No, obviously I am not a Social Media Guru (SMG). I have been using social media as a business tool for about 3 years. It is, in my opinion, a great tool for learning, sharing and building your knowledge and contacts in your area of business. It does work, but it works best for those who have taken the time to understand the platform ‘from a followers/connections prospective’. Learn from those that do it well, and note what annoys you about the activity of others. And then, when you are an SMG, don’t forget these things.
I understand that we all have to start somewhere, we have all been ‘newbies’ and all made social media gaffes that we shouldn’t have. How we laughed when I tweeted a personal tweet from a firms corporate account by mistake on tweetdeck! And I forgive people, for a while at least, if they RT their Follow Fridays. Recently though, I am seeing so many ‘social business guru’s’ making so many mistakes, that it is depressing me. Newbies making an effort is good, SMG’s making them is not good. I am a social media evangelist, but I would rather use Facebook or cut my arm off, than ever term myself an expert or guru.
I recently attended a national social media event in London, where one of the ‘experts’ talking on the panel about using twitter in business successfully had an account with under 100 followers, under 500 tweets and even those were sporadic and just broadcasts about himself, no sharing, no interaction, no personality. I have not named and shamed here as there maybe a valid reason…. maybe his real account got hacked?
I also recently followed another self-branded SMG, as I knew the name, and quickly realised that I used to follow and had unfollowed as their posting levels were too frequent and I received the dreaded auto DM welcome message and link from them. *Shudder*
I will never brand myself as an SMG, this I swear on the SM Bible, and I will live by the 3 following commandments, which I offer as advice to those SMG’s out there:
- Thou shalt pace thyself – You are sharing blogs and links about social media for professional use because want to be seen as a good resource and someone to follow by those interested in the same. Tweeting articles and blog links over ten times in an hour is SPAMMING my timeline. Stop it. It dilutes the good stuff that you may be sharing. Because it’s too frequent I get tired of seeing such a vast range of links from you. And I follow usually around 600 active accounts, so you are going some to annoy me. This rule is relevant ESPECIALLY at the weekends – yes, I know that some links get their best traffic evenings and weekends, when professionals have the time to read. Over 15 different links on Sunday morning, however, makes me think that you have automated your account and you really ought to be tweeting about your weekend and interacting with people personally.
- Thou shalt practice what thy preaches – You are tweeting many articles on good and bad use of social media, what turns people off, what loses followers, how to build an engaged following, how to gain more business using LinkedIn etc etc etc. I know because I have read some of the links you have shared. However, have you read them? Based on my experience you are ignoring the advice you ‘share’ with others.
- Thou shalt ban the use of automated DM’s – I have said this before in 8 Things I hate about Business Tweeting way back in May 2010 – automated Direct Messages that say ‘Hi! Thanks for following me/us! Check out this link so that we can sell to you! It’s all about us you know!’ I am all for connecting with followers, but if you want to, do it in person and build the relationship.
So, ironically in a blog about good social media use, I have shared some of my pet hates to you SMG’s to help you not annoy me, and maybe others- maybe you’ll vote me up on Klout or Quora? Maybe not. But please don’t make me unfollow again, as some of the things you share we can both learn from.
Disclaimer: This is about some self-proclaimed SMG’s I have recently encountered. There are however some really good, specialists out there too.