There is a constant tug of war within the new industry of social media between people that consider themselves the thought leaders of the industry and the unending “sharks” launching themselves as social media experts every day.

The simple act of labeling yourself as a social media expert of any kind can turn stomachs for many. It is that bad. But, I say bring on the false prophets. Worry about the issue no longer.

Why is this not a problem? Why should you not worry about it?

  1. It happens with every new marketing channel
  2. You will not get rid of the “sharks”
  3. Negative energy sucks
  4. The best combat is to be good at what YOU do

Think back to SEO, to website development, to PR even. A balance always evolves between the people that can really help companies navigate these new technologies or strategies and those just trying to make easy money.

sm-false-profit1

sm-false-profit2

sm-false-profit3

sm-false-profit4

Consumers are smart. Not the individual consumer necessarily, but as a whole. They vote with their wallet. They hire according to recommendations. They may make a mistake or two and may even get turned off to social media as a whole because they hire someone who is clueless.

Let them.

Educate the people you can. Do good work for your customers and clients. Be the change you want to see in the industry.

Call it as you see it, for sure. But don’t get too caught up in the negative. It is rarely constructive.

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  • http://www.andrewmager.com mager

    Great post, I printed it out for my archives.

  • stevegaines62

    Jason,
    Thanks for adding positive energy to the Social Media world of emerging “consultants” and “experts”. You hit it so on the head with these two points:
    3.Negative energy sucks
    4.The best combat is to be good at what YOU do

    Water finds it's own level. So does good and so does bad. Along the way though, there isn't much to be gained in constantly trashing everyone outside of the top rungs. Many have legitimately positive interests in wanting to help neophytes. And, of course, some don't.

    But, when doubt creeps in, see your rules 3 & 4 above again.

    Great post!

  • http://jasonkeath.com jakrose

    Thanks Steve. I find it serves me well to be reminded of those 2 rules for
    most professional situations.

  • MLDina

    You're absolutely right- social media is about networking in a way you see fit. If you want to provide value, do it. If you want to follow and interact with anyone who mentions you or views your profile, go ahead! It's all about getting what you want from the online networking experience, and putting in that same effort.

  • http://www.spotzero.com/ Dex

    So true. Be good at what you do and that fixes everything. If you don't mind the link, here's on-topic funny video: http://tinyurl.com/lbcxdp

  • http://www.gypsybandito.com CT Moore

    Awesome graphics, Jason.

    Your emphasis on “be good at what you do” remind me of the slogan for Steam Whistle Beer: “Do one thing, really well.”

    And it's true: if you're really good at one thing, word will get around.

    And, of course, calling yourself an expert in everything that's new and unfamiliar is a lot like how a Jack of all trades is an expert at none.

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