The cult of social media celebrityism

I’m starting to become acutely aware of the extreme amounts of entertainment vehicles,  media outlets,  media devices,  content consumption and content creation that are being produced at massive levels all around me. Social media can do that. It can expose you to a lot.

But I’m also coming to a conclusion too.

From a media/content standpoint, what we consume and how we consume it for some of us, is in direct proportion to what we create and why we create it. Social media seems to be  central to this theme that we need to be and can be validated through this “instant recognition”. We see it and we want it too.

Call it “social media celebrityism” if you will. In other words, we the content producers, want to be noticed, we want the attention that we see the “others” getting.

Why do you write? Why do you create vlogs? Why do you tweet? Why do you share your content? Are our motives altruistic? What is the bottom line reason? I don’t know your motives but I would guess that most of you don’t create content out of a vacuum.

What this really means is that all of us content producers have one goal in mind whether we care to admit it or not. We want to be noticed. We won’t shun it if it comes our way. In fact, on the contrary. We’ll embrace it in a heartbeat. I don’t turn down many opportunities, do you?

It’s like we all want, at the least, the 15 minutes that has been afforded us. Most of us would take more if we could too. We laughed when Warhol first said it, but the more I continue to sit back and watch how our wired world is evolving, I see a public that obsesses over being famous and in turn obsesses over  the famous.

Social media has made us vain. Social media has made us want more. Social media has lowered the bar and social media has lowered the barrier of entry into this world.

Social media has made us conscious of the attention we can get and it makes us want it all the more. Most won’t admit that, but most won’t turn away from the recognition if it is somehow bestowed upon them by accident either.

There’s nothing wrong with it. but my concern is that as we become more desensitized to and inundated with UGC, either our desire for better quality will increase-which would be OK, or our expectations for more outrageous, salacious content will need to be met, or we will feel the pressure of sacrificing quality over sensationalism. Sadly, that may have already happened…

Being digitally shallow and outrageous will take on new meaning thanks to social media and search. Our 15 minutes of fame will be compressed and zipped to 7 1/2 minutes…

This isn’t happening to everyone but I dare someone to say that they have never written something that didn’t possess a certain amount of link bait. Who’s to blame? Me, you, our readers, new media, old media, technology..We’re all to blame and yet there’s not a thing we can really do about it. It is the world in which we live in now.

10 social sites you might have missed

I haven’t supplied you with a post that directs you to some cool social sites lately, for that I apologize. So here we go.

1) Check out Tagxedo. It’s Wordle, but on steroids. Though you will have to download Microsoft’s Silverlight to really see it in all of its glory.

2) Start selling in 60 seconds with Tinypay. You want to see micropayments in a down n’ dirty fashion? This is it!

3) I love this deck, The Tipping Points of Social Media

4) If your not a fan of Social Media Today, you should be. Pay attention to this post by Coree Silvera titled 36 Twitter Resources: Advanced Twitter Search for Business, It’s loaded with advanced Twitter search tips you probably don’t know about..

5) Check out the funky named Goomzee.  Goomzee helps increase sales through innovative solutions, specifically designed to connect buyers and sellers. It’s essentially a mobile advertising and lead generation tool for real estate sales and marketing professionals.

6) You knew something like this was going to be created didn’t you? Teneros has created a product called Social Sentry which provides corporations the ability to monitor the social networking communications of their employees. Delivered as a SaaS offering, Social Sentry enables businesses to monitor employee activity on all major social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

7) Tungle is cool. Get your personal profile and custom URL to display your availability, and let others schedule meetings with you (without having to sign up). Choose your availability, who you share your page with and when meetings get booked.

8. Though we all read a lot every day, Mitch Joel compiled a nice list of 20 books that you should read. The Digital Marketing Essential Reader

9) This is hilarious. The PPC Blooper pay per click humor blog, with the appropriate URL of…Yourppcsucks

10) Sign up for this and keep your eye out for  Nebul.us

Lastly I want to give a quick shout out to the folks over at Junta42 they just released their eighth installment of the Junta42 Top Content Marketing blogs list. I was honored to place #7 on that list! Thanks guys!

Sharing the work of others

Sometimes, no I take that back, A LOT of times I am just amazed at the work that comes from others. Either via the written word on a great blog, or an incredible viral video, or a killer ad or a killer presentation. In this case, I’m talking about David Griner of Luckie. I had the pleasure of meeting David in Birmingham, Alabama during the Social South conference. We didn’t talk long but nevertheless his skills were evident to me then and are certainly on parade in this deck titled,  The Tipping Points of Social Media.

Elevate your game

With respect to PETA, it may seem sometimes to you like we are beating a dead horse when talking about social media. But the problem is that we get so caught up in learning new shiny ways to make money that we forgot how we made the money in the first place.

It has always been about the customer and it will continue to be about the customer. You’re in business, I’m in business and we”re in business to serve the customer. Making them happy means you live to play another day. Delivering to them the best of what you do is why you do what you do.

All social media should mean to you is that it allows for you to add tools and channels to your marketing mix that help you connect with your customers and future customers.

Quit worrying about the semantics of social media. It’s time to move on.

Beyond the above core statement, what you need to understand about social media is that it has empowered customers and it has now put you on notice. Elevate your game and get your house in order. Period. The age of the new customer is upon us.

10 little things SMB’s might be missing when launching social media

I use SMB’s as an example here, but when reading Todd Defren’s latest blog post, apparently it is something that permeates organizations both large and small. What is it?

What are companies (SMB’s) usually missing when jumping into the social media waters?

  • They’re missing the point.
  • They’re misunderstanding the commitment
  • They think you can outsource it
  • They think it’s a switch
  • They don’t try as hard as they could
  • They don’t measure it or…
  • They measure the wrong things
  • They lack knowledge
  • They’re expectations are unrealistic
  • They don’t give it enough time

That’s it.

But you know what the great thing is about all of the above bullet points? They all can be fixed.

How?

  • Education. Education will help them get the point, but they need to know where to get that education. You can help them.
  • Understanding the hard work involved will address a lot of the unknowns. We can all relate to what happens with hard work. But there needs to be an emphasis and a complete understanding of how labor intensive social media can be.
  • You can outsource it, but it’s easier to understand when you don’t, the more you understand, perhaps the more capable you are of knowing what you can and cannot do internally.
  • It is a switch but when you treat social media as such, others can tell, they see your lack of commitment-they see the half ass effort.
  • If you don’t try, then what should you expect? I’ve always said, if you give 100%, then no-one can ever say that you didn’t try. You can take it out of the equation. But make sure you’re working smart.
  • You measure your efforts when you sell, when you advertise, when you hire, when you buy etc. etc. so this is no different. You just need the right tools to measure the right things.
  • Look up the definition of social media ROI and that will tell you what you should measure with social media.
  • Social media changes daily; the tools, the sites and the cool things, they change daily. Stay current. Pick 10 sites and dump them into a reader and read it every day.
  • Create reachable goals.  Teams and coaches create goals-you should be no different.
  • Set up your expectations tied into your goals and give it all a legitimate time frame. But know it is a long term deal.

Now go get it done!

Social Media thought leader infographs

I see social media folks who have, or don’t have the chops, called everything from guru, ninja, and thought leader, to strategist, heavy hitter, expert and beyond. With that being said, I’d like to keep this light on words and more on the visual of what some of those labels or designations mean to me.

I guess first and foremost, when I hear the word Ninja, this is what comes to mind..

So I’m not really feelin’ the whole “Social Media Ninja” thing..Do you know people who work like that? or go to client meetings dressed like that? I just don’t know if I ever would want to be called a Social Media Ninja, what about you? I can see it now, “This is Marc, he’s a social media ninja, he carves people up and destroys them with lethal precision…” uhh sweet, you’re hired.

Next up is the Social Media Guru

Is this the image that comes to mind when someone is referred to you as a Social Media Guru? Do you want to be a Guru? Do you know what the definition of a guru is?

A guru (Sanskrit: गुरु) is one who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom and authority in a certain area, and who uses it to guide others (teacher). (wikipedia) Ironically, look at this “other” definition:

In Western usage, the meaning of guru has been extended to cover anyone who acquires followers, though not necessarily in an established school of philosophy or religion.

Is it me or does that sound like a traditional definition of Twitter… which would mean that perhaps a social media guru might look something like this:

What’s the word, smarmy? The above Guru, may even have some sort of social media certification..Who knows? I know of one person who I could slap the tag of social media guru on, and it would fit, but for a myriad of reasons.

What about thought leader, what does that really mean to you? To mean when I think of a true thought leader this is what comes to mind.

But ironically if you do an image search on the term “thought leader”, all you get is a bunch nameless, obscure, people you’ve never seen before, trying to self promote themselves as a..you guessed it…thought leaders.

There are just a few, true, social media thought leaders, but I think my problem with the term lies in the fact that there are too many. We slap the label on people too quick. and the label is affixed based on false numbers. The problem lies in the fact that we have diluted it.

What about heavy hitter? Here is what immediately comes to mind for a heavy hitter.

Yep, The Bambino was a heavy hitter, because he was heavy and he could hit. I will let you at this point, come up with your own list of social media heavy hitters.

Then there’s the social media expert. I’ll leave it at this which I got off of Brian Cuban’s website:

Here’s a quick “Universal search” exercise for you, go do image searches for all of these terms mentioned above to see what comes up when you add the word social media to the front of them. You get some interesting results. Essentially, you get nothing, which means, Universal search aside, the labels mean nothing..Call yourself a social media unicorn if you want, just bring the results.

In conclusion, I would like for us all to go lighter on the labels and heavy on the results.  Sort of like this last image. He might be the exception. He had the label and the results.