If you want a consistent, well-written and perceptive analysis of why social media is a bit of a wet fart, just read Bob Hoffman’s Ad Contrarian blog.
But if I may, I’d just like to add the following observation:
I found a list of the top 20 social media experts in the UK.
Number one is a man called Chris Hambly. He has 6463 Twitter followers.
Number two on the list, Jamie Riddell, has 7100 followers.
Number three, Joanne Jacobs, has 4101 followers.
Ged Carroll, number 4, has 2385 followers.
Number five doesn’t seem to be on Twitter.
Number 6, Katy Howell, is ‘obsessive about social media and the challenges of making businesses more social and accountable’. She has 2648 followers. Her major clients are ‘Sony Europe, BT, Diageo, PSP, NSPCC etc.’
Number 7, Andrew Gerrard, has 2525 followers. He is ‘a social and digital media strategy consultant, helping organizations to understand and engage in the conversations that their users and customers are having’.
Number 8, Alan Steven, has 7740 followers.
Number 9 isn’t on Twitter.
Number 10, David Cushman, has 4334 followers. He is ‘regularly invited to speak around the world on the impact of social technologies’.
Now, I’m not saying that your number of twitter followers is or should be an absolute indication of your social media skillz, but… hang on… fuck it… I am. I am saying that if you are a social media expert you should have a lot of Twitter followers. How many? Well, more than some tit who tweets a few links, the odd joke and lots of opinions of John Terry that use the word ‘cunt’.
In short, me.
They should have more Twitter followers than me because I do it recreationally for my own amusement, am no kind of ‘expert’, certainly don’t sell my ‘knowledge’ to massive companies and don’t use Google Plus, Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest or anything else to cross pollinate my number of followers (I do write a blog, but you already know that).
I have 2701 followers on Twitter. Not loads; not bad. But if you are a ‘social media expert’ and you have a smaller Twitter presence than me, you can’t be much of a social media expert.
And then there are people like Dave Trott and the aforementioned Bob Hoffman, who have 9670 and 7960 followers respectively, more than everyone on that list. I don’t think either of them would describe themselves as a social media expert (although, intentionally or otherwise, they both are), but they’ve done better than the people who do it for a living.
And if I wanted advice on how to build a brand online, I know who I’d ask first.