You’re the (Social) Expert


Given the lack of general inclusion in guru lists these days, I'd say that my strategy of gently showing you that popularity in social networks is not a sign of operational smarts is paying off.

I'd rather double down in the latter and help clients connect with customers through whatever media — digital, social technologies (including in real life, if you have not guessed it with 2005 posts, yet) or even the handy messenger pigeons, than to be pigeonholed into a "social guru" whatever category.

First off, I was being social before it was fashionable to be generous in sharing for the photo opp. Second, I'd rather be known for the results I actually deliver, than for talking endlessly about unspecified things brands must do or not do to erect a "grow" monument to my smarts. And yes, I am looking at you.

The Romans had their Obelisks, didn't they? Same idea, a few thousand years late, I'm afraid. Time to find new visuals.

Yes, I have had some fun with top ten lists. Read a bit more closely, or at all (you were scanning weren't you?), and you will find solid tips there, with a tongue firmly planted in cheek. English as a second language and all that.

Why you overlook the obvious

Because it's much harder to believe in yourself and your own abilities, than it is to go buy a remedy somewhere else.

Employers hire the smartest people to then treat them like idiots once they're in, while junior staff from prestigious consulting firms get billed top dollar to spit out recycled reports that tell experienced professional what they should — actually must — do next.

You are nodding, it must mean your boss or colleague sent you a half-baked post or article suggesting you catch up, when you would have probably written a better one, had you had spare time (from client work) on your hands.

The most prized hire you would be lucky to get your hands on these days is someone with the ability to learn constantly, adjust, test, iterate, and do better. And yet, you can probably guess it, here comes the not so good news — we still hire decorated dinosaurs.

Indeed, there are techniques and experience you cannot learn from a book for Dummies, you actually need to practice them so you can learn what you're listening for. Don't tell me you have no idea of how to be human, though.

You know, meeting people, listening actively, being interested (we get a lot of practice being interesting these days of Facebook walls and Twitter chats), looking for ways to be helpful with little concern as to a specific agenda other than support a fellow professional/individual.

I'm guessing — and I might be way off here — that you hesitate to see yourself as the (social) expert. That you use the tools and techniques invented by the commercial engines some people happily built as a barrier to defend yourself from being responsible, following up, doing what is right.

You're the (social) expert. Now, what are you going to do about it?


[image George Kraychyk, Paramount Pictures]


Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at
conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a
speaking engagement click here.

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