I started a job in late May as a social media intern at a small start up in Tribeca.
I surf the web, finding relevant information and connections all day and do my best to, well basically, get more fans and build the company’s Klout score. More importantly I try to get clients.
Still being a wide-eyed, green college student, enamored by the possibility of social media success I regularly check out blogs, sites and LinkedIn groups dedicated to social media news and education.
Really though. Not anymore.
Everywhere on the web there are 3, 5, 7, sometimes 10 steps to a solid social media strategy; new terms and tools to learn; the last analytic tool you will ever need; the must read blog by some self proclaimed guru.
Now, there are some legitimate social media “experts” out there. People who know what real traffic means and the way to succeed in client relations/generation. I understand that many people have made money for themselves and their clients through this new media, taking advantage of all it has to offer.
But being on the web all day I have become rather bothered by much of the “industry.” Every day I have some overweight, early fifties, “social media pro” from the Midwest unfollow me because i didn’t follow him back after 14 hours. You know the type. They usually have names like SMguy, marketingpro, sir_tweets_alot, or GuruSoc_Med (I literally had to look all those up to make sure they don’t exist). Most of the time they have a very quick bio like “Facebook and Twitter Pro” or “Social media marketing professional”
Lets do some math here….
From the looks of the profile picture they’re 52-55. Twitter has been around for what, 5 years. And Facebook? 7 years. Even if GuruSoc_Med had gotten into FB when it was first launched and started using it for B2B and B2C marketing and then started using Twitter, what the hell did he do for the thirty years prior to that?
I get it if you are a marketing professional who has actually worked in advertising or marketing, went to school for it, whatever. But the social media “industry” is so saturated with people living in their basements retweeting others all day. At the most they have a blog that gives hyper-general tips and tricks to creating an effective social media strategy or has some articles about the future of Social Media!
(Isn’t that odd? What other “industry” uses itself as a tool to talk about and promote itself as its ultimate goal? And doing so is regarded as a profession? Tweets about Tweeting? Blogs about Blogging? Mass e-mail campaigns about e-mail campaigns?)
You as the reader may be seated at your desk, or perhaps your Lay-Z-Boy, saying, “what a jackass, this kid knows nothing about true social media and the impact it has had/does have/will have.”
And fine. I will allow you that judgement because I know very little compared to people like Solis, Vaynerchuck, or Janet Aronica. I am a 21 year old intern who has had only internships in marketing and been doing community management for only 2 months.
I am a human being, a social being. I have a natural inclination to be socially aware. I am an animal with the tendency to seek out, connect and compare. Like a dog I sniff asses and piss where I can (figuratively [sometimes]).
I am not going to say I am professional because I’m not. But in this line of work the best way to succeed is not with the latest oneforty.com tools or a cool dailybooth. It is by using social media as a means to an end, not as the end itself.