Social Media Value – Guru’s and Experts are Being Questioned

So everyone’s an expert.

Go onto any social networking site and check out the profiles of your followers and see how many are either “guru’s” or “experts” in a particular field: marketing, social media, SEO (search engine optimization), financial information, human resources / recruiting, sales, branding and more.

If someone or many people have labeled you either of these, three examples are Dan Schwabel (www.twitter.com/danschwabel) as the Generation-Y personal branding expert or Scott Stratten (www.twitter.com/unmarketing) as the social media expert or Guy Kawasaki (www.twitter.com/GuyKawasaki) as the technology company start-up expert, then you are absolutely justified to put this as part of your profile.  These three examples are key note speakers which command this level of consideration.  However, if you are simply trying to market your skills to others to increase revenue then you are completely misrepresenting yourself and misleading others.

If you are either an “expert” or “guru”, then you should be able to provide countless instances of where you have helped others achieve success in a particular area.  If you are saying that you are either an “expert” or “guru” because of your own personal success, then you need to reconsider how you label yourself.

I like to follow a wide variety of people to better understand how individuals in many different fields utilize social media for their success.  Sometimes these people send out great information and are valuable resources and on other instances they are simply taking others content and pushing it out to increase their network.

As a follower in social media, YOU need to take responsibility to determine who adds value to your needs and who is trying to be self serving.  Sure, there is a lot of self gratification in social media but you also need to be aware of your value that you add to others networks as well.

Personally, I enjoy those who are understated in their profile about their background and then get completely WOW’d by their communication.  These people tend to be the most influential to me and get my attention prior to the self promoting “experts”.

Be yourself and good things will happen.  Try and force things and you may not be so lucky.

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Me 2.0 – my review and thoughts

While on vacation I took the opportunity to read Dan Schwabel’s book, Me 2.0 and it left me with a really positive feeling and outlook.  Dan provides the reader with some great insight into personal branding through social media and social networking.

Although this book is geared towards Dan’s expertise of Generation-Y, or Millennials, other generations (like me a Generation-X guy) can pick some good insight out as well.

Below are a couple to areas I really enjoyed in the book, I am only highlighting a few as I don’t want this to be an essay!

Excellent points:

  • Social networking – excellent overview to numerous sites, why it is important to manage your brand and how best to effectively manage.
  • Security – great points on internet security and how to try to reduce your risk of being affected.
  • Social media – setting up your own web site, blogs, how to interact with others effectively to further push your message and brand into the market.
  • Passion – be passionate about you because that is really what it is all about!

Points I tend to disagree with (from an HR perspective):

  • Cover letter – most recruiters today tend to bypass the cover letter and head straight to the meat of the resume.  If you are contacting a recruiter directly via email then use the email body as your cover letter.  Also, highlight why the company will benefit from hiring you.
  • Résumé – Dan recommends including a lot on your resume and I have the opposite approach and recommendation.  Sure, your resume is the tool to get in the door but don’t oversell so that there isn’t much to add in a resume.  A resume is a sales tool to get in the door to sell your brand.

I firmly believe this is a great read and an excellent resource for anyone of any generation considering their personal brand.  Again, this book is geared towards Gen-Y / Millennials but anyone should be able to pick and choose the ideas that work best for their own personal goals.  The value of this book for anyone wanting to consider their personal brand is priceless and, yes, some information maybe review but there are plenty of new ideas to consider.

Worse case scenario, this is a topic that will stay in your mind in a very competitive world (regardless of your industry) and you will continue to refresh your mind and maybe even encounter some new ideas along the way.