises through its Social Business Design global advisory practice, and technology implementation program. David talks about the 5 B’s:
1.) Be Ubiquitous
2.) Be Social
3.) Be Interesting
4.) Be Remarkable
5.) Be Yourself
– Mack Collier, Helping companies understand the ” Social ” part of Social Media.
– Olivier Blanchard, trains company executives and project teams in all matters of social media management and measurement, then help them build and integrate effective programs into every facet of their business, from Public Relations, business development and market research to Human Resources and Customer Support. Oh and Olivier is working on a book that will educate you on the proper way to realize and calculate the true ROI (Return On Investment) in Social Media.
– Trey Pennington, Interviews leaders in Business & Social Media on BlogTalkRadio and uses almost every Social Media Network out there.
– Kris Colvin, is the designer of Twitterface.com and a Social Media Maven with passion and desire, Twitterface is a great tool so be sure to use it.
Whether you already have a business or a Blog, you will never stick with it and see it through unless you’re passionate about it. Gary Vaynerchuck’s war cry is to do your passion and you’ll give yourself the best chance to win. Remember, the Internet is the Platform, Social Media is the Tool you can master on the Internet. Do your homework, study how to use the tools and pay attention to your passion. In another article I wrote, called ” Your Passion Is In Front of You, You’re Just Not Paying Attention” its so simple it’s almost embarrassing, I triple dog dare you to read it.
Each person who is a success online can only teach you how they did it, not how someone else did it. Now pay attention to what I just said, they may have duplicate someone else’s system but they made that system there’s through their personality and how they think. They couldn’t ever act or be like the person they learned from, so study by taking notes, watching videos and then find your passion. The final step is to make it your own, only you can be you and only you can do it. So who are you and what are you doing?
I got all Twittery on the topic of Social Media Marketers this morning, there is a group of people that seem to be considered more popular, even an Elite, as Social Media Marketers. I know the definition is not clearly defined because personalities seem to play a large role in the who’s who of these networks anyway. I think there are three parts to being a Social Media Marketer. You might call these three parts the recipe for Weblebrity (new word coming to a dictionary near you) as someone coined a while back. I’m not trying to start a who’s better than the other war, but I am curious what these people have that appeals to you as your favorite SM Marketer.
Would you consider Gary Vaynerchuck a Social Media Marketer, Promoter or Ambassador? I would entertain that Gary is a motivational speaker, his enthusiasm carries him a long way. You probably know him as the Wine Guy from tv.winelibrary.com with his regular viral videos.
Gary Vaynerchuck has captured attention with his pioneering, multi-faceted approach to personal branding and business. After utilizing traditional advertising techniques to build his family’s local wine business into a national industry leader, Gary rapidly leveraged social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook to promote Wine Library TV, his video blog about wine. As his viewership swelled to over 80,000 a day, doors opened to a book deal, several national TV appearances, and a flurry of speaking engagements around the world. Gary’s dual identity as both business guru and wine guy has made him the “Social Media Sommelier.” (taken from his site)
There is no doubt that Gary is a force to be reckoned with and he has made the most of his efforts to buy the New York Jets NFL Football Club, only time will tell. His focus is clear and makes no excuses as he is CRUSHING IT!
On Twitter I asked if Gary and Chris Brogan were a Marketers, Promoter or Ambassadors? Could they just be popular dynamic personalities.
Here’s a few responses:
Randy Haddock (a musician blogger) says of Gary Vaynerchuck, “Ambassador to both marketing and promotion and does it brilliantly, He’s very knowledgeable, personable, and approachable. He cares about every single viewer/reader he has and builds relationship”.
There are many, many Social Media Marketers that you don’t hear of because they aren’t as high profile or don’t spend as much time in Social Networks as some do to be noticed. I’m not that popular but I spend considerable hours in a day on some Social Media Networks talking, asking questions, writing articles or ranting about Auto-DM’s in Twitter. I love to help people with Social Media Marketing and I love to talk about technology’s and how they will impact society. Does that make me a Social Media Marketer? Maybe, but that has yet to be determined 🙂
How about Chris Brogan, he has an incredible following and is loved by many, here is his BIO taken from his site. Chris is a long time Blogger and is all about community and social media. As president of New Marketing Labs, my role is to build and execute strategies for companies seeking to engage their community via the social web. We focus on four core areas: listening, content marketing, community management, and outreach programs. Acting as a hybrid social media PR/communications organization, New Marketing Labs extends your other channels into the new world of the web.
I also operate the Inbound Marketing Summit conferences, a series of events dedicated to educating businesses on the potential of Internet marketing and communications and featuring the brightest practitioners available. We run several single day Inbound Marketing Bootcamp events all over the US as well.
Then there is my Canadian favorite Scott Stratten, a sharp young man that seems to be addicted to Twitter. He is very witty and his work on Twitter is always interesting not to mention funny. Who is Scott Stratten? Well….Scott Stratten is the President of Un-Marketing, a firm that works with business owners to help them become customer magnets. He uses proven methods of successful marketing to increase awareness and sales both within a company’s current customer base and new ones. He recently appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Fast Company and his articles have been published all over the world.
Mack Collier is another person who is very sharp in the marketing game and uses Twitter as if it was an extension of himself. Mack Collier is a social media consultant, trainer and speaker. He has been actively immersed in social media since 2005, he has helped advise, teach and consult businesses of all sizes on how they can better connect with their customers via these amazing tools and sites.
Kris Colvin doesn’t claim to be a marketing person, she describes herself as a designer. I just love her spirit, she is very engaging and enjoyable, she has alot of energy and frankly practices the law of attraction by being exactly who she was designed to be. Personally, I think she’s pretty sharp in the marketing sector too.
Kristi has been creating business communications since 1993 for leading software organizations and small-to-medium size start-up companies. A foundation in print design and retail visual merchandising, led to web site design, user interface design (gui design + information architecture + branding + usability) and she specializes in making product and brand experiences better for users and customers.
Olivier Blanchard, The Brand Builder – he’s not as flashy as Gary Vaynerchuck but is very engaging, he has a deep understanding of what Social Media is, he knows exactly what the metrics and indicators are and should be in this marketing environment. Plus he makes great non-threatening, personable videos made easy to understand. I follow Olivier because he relates to me and I truly enjoy his perspective. I think he even likes wine 🙂
He explains himself on his site as BrandBuilder Marketing’s principal and senior strategist, I help companies significantly increase their marketing ROI, foster both broader and deeper engagement with their customers, establish leadership in their markets and expand to new ones.
He also helps companies and their marketing partners establish effective social media programs and integrate them into every facet of their business, from Public Relations, reputation management and market research to Human Resources and Customer Support.
Each one of these great people have all three parts of being Social Media Marketer 1.) Marketing Knowledge 2.) They are Entertainer’s and possess 3.) A dynamic personality. Those three components add up to people that are, savvy, have brand and trust. Don’t take my word for it, follow them, watch, listen and learn.
I’ve had the privilege of listening to and engaging with some of these brilliant minds, bantering back and forth on the topic of Social Media Marketing and ROI (Return On Investment). I’m grateful for their time to share, they have allowed me to get to know them a little bit even if it’s just at 140 Characters at a time. I follow all them and highly recommend each one of them to you, be sure to follow them on Twitter.
Do you agree, do you know others not mentioned here, then please let me know by leaving a comment.
The topic of ROI is not a new one but it remains to be a stumbling block for most in the Social Media Marketing field. The problem isn’t that an ROI can’t be derived, the challenge is, most are using old ways & thinking to get to that ROI place in an environment that requires you to think differently. Using old practices does not help you get there because the rules have shifted yet once again.
I got into it with a few people on Twitter over the weekend, @CreativeWisdom @kriscolvin, @mackcollier, @thebrandbuilder and @virtualcfo. We bantered back and forth sharing our views, recognizing we could get there with similar but slightly different metrics. My conversation started with Kris & Mack, we actually started with the Quantity vs Quality of Twitter Followers topic and then we moved onto the ROI question. Then Olivier jumped in along with Leah & Scot. There is a distinct difference between ROI & Impact according to Olivier Blanchard (@thebrandbuilder), his definition is interesting and reasonable I think. He states, eyeballs are not ROI, Impact is not ROI, ROI can’t be calculated with an equation. In one of Olivier’s video’s I was able to relate to him because of my 15 years in Radio & Television, he uses F.R.Y. (Frequency, Reach, Yield) as a way to get to an ROI.
Scot Justice made this statement, “You can capture cost of Social Media by implementing a procedure where every prospect is asked about a blog then Calculate SM$ per impression then ROI”. That is an old school way of tracking and has some merit, we used a similar system in Radio to track campaigns, I would like to hear Kris & Olivier’s perspective on his theory. Talk about a hot topic with some very talented and passionate people, this would make a great panel on Owen Greaves LIVE! (I’m working on it).
I do recommend you visit each one’s website or Blog and see what they are doing and how they are doing it, contact them and ask the questions, I’ve listed them for you:
2.) Kris Colvin
3.) Scot Justice
4.) Mack Collier
5.) Leah Dossey
No they all aren’t Marketers in the traditional form but they do need to understand how obtain a form of ROI. There are many that claim Social Media Expert Status, many think they have a clear understanding of what an ROI is, in my opinion they aren’t and they don’t get ROI.
I’m certain this topic will never really go away because many will have an opinion, many will claim they have the secret formula, the list that do is very, very short. I love this kind of dialogue so I’ll keep bringing it.