Let’s Go Hating On Social Media Expert Douchebags

by Ruud Hein December 1st, 2010 

social media douchebag The Telegraph ran a deliciously written post, Time to ditch the blood-sucking social media gurus, in which Milo Yiannopoulos broad-strokes that Social media consultants are an inexcusable waste of money.

Its a good post.

I mean, its fun to read in the same way that our post Five signs your new SEO client may suck got more likes, tweets and comments than our Five signs your SEO client kicks ass did.

Calling it like it is rocks " whether its true or not. And hating on groups of people unites us as we chuckl at their stupidity, not ours.

Ditch The Blood-sucking SEO Experts

Remember that?

Its not long ago that SEOs were in the same position SocMeds are in today. Nobody outside the industry really understood what you did or why you did what you did. And those who thought they knew had it wrong, thinking we were doing what their marketing company could do, or what their press agent could have done, or

That all we bring to the table is crap is so engrained that Googles autocomplete for SEO is looks like this:

SEO is dead bullshit

The Truth Behind Douchebagism

Of course there are douchebags among the social media professionals. As there are in SEO. Or among car repair people. Or eye glasses sales men.

Understanding why douchebags can exist and make money " often more than you do –  will help you become a better professional and a better sales person as you understand the needs of your market and can address them.

Douchebagism begins with a need; the need of a client.

In this case the need is: using social media to achieve specific business goals.

The only reason the client is looking for someone is that they know of but dont know about the required area of expertise, right?

So along comes someone who talks the talk. Knows the jargon. Jibes the vibe. There is a clear familiarity with the platform and its tools.

Believe me. Ill show you. Heres how to do that. This is what that means.

This heres how its called establishes an expert <> grasshopper relationship built on empty your mind, believe me, trust me

master po and grasshopper

This trust me, believe me is then taken to the next level, the one of douchebaggery: just as you don't know and understand the tools and the platform, so you don't understand how their use effects your business goals, so just believe me

douchebag explained


(S)How: The Expert vs. Douchebag Difference

And thats how real SEO and SocMed experts differ from douchebags.

The real expert can explain, simplified, how which action has what effect and why that is beneficial to your desired business goals.

Once in the process of implementation the expert can then show you where and when those goals are being met.

real expert process

Social Media Douchebags Experts

If you know that SEO is more than write it and they will come then you understand that social media is more than well, just open a Twitter account!

Achieving specific, measurable business goals through social media goes beyond being on a platform just like achieving specific, measurable business goals through search engine marketing goes beyond having a web site.

Starting with zero and growing into something or someone recognizing, trusted, liked and eventually recommended to friends and family takes work. It requires actionable processes that can be implemented within a company and goes beyond well, just, you know, be part of the conversation.

Social Media and Social Networking anno 2010 is a relatively new playing ground. Its experiencing the same yes but what does it do growth pains as blogging did, as SEO did. Most of the people working seriously within this field work hard. We owe them some respect.

Ruud Hein

My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.

Ruud Hein

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8 Responses to “Let’s Go Hating On Social Media Expert Douchebags”

  1. Rick LaPoint says:

    Hi Ruud,

    I remember when Desktop Publishing first hit. It was a lot of fun and pretty easy to do and everyone wanted to do it. Out of nowhere, consultants, experts, and gurus poured out of the woodwork like they were fleeing a bug bomb.

    I recently visited the site of a self-proclaimed Social Media Expert. Their Alexa was 1.6 Million (won't argue Alexa here), their last Post was 3 months prior, and they only had one or two Comments. Seems to me they should have a lot more Socializing going on there, but maybe that's just my own naiveté.

    This kind of thing is also fun and easy, yet there is still so much to learn because the subject itself is People! It's not the technology as much as the psychology and demographics–at least they way I see it.

    Any media platform must be used to approach People in the manner that want and expect that Platform to be utilized. Stepping outside the box is OK, to a point, but creative can become obnoxious with very little effort.

    Rick
    .-= Rick LaPoint recently posted: The Logic of Emotional Motivators =-.

    • Ruud Hein says:

      I remember the whole Desktop Publishing wave too :)

      I see your point on the case of the abandoned blog of the social media expert. Still, it strikes me that people like Tamar Weinberg put a Li Evans put a lot of work into knowing how stuff work; and I don't want to call them douchebags.

      Social media marketing is a specialization; like plumbing, anyone can do it but that doesn't make everyone a plumber :)

  2. I get suspicious of anyone that calls themselves an expert that have a series of letters after their name like MD, JD, – heck I'd settle for a So and So III but experts come and go. Social Media like SEO is just a form of marketing – any decent marketer should have a handle on these disciplines and the tools associated with them. Any decent marketer should be agile enough to grow with technologies and know how and when to hire the right people to get the job done. I personally, would not consider my self an expert in anything – it kind of says you have stopped learning and I don't think marketing is something you can stop learning about. I'm never impressed with people who feel the need to label themselves rockstars, gurus, ninjas, or jedis at some task within an overall discipline. Demonstrable knowledge is always more powerful than crafty wordsmithing. There's a lot of twucked up twit in social media – but there is a lot of great things that come from it and the discerning eye can weed out the douchebag from the certified expert pretty quickly!
    .-= Mary McKnight recently posted: How to Tell Which Celebrities Sell Brands Best =-.

    • Ruud Hein says:

      Spot on, Mary. I know my dentist wouldn't call herself a "dental expert" :)

      I agree any marketers should be as familiar as possible with all tools and platforms. I compare it to knowing some HTML when you're into SEO. You might know what the HTML for a link or a title tag looks like but that doesn't make you a web designer. Likewise being on Twitter and experimenting with Facebook (to name but two) aren't the same as being a social media marketer.

      Teaching/warning clients how to spot the douchebag from the real thing — that's indeed what it's all about.

  3. Disa Johnson says:

    I had fun reading the original and Tweeting about it. I mean scheduling the tweet about it. The tweets feed the Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn profiles and it all mostly works together with SEO as a profession. We've seen all this before. Blogs are just guestbooks with articles instead of a lonely "Sign our guestbook page!"

    Social Media douchbags are the ones who spend time writing books about the site features and promoting their personal brand but pivoting the topic to generic company brand to "speak to" those who would buy the book for their marketing bookshelf. I haven't seen much new in years but a lot of attention paid to the latest kid on the block. Facebook beats Google in traffic now, and it ripped off LinkedIn.

    What the Social Media douchbags have correct is that popularity, not brilliance, is everything these days.

    Disa

    • Ruud Hein says:

      Omg, Disa! So much fun to have you here!

      I like your insight in popularity is everything; there seems to be a lot of truth there. It's as if the distinctions between popularity fame expertise are lacking.

  4. Yomar says:

    Mr. Hein, this article is SO on-point. Interestingly enough, I've been on a bit of a rant about similar issues. It's amazing the silly stuff our fellows do in their crazy competitive ways.

    One of the problems I see is how people treat online marketing. Niches work but not for the reasons most think. Like you said, it's easy to target a marketplace in it's infancy because you can claim some "pioneer credit" but that does not mean you have your client's best interests in mind.

    Sadly, this makes us all look bad and devalues things like SEO, social media, and other "soft services". The thing that is tricky about it all is that working with any B2B service provider requires a leap of faith to some degree, even when you have a trial period, but this only makes potential partners and clients very jaded, hesitant, and paranoid…

    I can speak volumes about all of this and, really, I have to catch myself when I come off as being full of hot-air, preachy, or "suspect".. It happens. Sometimes I'll read a bio one of my cohorts puts up and I shake my head, because I know they may send off the wrong signals to the right people.. And it can be painful.

    Anyway, I linked to this article in one of my recent guest blogs. This is really good stuff here and I hope you follow up on it. 8)