Today is a day greater than my birthday.
Today I can finally lay claim to a level of stature that few can. For today I have, in the words of that great guru before me, now been blogging for ‘six whole months’. Oh joy of joys!
But in all honesty, and amongst the mockery, is a self-proclaimed Social Media guru what I’ve really become? Is it something that many of us have become? Whilst I’d probably protest this if someone else called me one, I think many of us need to ask ourselves the tough question – because like many of us, this blog has become a ‘Social Media blog’, I am on Twitter ‘Social Media lists’, and I’ve already been mildly suggested as running an event reflective of the ‘Social Media guru’ in the video linked to above himself. And lets be honest here, I do make up a lot of language and buzz talk!
(By the way, in case you didn’t know by now, the term ‘Social Media Guru’ is derogatory, based on this video.)
The Adoption Problem
My theory is that it isn’t just me in danger of becoming another Guru in the sea of Social Media self proclamation. I posted this on Posterous yesterday with a note underneath saying: “The problem, with Social Media, is that the early adopters want to be just like the innovators. So we have bloggers imitating bloggers, people trying to be like Seth or Scoble or Brogan, etc etc.”
The gap between the early adopters and the early majority seems to be growing. The early adopters are talking more and more like the innovators, and talking less and less like the early majority – and I think there is a huge market for those that, rather than trying to imitate the innovators, can instead take Social Media to the early majority. But to span the gap, we need to quit either being, or desiring to be, Social Media Gurus. Because the reality is, most of us want to be them.
“I don’t want to be a Social Media Guru” I hear you say – but let’s talk for a moment.
It’s funny how celebrity has taken hold of the Social Media world. Gary Vee, Brogan, Collier, Blanchard, Kawasaki, Scoble, Arrington – you know the names. They are Social Media celebrities. I’m not saying for a moment that the attention they get is undeserved – not at all – but for a lot of people who are bloggers and practitioners of Social Media, who look up to these names, the aim for them is clear: I want to make my name famous, like [insert celebrity].
Perhaps I’m wrong about all this – but then why are there so many people all pushing the same content marketing strategies? Why are there so many imitators and so few originators? The answer is right there – it’s imitation and mimicry.
The Giant Untapped Social Media Market
I recently made a quality decision based on what I’ve seen in the London Twitter scene. There aren’t many ‘famous’ or ‘celeb’ London Twitter users. None of them have overly large followings. Yet the majority of them, though lacking the recognition, are actually doing Social Media. They are the actual practitioners who are working hard, navigating the red tape, and delivering the results and the ROI. Sure, their blogs don’t get huge attention, but it doesn’t matter, because they have the actual know how, nor just the cheap talk.
So having seen this totally different frame of mind from whats the norm, I decided that I too would join the ranks of focussing on helping that giant, untapped Social Media market of the early majority.
After meeting up with a lot of people recently, I’ve realised how rare it is for actual Social Media framework to be drawn up and implemented. I see little of them on blogs, and wince when I (often) hear of people saying how great it is that they are using Social Media effectively now that they have created a Facebook Page for their business. Social Media requires strategy. Requires models. And there are common frameworks and there are common strategies. So I’ve realised that the fact that I’m thinking hard about what they are, and am busy drawing them up and teaching them is an area of uniqueness for me.
I am now positioning my agency, Aaron+Gould, as consultants in Social Media for Agencies who want to provide Social Media services to their clients. The fact that we have frameworks, strategies, models and case studies means we are well equipped to help Agencies in providing expertise and value to their clients. I’m not a salesman and am not in contact with lots of clients and companies – my greatest worth is taking the frameworks I go through here, and helping agencies integrate them for clients.
So this is what I’m thinking. I’ve already heard some of your thoughts yesterday, I’m keen to hear more today.