In my Internet Marketing course I have a professor that believes in the term Social Media Guru (SMG). “What an interesting way to phrase it…wonder what makes them different than anyone else that uses social media,” was my initial reaction. For anyone involved in social media means they are culturally aware of online trends. Aware being the key term; It doesn’t mean all social media users are the innovators on the front lines of the trends, they just know as they are occurring. This is where I would guess the experts would come into play. Social Media Gurus are the magicians that can read between the computer monitor’s brightly lit lines and know what triggers the customer into action. The right phrase at the right time in the right social media outlet can go for megabits.
After doing some research online I discovered I wasn’t the only one mulling over the term. Actually, quite a number are in uproar over the name; many claiming that Social Media Guru’s can’t exist. Their arguments being, the term is too broad and social media is intentionally build so anyone can get online and contribute (and do they ever!). An article on this subject worthy of reading is by Sonia Simone on Copyblogger:
Allow me to bring back my point and dish out the core ingredients necessary for someone to justify themselves with this controversial title. Collectively agreed upon characteristics are: personable, responsive, flexible, passionate, keen, and consistent. I see a guru as someone who is wiser than the ordinary credentialed expert yet, fueled with such a lust for the subject that it has engrosses their life to the point where they live, breathe, and extract the subject everyday. Intermediate knowledge of PR and how a business works are top on the list for creating a SMG. And know-how of successfully navigating social settings (or as Chapman’s business professor’s affectionately call soft skills) are a must. The guru needs to know enough about trends online to objectively understand who is/isn’t onboard and the reasons why. This necessitates that they regularly follower fellow gurus and groups involved in their subject(s).
Certainly, I am not striving to become the next digital queen of the web. But my aim is to exit this course with more than just another letter grade in my pocket.What I thirst to accomplish is a better grasp of my presence online and how to control my influence. I aspire to reach that goal by inculcating tips from textbook reading and online perusing into my routine social media interactions.
Here’s to typing like hell and hoping to not get carpal tunnel!