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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Don't Call Me A Social Media Guy

Yesterday I hosted a conversation on Twitter all about authenticity and what that truly means. It's a buzzword, to be sure, but it was interesting that the 140 character based conversation yielded many different perceptions of what authenticity means. For most honesty was a big part of it, as was having real one on one conversations with people and not taking yourself too seriously. As I thought about my own use of social media both in building my personal brand as well as what I do for clients working my day job at a big marketing agency ... I realized that I'm not a social media guy. Social media guys (I use this term collectively, as many are girls too) are becoming easy to find - and not all that respected (warning - this video has crude language).

Social media is just one of the tools that I use on a daily basis. To focus on just that and make it my identity would be like calling a runner a "sneaker guy." They might love their sneakers, but it's still the method they use to get from where they are to where they want to be. The way I use social media is similar ... I use it for marketing. I'm a marketing guy first and foremost. It's why my blog is called Influential Marketing and why you won't ever hear my introduce myself as an expert in social media. I use it often, and do know what I'm doing - but my expertise and my career is in marketing.

I happen to believe that the future of marketing is increasingly going to require some level of knowledge and expertise in social media. But it's not the only thing. This fact completely dawned on me last night as I watched a video review about my book from a very interesting guy I met at the Blogworld Expo last month. His name is JB Glossinger and he is the creator of what is usually ranked the #1 audio podcast in the self-help category on iTunes. His use of social media is perfect to deliver his message, and on a daily basis he exhibits a mastery of using social media that many so-called "experts" simply could not. JB is not a social media guy either - but he uses it brilliantly to share his content and vision of the world.

Perhaps the real future of social media lies with people like JB. Not people who master the use of various tools and declare themselves experts of that domain, but those who have a real expertise or vision and simply use the tools that are available to them in that moment to share it with the world.


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Hey Rohit - You've nailed one of my pet peeves perfectly. I wrote a similar post a while back. Being an expert in a tool is tantamount to being, well, a tool. ;-)

Here's a link to the post - just cuz your readers might find it relevant:


Great point. When something new and shiny comes along, it tends to steal focus from the bigger picture - or, rather, the more *authentic* picture.

I was a designer before getting into social media. I'll still be a designer when the next New Shiny comes along.

As with any new medium, the "experts" come out of the woodwork, so your post is refreshing. I esp. like this point: "it's still the method they use to get from where they are to where they want to be. The way I use social media is similar ... I use it for marketing. I'm a marketing guy first and foremost."

Very well said, Rohit. We deal with this situation quite a bit in our local business community that doesn't lead the world in bleeding-edge anything. So when new technologies and methods start getting hot (in this case social media), the "experts" come from everywhere. Living with our clients through inbound marketing techniques that work is what makes our jobs fun. We enjoy helping our clients succeed and utilizing the tools at our disposal where appropriate.

Hey Rohit,

Awesome post and you hit the nail on the head! Social Media is just a tool -- there's no barrier to entry for anyone to use a tool and no reason for you need a specialized "social media guy" to do it.

Anyone can use a hammer, just like anyone to tweet. If you're looking to build an entire house, or in this case a full marketing campaign, it makes sense to call in a team that know how to use that tool and all of its complements.

Anyone can use these tools, sometimes they need a team to build a full campaign around it, but there's no typically difference between a Social Media Guy and a Guy With a Computer.

I also recently wrote a post about how social media is a tool and not a strategy at:

Thanks again for the post!


Great post and yes, exactly where my thinking has been heading. Social media is just one of the things we can use as marketers. When all is said and done, we use whatever tool we need to meet the objective.

Great post Rohit. I am so happy that two people who inspire me so much came together. I am a subscriber to JB's and it has helped me to manifest greatness in my life. He and you are major assets and inspirations to me.



Well said and right on target! Thank you.

That guy has some energy and a good illustration of your point.

Social media is a tool but that does not exclude a strategy.

The truth of the matter is social media helps do what any successful marketing vehicle does: (1) tells potential consumers who you are, (2) what you do, and (3) how to get in touch with you.

Excellent post and glad I have discovered your blog.


Hey that was a really nice post... we are 8(a) Certification Tutorial company and appreciate it a lot...

Hmm that was a very illuminating post... we are 8(a) Certification Tips company and we liked your article quite a lot...


Thanks for you post, I really enjoyed it. I also think that Social media is one of the tools that marketers can use. There's nothing wrong about it...

When the masses first started "getting" the Internet at the end of the 90s, we quickly learned it didn't much matter that you had a Web site if no one was visiting. It is a similar situation with social media; it is merely a means to an end. There needs to be meaning to it within a larger plan.

Great point Rohit, I really appreciate how openly you share your knowledge with others, keep it up.

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