How “Social” Is Your Social Media Marketer?

A fascinating phenomenon occurred on Twitter when I first started commenting on social media trends (hashtag: #socialmedia).

Out of nowhere, like a zombie hoard invading an all-you-can-eat brains buffet, I began to see an overwhelming influx of Twitterers (yes, that word exists) emerging to my page – following me in desperate hope of a gracious follow-back.

I immediately took notice that these Tweeple (this word also exists) were unique. They were vocal, they were active (thousands of followers!)….they were social media ROCKSTARS!

How ’bout a meedley-meedley-MENTION bruh?

Ok, so literal rockstars they were not. Sadly, I am not expecting Steven Tyler or Arcade Fire to hit me up anytime soon with a DM – although they are certainly missing out! (I’m talking to you Win Butler!)

This is a DIFFERENT kind of rockstar! This wild one spends most of his/her day on the Internet reading Mashable, TechCrunch, and Laughing Squid. He/she yearns to be as “active” as possible on social networks LITERALLY 24-hours-a-day in meaningless attempt to increase their Klout score and Empire Avenue value. He/she retweets…a lot – mostly about recent Twitter news stories.

They are retweeting tweets about tweeting? ROCK ON!

I’m not kidding. This is what comes up when you Google Image Search for “Social Media Rockstar.”

At first I simply thought to myself, “Wow, this is one rock show I would definitely not attend. And I’ve seen Paramore in concert!” (My apologies to the Hayley Williams fans). These “rockstars” are nothing more than aging corporate-types attempting to connect with new tech trends, while simultaneously applying a fabricated coating of “psuedo-hipness” to their job title. It’s lame – but harmless. Or so I believed.

But then I read this. An article titled “Will my social media obsession keep me single?” It was getting some pretty heavy attention on Twitter this past Sunday with over 150 retweets (particularly within the social media circles). I just had to read it.

It was written by social media enthusiast, Michael Q Todd. If you don’t know who this is – good job, you are saner than most. All you need to know is he has over 67-thousand followers, is obnoxiously active in social media, and the second I retweeted a single Mashable article – he was at my doorstep looking for a follow. He might not call himself a “rockstar,” but he fits the bill.

And from the looks of his recent blog post – he needs a date. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

NOTE: I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not trying to single this ONE guy out just to pick on him. I am not that cruel (ask my mother). The case I am making is that this man represents an entire community of social media rockstars who I worry are completely out of touch with what it means to be social!

Go ahead and check out his blog if you like. I will post the majority of it below:

I am Michael. I am a socialmediaholic.

Before this addiction struck me 3 and a half years ago I liked nothing better than lying in the arms of a woman, going out drinking and dancing with her, playing golf together, going on picnics and more.

I want that back but I want my social media too!

I am becoming a pretty serious freak. 100 hours a week online is not unusual and I am getting “worse” if anything.

Apart from a brief, fun relationship with a like minded (environmentally not the online stuff) about 6 -8 months ago I have been single for quite a while and am a bit scared of that. More than a bit if I am being super honest. We are not designed to be single.

The next woman to enter my life will be treasured but will be playing second fiddle to my passion. Will anyone be able to handle that? […] I ain’t seen one on my radar anywhere else yet. I am talking a really hard core freak who is busting to go to the toilet when she wakes up but is still prepared to get out her first tweet and Google+ update first. Because she knows that it is work doing that.

Someone who is prepared to spend her last $25 on an Empire Avenue portfolio upgrade rather than a washing powder refill. Someone who gets more excited about a Hootsuite upgrade than a 90% off sale at her favourite boutique or her best friend’s wedding.

So what do you think ladies? Any takers?

You want a woman that will play “second fiddle” to Twitter? Good luck amigo…

I don’t think it’s even necessary that I delve into the psychological analysis of why this is a concerning argument for mental instability. I don’t think WordPress allows for that much text in one post. But I DO feel it raises a number of interesting questions!

1) Are social media “rockstars” spending TOO much time on their computers/mobile devices/etc and not enough in the real world? Are they, ironically, becoming some of the most anti-social communities on the Internet? Are these the kind of people we want as our social media mentors?

2) Do we really want to push social networking, as a whole, in an “all work and no play” direction? It would appear that if these rockstars/enthusiasts/etc had it their way we would.

3) Are our current metrics for social media success (i.e. Klout & Empire Avenue) grading brands & social media managers incorrectly? Is flooding consumers with meaningless content in hopes that they will “like” it the key to a successful campaign? Is there such a thing as too much outreach?

4) Most importantly, as a brand manager – how important is it for you to hire a social media marketer that is inherently social (both on and offline)? Do you really want an employee that stays glued to their monitor 24/7?

Personally I think the rockstars/enthusiasts that promote social media like it’s the Word of God need to calm down juuuuuuust a little bit. Facebook and Twitter were not meant to replace human interaction – they were meant to enhance it. They provide an outlet to relive past moments, plan future events, and engage in conversations with communities you would otherwise be unable to reach.

That being said, we should not forget that sometimes it’s important to turn off the computer and go outside. It’s important for our health, our happiness, and our confidence. Tools that might actually make you a BETTER social media marketer!


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