With the rise of so called social media experts, is the general perception of the world of social media in danger of being based on a fallacy?
In article-7 of the web design Cornwall series, we explore relative merits of social media experts and the nature of the social media industry.
The Oxford dictionary defines a fallacy as:
A mistaken belief, especially one based on unsound arguments
And the Collins Concise dictionary as:
An incorrect or misleading notion based on inaccurate facts or faulty reasoning
Social media can be an extremely powerful marketing tool, or a positive force for change in the world. However, within the industry and among those followers of social media via the various social media platforms, there seems to be a self-perpetuating cycle of chasing followers without adding any value to their product, blog or the system.
As an example, how many of us have come across individuals that follow you on Twitter, who on further investigation, do nothing but re-tweet others and post superficial information about themselves without having anything interesting to say or producing any original content. What they do seem to achieve is huge numbers of followers as a result of following similar people, all following each other in return – the self-perpetuating cycle. This process achieves nothing, accept maybe some misplaced kudos for the person with thousands of followers. Well done!
Social Media Experts?
The word “social” has many connotations. One of the primary meanings is other-centric i.e.to be interested in the welfare of others. It is the opposite of misanthropic or egotistical. The practice of generating followers for the sake of it is egotistical and has no benefit to the wider community.
Social Media is based on sharing. So why are many Social Media Experts not providing much value to others, or in extreme instances, even endangering them.
For media to be social, it requires people who enjoy each other’s company. Participating in social media involves being helpful, interesting and wanting to provide value. You may want to share your sense of humour, your political views, or your expertise.
Therefore, if you exploit or deceive others you are not being considered social. In most cases, you will be in danger of having your account deleted by site administrators and quite rightly so.
Some Social Media “Experts” seem relentlessly self-obsessed to the point of assuming that they don’t have to provide much value to their followers. In this way, I suggest that they they can be deemed to be anti-social.
Egotistical self-proclaiming nonsense
Another feature of the behaviour exhibited by these pundits, is that many persist in posting trivial details about their personal lives. It is bad enough that instead of sharing their insights into social networking, they tell you about their lunch, their pets or a programme they have just watched on the television. It is as though they are actively avoiding social, useful behaviour in favour of this egotistical self-proclaiming nonsense.
Therefore, self-referential communications by so-called social media experts are not social. Of course, we all like to know personal details about our friends and colleagues, after all this is the ethos of social media, but when a social media or networking expert rarely shares any expertise, it makes you wonder just how “expert” they really are.
Adding value to the community
Social media has to endure the inappropriate behaviour of trolls, spammers, bores, fanatic extremists, and dubious social media experts. As well as the administrators, as users we can combat this anti-social behaviour in all its forms. So as well as the efforts to eradicate the malicious element such as trolls and spammers, lets demand that so called experts get their act together in order to eradicate the self perpetuating cycle of nonsense. Or better still, ignore them and search for real specialists who contribute helpful, social information that adds value.