If you have ever been a designer, trained, professional, schooled, know-what-you-are-doing, designer…you’ve probably experienced the joy of difficult clients that not only think they are designers too, (and if so why the fuck did they hire you in the first place???), where your customer basically disembowels everything you’ve just done that was intended to make them look good. A good friend of mine (@timeriedesigns on Twitter) sent me this video. Good stuff….finally someone poking fun at the shit we deal with as creative types in the corporate environment. Enjoy.
Month: March 2009
Now that title may at first glance appear somewhat pretentious but even being someone who manages social media for a large company like myself, I have a hard time proclaiming guru or expert status.
Here’s the thing. You can’t be an expert at something that first of all has really only started culminating the last couple years, and second, changes almost every week. You can call yourself a social media ninja, bad ass, maestro, whatever the hell you wanna call it….but there’s a 96.87% chance you are no guru or expert.
First, to say something positive (I’ve been trying to start off all my recent blog posts on a positive note), I love social media and I love how excited everyone is about it. It’s reshaping company/brand PR/Marketing efforts in a way that is healthy, creative, and cost effective…most of the time. I’d say my only complaint about it is that it’s made internet life quite a bit “noisier”…which I expected to happen.
Now then…..my point in this post is that to those claiming to be social media experts or even someone that claims to be in the know with social media and it’s big picture….this is probably not true. Just because you have a twitter account and you know how to use it, doesn’t make you a social media marketer. There’s an art to understanding that social media is all about people, about meaningful conversation that is genuine, relevant, intelligent (sometimes), and more importantly: REAL.
Also, you need to understand that because you have accounts on all the various sites, it does not make you an expert. If you want to eventually be an expert or guru at social media, the most important aspect of it that you need to understand, more important than the tools themselves that are at your fingertips is PEOPLE. To be really good, you need to ‘get’ people….different types of people, their interests, personalities, various thought processes, locales, etc. You might say to yourself..”ok that’s basic segment marketing analysis,” but we, as social marketers, have to understand that this landscape is different. The consumers of social media don’t like to be spoon fed empty one way communications about products, services and other crap. They are smarter than the old consumer, they have a lower attention span, and they put up with less bullshit than ever before. They have the power to immediately weed out and block all crap, unlike email spam which is and will always barely be under control.
The other side of this on the tools/technology side is that you need a cohesion that takes the sum of all the parts of what you do for a company or client. There should be a high level premise and plan on how all the accounts/tools all tie together to push out one message and a wave of consistent content. If you don’t have that, your efforts are null and void. Might as well head home and start gardening.
To be a social media expert or guru, you need to understand all the tools, how they all work together and you need to have a passion for human beings and their behavior, good, bad and ugly. If you understand that stuff, have a vision, and are fascinated with human beings, you will be a social media jedi one day. I hope I get to be one too.
So what can I say? Twitter is rad. Aside from all the poachers and spammers out there that try and ruin it (which always happens with any new tool that comes out), the function and the culture is awesome. And of course all the accompanying indie apps that have come out to support it like TweetDeck, Twhirl, TwitterBerry, etc….these are all excellent.
Will there be enterprise level tweeting tools available?
TweetDeck and Twhirl have allowed me to definitely speed up the process of managing my tweets and interactions with others but companies like Dell and soon Seagate are maintaining multiple Twitter accounts to server multiple purposes. Dell has accounts ranging from customer support, to enterprise computing, to discussions and tweets on Dell’s thoughts on cloud computing….as they should. While it’s easy if you have individuals maintaining each account, what happens when you’re like me and several other social media people that I know that maintain several accounts all day and need to be retweeting, DM’ing, posting and replying simultaneously? Twhirl sorta helps but then I have a mess of about 15 windows on my desktop and on more than one occasion have posted or replied to the wrong account out of sheer desktop organizational confusion.
I’m aware of Twitterhawk. I think it’s got some powerful features but they’re still trying to automate certain thing to the point where you are borderline spammy in nature even though not blatant. I cannot have very strong opinions on this app yet though as I have not tried it myself…but I will try it out hopefully in the next couple weeks.
What I would like to see is a really nice granular interface that takes the Twhirl concept, pulls all the windows together in a tabbed format like a web browser, and allows you to manage view your different accounts that way. I know that based on what I’ve seen with TweetDeck, if you have several accounts with several threads going at once, the API calls could get pretty obnoxious for the infrastructure guys to the point of hundreds of thousands of calls per second if it really blew up, but hey…this is 2009 and we have the technology. I’d almost like a more refined Flock concept but ONLY for tweeting and managing Twitter accounts. This would be SO useful for me and many other corporate social media folks that I know who are making Twitter, or at least trying to, an essential tool in their web marketing toolbox.
If someone out there makes a tool like this, I will pay for it in cash.
Tweet on my brothers and sisters! If you know about something that I don’t app/solution-wise, please comment here.
[dude in trucker hat artwork credit: Steve Hamaker]