Stop it. Please. You’re doing yourself and the industry a disservice – and it has to stop.
Last week I met a social media ‘ninja’ who says he has just a year of social media experience – and admits he knows nothing about marketing or public relations. He told me he can’t believe he gets paid for ‘doing a few updates on Facebook and Twitter’ and, having taken a look at his handiwork, neither can I.
But, the problem is not him, or his colleagues in the fantasy world of social media [used as a verb]. It’s us. We let them get away with it because we just laugh at them behind their backs – but when they start to do my industry a disservice then it’s no longer a joking matter. It’s time we called them on it. Humiliated them publicly. Stated speaking to them with the contempt they deserve. And, by wasting your money without checking that they know what they are talking about – you continue to feed the growing trend for mythical social animals and self-titled experts. Ask yourself this question: would you get on a plane with an airplane wizard [with one year’s experience] at the controls, or have your car serviced by an automotive Jedi? Would you take an accountant seriously if they were a financial rockstar?!
Every time I see a social media Jedi I want to say, ‘Use twitter you must not’ or ‘Use the Facebook Luke… but use it wisely’. I want to challenge the Ninjas to a battle with communications nunchucks! I joke about it, but it’s a serious matter – these people need calling out and banishing to a Rakata Mind Prison for social eternity. This includes the self-titled ‘experts’ and the people who should know better… like Gerry Moran – Head of Social Media for SAP in North America. Gerry wrote this nonsense a couple of weeks ago about learning to be a social media Jedi in 5 steps.
To quote Yoda, “When you look at the dark side, careful you must be…for the dark side looks back.” Next time you encounter a social media ninja, guru, rockstar, wizard or expert ask them to prove it!
Earlier in the week I was contacted by Gerry Moran. You can read his comments and my responses below. As promised, I’m adding others that claim to be able to help you become a social media ninja/wizard/guru or jedi!
http://cliveroach.tumblr.com [when he’s not being a Social Media Jedi, Clive is the social media strategist for Philips Healthcare]
10-steps-to-becoming-a-jedi-master-of-social-media-stealth-marketing [Dave is an IT manager, technologist and keen fell runner in addition to being a social media jedi]
http://www.techopedia.com/2/28284/internet/social-media/jedi-strategies-for-social-media-management [Andrew Beattie claims to have spent most of his career writing, editing and managing Web content in all its many forms. He is, it appears, especially interested in the future of search and the application of analytics to the business world. He does not, it appears, to have any formal marketing qualifications!]
Please do what I’m going to do in the next few days and contact each of these individuals and ask them for their qualifications, how they measure the success or failure of their advice, and what their conversion rates are. I’ll let you know what, if any, responses I get.