Over the years, I’ve written my fair share of posts about social media gurus, ninjas and so forth. There was a time when the web was full of them, offering fast solutions and immediate wealth in the blink of an eye. It was all a lot of bullshit and unfortunately many businesses fell for it. People with next to zero experience of social media for marketing (and in many the cases the wider digital marketing area) were clambering to be the next ninja on the block. It was a bloodbath and one that I watched with amusement but also with more than a hint of concern. I think that time may have been called on the SM guru.
Is the Social Media Guru Dead?
Firstly, anyone putting themselves out there as solely a ‘social media consultant’ etc should tread very carefully. The guru age has undoubtedly tainted anyone that publicises themselves as a SM expert. The fact is, to truly be in a position to make the most of social media for a business, you need to be taking a holistic view of digital and beyond. Integration is key and treating social media as a standalone activity is the trademark of gurus everywhere. I believe that an increase in awareness of social media and digital marketing in general from within businesses is leading to a safer landscape for those who are seeking assistance. The phrase ‘it is really difficult to measure ROI’ will no longer fly and that is where those who are ensuring that measurement is at the heart of their offering will prosper.
Trust is a Killer
Clear and transparent measurement builds trust. Without it, those paying for digital services will struggle to ever really understand and indeed trust digital. This isn’t just ‘well 72% of your tweets got a click this month’. Stats like that can only be hidden behind for so long. In order to be truly valuable, the business must see exactly how their digital budget is generating business. That’s new and retained customers, people entering the sales funnel and where they came out and so on and so forth. Is it difficult? It can be without taking the time to get the right processes and metrics in place. When these things are rushed, the value drops immediately. Technology isn’t really a barrier either, with Google Analytics available to all for free, there is no major road-block in place, it is a case of using a mixture of the right free or low-cost tools. Of course there are expensive paid solutions out there, but they are often out of reach financially for the average business. Trust can be built with valuable stats and numbers, however there are many other factors of course. That’s a whole different blog post.
Is This Really a Guru Free Social Media World?
No it isn’t and perhaps it never will be, however I do think the numbers are rapidly diminishing and this is due to stronger awareness within business, actual examples of return from social media existing and an increase in quality and available resources.
What do you think? Has the presence of the guru faded? Are you in business and feel more comfortable with the benefits of social media? Are you a guru that is prospering? Whatever your thoughts, please do share them in the comments section below.
I’m in the process of setting up my digital marketing and communications consultancy and can help you to measure and assess the impact of your social media and digital marketing activities. See here for more info.
Image credit – Me. No-one has such little skill!
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