No, I’m tired of all the “social media gurus” that have suddenly appeared from nowhere. Now I don’t want that to be misconstrued, nor do I want it to sound as if I’m disrespecting anyone – that’s not the intention.
Instead, I’m tired of looking at someone’s Twitter profile, or blog bio or similar, and finding the description “social media guru” or “social media expert”. I’m not saying that they’re not a guru or expert – but is that really for someone to decide by themself? And when did they decide that they are a social media guru or expert?
It probably wouldn’t be so obvious (and therefore so visual to me) if social media wasn’t still such a new medium that everyone is still learning about as we go along. There are so many facets to it, so many different windows that we can look through and see a different view each time, that it’s pretty much impossible to class yourself as a social media guru, or expert.
Even in other mediums or industries, can you really class yourself as an expert or guru?
For example, I own a boutique PR agency that specializes in search engine optimized press releases and social media PR. Yet I wouldn’t say I’m a PR or social media expert. I have expertise in these areas, and I’d like to think that I offer an informative outlook on both as well.
Yet that doesn’t mean I’m a guru or expert.
Social media in particular changes so fast that no-one can keep up with everything that’s happening. Even the guys that could truly be classified as social media gurus would struggle to know all the ins and outs of the latest applications, tools and similar.
And that’s the difference – they don’t proclaim themselves as social media gurus. Take a look at Chris Brogan, or Brian Solis. Both leaders in the field of social media and PR respectively, and sharing their wealth of knowledge and experience with anyone that wishes it. Yet neither of them describe themselves as a guru, or expert. And that’s why I respect and acknowledge them as the most accurate description of “gurus”.
To me, a guru or expert becomes one from people’s views of them. Recommendations to go to a person because of the help and knowledge that will be forthcoming. After all, you wouldn’t recommend your friend to someone whose view you didn’t respect, right? Or who couldn’t offer your friend something valuable?
As I said, I’m not meaning this post to be in any way disrespectful. I just feel that to be known as a guru, you need to prove it. And earn it. Self-classification doesn’t quite count.
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