And who doesn’t want to be a rock star? Simply act like a wild, crazy, heroin-addicted drunken pirate, respond to everyone, and get lots of love online! Then you can have tons of social network friends, get asked to speak at lots of echo chamber conferences, and maybe even make a little scratch!
Of course, as an organizational communicator may want to hire someone to leverage their social media fame. And why not bring in someone else with online experiences for the company or non-profit? It saves time!
But communicators beware. While great at creating their own personal brands, a vast majority of these Internet rock stars — a.k.a. social media experts — have not been trained in core communications theory, nor do they have significant communications experience.
“Dude, you don’t know the rules! There is no market for messages.”
And while that profound Cluetrain statement is true, knowing the path’s dangers does not usually translate into branding or marketing expertise. These so called experts can tell you how to blog, execute a tactic or two, but can’t deliver the strategic goods. They don’t understand stakeholder groups, the need to execute in the media forms with concentrated pools of stakeholders, or building a tangential conversation (a.k.a. value proposition) on an organization’s and stakeholder group’s common interests. Popularity contests do not equal ROI.
Maybe it’s better to check to see if these famous consultants have done any prior work first.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Social Media is an ongoing series. The first entry was “Shiny Object Syndrome.“