Thursday, April 23, 2009

SoMe...So All About Me?

Last week I found myself sucked into the black hole of bitterness- full of hate and resentment for social media "posers." It started with this survey that says that even people who have absolutely NO experience with social media marketing consider themselves knowledgeable.

I'm sorry? No experience=knowledge? Huh? In what parallel universe?

Then there's Ashton & Oprah. Twitter has officially gone mainstream. And all of the "experts" and early adopters are feeling threatened because suddenly anyone can do social media. And, really, how dare they enter our inner Twitter sanctum? We were here first. We own this. I had more followers than you last month, buddy.

Wait. Hold on. Here's the thing, I hate those blowhard Twelebrities who want tons of followers but never seems to have case studies for actual clients. I am the girl who laughs at people who make SoMe into So All About Me. But, as my followers grow, apparently so does my ego. I find myeslf getting pompous and holier than thou. I stand on a soap box instead of listening to the crowd. Am I *gasp* turning into one of "them"? I find myself looking in the mirror and asking "Who the hell do I think I am?"

And, at just the right moment, I came across Rob Key, who slapped me back to reality with a peek into where my real value lies. He pointed to the difference between monitoring and mining. Monitoring is listening. As in shut the hell up with your sales pitch and see what your customer is saying. Good first step. Mining is the actual analysis of those conversations. What are they actually saying and what does it mean? And more importantly, how can you add value for your customers based on what you have learned?

Monitoring is pretty easy. Singing your own praises is even easier. Sitting back and actually hearing is a little trickier. But, I am up for tricky. In fact, I love tricky. I am a sucker for analysis. I am positively giddy to know what someone thinks about my client's brand. Hey, that's the reason I was psyched about social media in the first place. But, oh, wait, look at that shiny object.. someone is talking about ME!

And, back to "who the hell do I think I am?" Well, here's my answer. I am incredibly passionate and enthusiastic about the tools I now have to communicate with like-minded people who can teach and inspire me on a daily basis. I am prone to defensiveness and sarcasm. I love my clients and have a persistent nagging voice in my head asking "how does this effect my brands' business goals and long term success?" I also have a teensy bit of PR and marketing experience under my belt. BUT, none of these things make me any more of an "expert" in social media. Let's face it. We are all new to this game and the rules change every day.

So, instead of spewing easy sarcastic barbs, I resolve to try to add value. To listen to learn. To not get sidetracked when rockstars acknowledge my existence. And when I get extra pompous and snarky, I hope you will kick that soap box right from under me and ask, "What have you done for your clients lately?" Because at the end of the day, my success is making my clients loved and adored and relevant and famous.

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