Social Media

It’s All About Interaction, Right? When Social Media ‘Gurus’ Contradict Themselves

This tweet by Olivier Blanchard (@thebrandbuilder) came across my Timeline a while back:

“Remember a few years ago when social media gurus preached transparency, authenticity and disclosure? What happened?”

I’d been wondering the same thing.

Douglas Karr (@douglaskarr) had the answer in a great piece he wrote titled, “The Upper Class of Social Media is Failing Us,” for Marketing Tech Blog (@mktgtechblog). He suggests:

“Back in the early days of social media, there was no class system. When someone  wrote a great blog post on the blogosphere, we all cheered the author on and  promoted their post…Social media has changed. A class system is absolutely in place. And  the upper class is comfortably alienating the world from their “senior rug”…It’s amazing. While these folks are writing books on the power of social media  and telling their stories of the opportunities others gave them, they neglect to  reach out a hand to the next person. I read many of their blogs and see tons of  comments from dedicated followers that are retweeting, sharing and  congratulating them on the great content… with no response from the pundit.  None. Not a peep.”

And as I’ve slowly worked my way into using Twitter in a more professional manner, I’ve seen what Karr has suggested numerous times. Some accounts are just a stream a self-promotion, with no interaction or acknowledgement of followers. Even when legitimate questions are asked, which you’d assume a social media guru would know the answer to, there is no response.

In the beginning, I followed every account that had lots of followers and mentioned “PR,” “Social Media,” or “Digital Media” in the bio. Now, who I follow is primarily based on one question: Have you interacted with a follower in the last 20 tweets? I use Twitter to gain valuable information, but also to discuss that information with other professionals. When the latter isn’t an option, the former loses some of its value.

I was always lead to believe that the crux of social media is the idea of interaction, which is a two-way street. If you’re a social media ‘guru’ preaching this, you might want to make sure that you’re practicing it as well.


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