Do you describe yourself as a social media [xxx]? Really?!

Do you describe yourself as a social media [fill in the blank]?!

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Who are you?

There was much reflection as 2011 came to a close. There was much anticipation about 2012. It happens every year.

Most hope to do better – however they imagined better to be. For some, the reflections continue. Bill Dorman, for example, has been going deep. Jack Steiner always asks the right questions – even if those questions make us uncomfortable.

Doing better means that you really do know some of the things that you did wrong. Some. But, maybe, more than just some. [grin]

Also, knowing that some of your most killer ideas, expectations, and efforts were totally wrong, misguided, and/or dumb. Or wrong for you.

There were those who came up with nothing and they expressed their forlorn conclusions by dropping out of social media, blogging, and/or Twitter. A few dropped out of life. They killed themselves – in other words.

Result: much confusion, much sadness, and many broken hearts.

Of the hopeful reflection and enthusiasm which was expressed and will continue to be expressed, however, I observe that many dare not ask the big question of themselves: who are you?

Betsy Cross was among the exceptions.

“Who are you?,” said the Caterpillar.

“I – I hardly know, Sir, just at present,” Alice replied rather shyly, ”at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have changed several times since then.”

– Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Are you a Social Media Page?

Every knight begins as a page, don’t you know? And, mostly, even the most gallant page… mostly just fetches things.

They’re also called gophers. As in ” Go for this or that!” In social media, it’s all about building the reach of that comment, tweet, share, or blog post mention and link of that somebody whose just a rung or three above you.

Maybe they’ll mention you and throw you a link like a bone – every once in a while. Or maybe not. There’s no guarantees.

So you say you are a social media [fill in the blank]. Really?! [wince]

Shall we make a check list? Let’s!

1. You have written an epic blog post

Actually – 12 epic blog posts in a year won’t be the kind of decisive accomplishment that could make you a social media squire. But maybe lifting someone else up does deserve modest kudos. Pat yourself on the back.

Oh – this year the bar will be raised to 25 epic blog posts. Because I said so. [grin]

Did you give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back? Yes? Ok, let’s move on.

Let’s start over.

1. You have three or more blog posts that received 100,000 or more views.

Actually – one million views every month begins to be interesting to online ad agencies. That’s something they can sell. That’s the kind of ad sell where the commission will contribute to paying the bills for their corporate office, the salaries, the three martini lunch, etc.

Oh – you will be competing with 300 million bloggers this year – as opposed to last year’s 100 million.

Can you even imagine what it’s like to compete with one million driven and determined colleagues?

And don’t even begin to wonder about how many comments you need to be cool as Gini Dietrich. Marcus Sheridan said, and I repeat, get over it.

And, Michael… If you want a comment, I need a link and a loving mention!

Let’s start over.

1. You have 1,000 or more followers on Twitter.

Actually – if you don’t have 500 retweets for one out of ten tweets, even Google hardly notices your Twitter account as very relevant. Did I mention that Google is a machine and lacks the elegance of good human judgment? That could be a good or bad thing.

Oh – this year the bar will be raised to 1,000 retweets. Or something like that.

Sure, 100 retweets for one out of ten tweets is cool. But cool doesn’t make you a social media maven either.

It is cool to be cool, however.

Let’s start over.

1. You have 1,000 or more friends or fans on Facebook.

Actually – if you can’t get 100 comments and/or likes for one out of ten wall posts, you don’t have the kind of influence on Facebook that can be imagined to have potential commercial value.

Oh – this year, the bar will be raised to about 250.

Publishers and record labels are two steps behind the game- that’s lucky for a few dreamers for a few more months. Some are looking for 10,000 Facebook subscribers or fans to sign you as a new artist or author – if you bring little else to the table than awesome, undeniable talent.

Are you a rain maker?  

And that’s what we are talking about. Results. Influence. Value. Making it rain. And people talking about it!

Companies don’t need social media if social media doesn’t make rain. Because Margie Clayman said so.

Oh – if you don’t have results for the three top social media tools in the bag, you got a problem as a social media [fill in the blank]. A big problem. Me too.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A 50+ Klout score will only fool some of the people some of the time. [grin]

Like (or unlike) you, I fail to demonstrate social media results and influence that could be interesting to someone who can afford to pay for (and wants) results and influence!

Oh sure, I can point to some interesting things that I’ve done in social media – interesting to a social media noob that is.

If I can’t make it rain for me, I can’t do it for them. That’s obvious to any clear-thinking, bottom-line scrubbing, and corporate-ladder climbing Tom, Dick, Harry, or Susan.

Regarding social media, it’s back to the questions that matter. And you?

1. Who are you?

2. What do you do?

3. Why do you do it?

4. What are the results that you have to accomplish to be interesting to someone who can afford to pay you to make them 10 or more times more money than they pay you?

5. How long will you try to accomplish something viable before you know you should be doing something else? One year? Two years? More?

6. Are you happy?

7. Can you eat? Your significant other? Your kids?

Keep it real

Nothing is impossible if you love strongly! Mountains can be moved. 

Like Aaron Biebert suggests, sometimes, inch by inch. In other words, one shovel strike, bucket fill, bucket carry, and bucket dump at a time.

Just keep it real. In other words, don’t lie to yourself.

These times are too difficult for too many for us. I mean to say that these are times in which we must be wary not to be fools who suffer of our own grand delusions and self-deceit.

Or, maybe, just maybe, I’m wrong about social media, the numbers, and the money. Really?!

Note:

I wrote this light-hearted post with a lot of heart and much concern for those who are stuck in social media limbo. Or hell. Know that my intention is not to break hearts, burn dreams, or mock those intrepid souls on that trail of tears – that long death march to nowhere…

Ultimately, I believe in something more beautiful than money, fame, and power. I believe in you. I believe in me. And you and I do not have to make it big time in social media to have a life, to make a living, to live well, to move mountains, to be epic, and, last but not least, to love strongly!

Clicks, comments, and easy money do not have to be your measure (or lack thereof). They are not the measure of you -who you are. This. And this, my friend, is a failure to be celebrated.

Feedback

If you think that this blog post sucks, let me know in your comment and don’t forget to include a link to YOUR favorite blog post.

If you think this blog post rocks, tell me why it rocks in the comment. “Awesome,””Great post,” etc. works for me. Don’t forget to include a link to YOUR most recent blog post.

Stan Faryna
14 January 2012
Bucharest, Romania

P.S.

I do not believe that more than three fairies were harmed during the writing and publishing of this blog post.

Advertisements

20 Responses to Do you describe yourself as a social media [xxx]? Really?!

  1. I read Craig McBreen’s post yesterday

    http://www.craigmcbreen.com/blogging-will-change-your-life/

    and saw a glimpse of something I hadn’t seen before (remember my circles are VERY small!). A few of the commenters as well as Craig were talking about their real life gigs and how blogging was helping them hone some skills. It was refreshing to see someone actually DOING something instead of talking about doing something!

    Thanks for the link to my post (again)!!

    You DO know your numbers and the ins and outs of the business of social media don’t you?!!

    Really interesting wake up call!

    • Stan Faryna says:

      I’ll have to check out Craig’s post. Thanks for mentioning it, Bets!

      I usually work in rough estimates based on some reliable inside information from online industry leaders. But they can be off too. [grin]

      But even when they are wrong, they are usually the ones that decide or advise on how online ad and marketing spend should be spent, invested, or shut down. That makes them always right in the worst way. [sigh]

  2. Gee, I guess I’m a slave…lol. Thanks for the encouragement Stan.

    Lol…actually, I’ve learned that I was doing MANY things quite wrong with what will soon be my OLD website – http://www.BruceSallan.com . We are re-launching next weekend and I’m going to move up to court jester, at the very least!

    2012 is about taking that NEXT STEP forward, for me…and I will make it happen!

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Bruce Sallan, you are a shooting star. I have no doubts about you. Online, you’re expanding an empire founded upon offline successes and triumphs.

      Myself, I fan your modesty, your humanity, and your fair-minded way.

      Let me know when the new website is up. And NEVER again hesitate to throw down links in your comments to my blog posts! [laughing]

      P.S. I have modified your comment so that your website addy is now a link.

  3. 2012 is going to be a big for you Stan. I just have this feeling that you are going to do and see big things this year.

    • Stan Faryna says:

      You, me, and a few dozen others, Jack. It’s in my prayers. I’m going down on my face. Pressing it to the hard wood floor. There’s too much pride and presumption when you just go down on your knees.

  4. Stan.
    I am MOVING!! I can feel that tightness inside me, the excitement that starts from the minute I wake until I force myself to go cuddle the littles at night.

    Lights are flickering …and it seems to me this morning, that over the last week and a half, so many of the really hair pulling (if I could grab my own hair) frustrating subjects (read ISSUES) that I HAVE known were a problem, suddenly (!!) I understand! Woohoo, for me (us, the business)!

    Sometimes I feel so dumb…. here and over “there” and it is like a warm hand on my shoulder when I read ONE MORE POST about this or that and SUDDENLY poof! The light comes on. Ahh, got it!

    Ok! Here we go! I’m quickly approaching my 1 year anniversary and I think (pray, hope and believe) that I needed that year. For so many reasons. But. My goal is still shining brightly as my beacon.

    Much Love and Faith.
    p.s. Craig’s post was AWESOME!

  5. Can’t for the life of me remember how I got here, but glad I did, we all need a little perspective! nice post 🙂

    • Stan Faryna says:

      “I am so treid I hvae fettrogon how to selpl”

      That was a recent tweet of yours that made me laugh, Nick. It reminds me of people trying to keep up with Twitter, Facebook, their blog, and their blog reading.

      Hope to see more of you around here, Nick. And I’m glad that you can appreciate a healthy perspective. [grin]

  6. When I first jumped on the hamster wheel I thought it was ONLY about climbing the ladder; metrics, measurement, influence, etc. And if you weren’t playing that game or reached a certain level then you were a social media loser and prone to give it up.

    Fortunately I saw how that existence was not sustainable and stayed with what I find most enjoyable, relationships; and not just relationships, but engaged relationships.

    There are many who are on this wheel and in their almighty quest for numbers, forget about the relationship part. If you think you can inspire or encourage me without the relationship, then good luck.

    Fortunately I do have a day job that pays me quite well and I actually enjoy the work. Social allows me a chance to engage with people, improve my communication skills, and keep an open mind outside of my own little world. They are on parallel paths, but at some point they should cross then I will be ready.

    The more I can bring value and help others the happier I will be; it doesn’t take much to sustain me. I think if I just chase the numbers it won’t be fun anymore, and I’m real big on ‘fun’ these days.

  7. Stan Faryna says:

    BIll, you always say the right thing. Do you have a book for that? ‘Fess up! [grin]

    I’m just teasing about the book. I know it’s all you. That you mean it. That you care. You came online with serious social skills and, naturally, more than a few of us noticed the shine.

    Your voice is important for that very reason. Whether it’s about being decent and fun. Or being real, sensitive, and diligent in the do.

    You put serious time and effort into your social media work. I’m not the only one that has noticed. And your expectations have not exceeded the reality and opportunity which present themselves.

    As you observe, an offline day job (an inheritance or retirement plan too) is a very important ingredient for a healthy perspective. I’m not saying (nor are you) that someone can’t do big things online. But it’s just as easy as being Madonna, Bruce Springstein, or Harrison Ford. And there ain’t nothing easy about being those people and doing what they did. [laughing]

    It has been said that Harrison Ford was doing roof work for Francis Ford Coppola when he got his lucky break to help them do cast screening for Star Wars. But it wasn’t just a lucky break that got him past Star Wars. Mark Hamill (aka Luke Skywalker) doesn’t hold a candle to Harrison’s accomplishments in film.

    Social media (and the online experience today or back in 1988 which is as far as I remember it) has always been dreamy like that. I mean about creating a lucky break in relationship- and network building where you hope to figure out an opportunity that works for you whether it was romantic, professional or otherwise. The proportion of the general opportunity has always been exaggerated too.

    But the exaggeration became a non-real, runaway train with social media. Twitter, Facebook, and others were lucky to capture on that opportunity. For all the right and wrong reasons. Well meaning, foolish, and, yes, predatory.

    The hurdles are higher than most people can even begin to imagine. The numbers you need are not simple numbers but complicated constructions of non-real complex numbers. They are imaginary numbers- not make believe or make them up numbers. An imaginary number is a real number multiplied by the imaginary unit i, which is defined by its property i2 = −1.

    The fairy dust is settling. It always does. Until the next new big thing (internet, mobile, or whatever) kicks it all up again. Hopefully, each of us is the better for all the sparkle, pixel magic, and, yes, pirates. In other words, our minds, hearts, and souls are better for our time in Never Never Land. Bigger. Broader. Maybe Brighter.

    And not lesser.

  8. I describe myself as a social media hobbyist. As an extreme extrovert, I truly enjoy the interaction. Anything else is purely a bonus.

    After reading your post, I can see why that’s a good thing because I really would be a loser if I was trying to anything more than a Social Media Hobbyist.

    The only pay I hope to receive is meeting new people like you Stan and enjoying good conversation. Thanks for being one of my favorite folks.

    You make it all worth it.

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Yours is an honest and passionate endeavor, Aaron. You show up, you speak your heart, and you are connecting with people.

      Rock on, my friend.

  9. […] on my blog: Do you describe yourself as a social media [fill in the blank]? Really?! […]

  10. I am a social media lightweight who doesn’t meet any of these criteria. I’m surprised you allow me to comment on your blog. I am not worthy.

    Actually, I have found that it is the rare person who is uber popular on social media who will actually take the time to interact with others. Kind of makes you wonder how they got so popular. Hmmm…I will never know. 😉

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Few – if any of us – meet the criteria. And, often, those few that do, don’t even understand how it happened.

      Ironically, some of the biggest bloggers that I know about… are trash. I mean that they effortlessly fuel prejudice, hatred, and confusion. They get millions of reads every month.

      That’s kinda scary!

      You are something wonderful, Carolyn. Your tech blog is cool. Your kindness, rare, uplifting, and shiny. I wouldn’t change anything you do. I appreciate you and what you are doing!

  11. I am just doing what I was put on the earth to do. My Mission: To Spread Joy. In all I do and in everywhere I go, that’s my “job”. Love your posts Stan, even when I don’t weigh in with a comment. Cheers! Kaarina

  12. […] It might also be said that when it comes to social media period, we’re all clueless. […]

Speak from your heart!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: