Social Media Faux Expert Gurus – Evil Pied Pipers?

I had the misfortune to connect with a social media “Guru” recently. After a phone call with this individual that has hundreds of thousands of followers, it became clear to me that they have NO CLUE what social media is or how to use it properly. I was bombarded with questions about Twitter, Hashtags and numerous other scenarios that a self-professed expert should clearly have well in hand.

This individual is frequently interviewed about social media and asked questions about how one should use the platform for effective marketing, relationship building, as well as to grow an engaged community. I am floored that so many that do not know any better listen to such people solely based on hundreds of thousands of followers.

It gets worse… Of course after my phone call with this person some months ago, I made sure I was following them on Twitter. I immediately followed the call with an @ mention thanking him for his time. Additionally, thinking this person was genuine in their social media desire to provide value, I also added them to my #FF (Follow Friday) list of folks I mention. Not only was there no reply to my message, there was not so much as a recognition of the several Follow Friday mentions I gave them.

Against my better judgement, I also friended the individual on Facebook, which resulted in an immediate arrogant promotional post on my wall about how many followers they have and how smart they are. Upon my commenting, I know “so and so”, we have spoken on the phone, I received ZERO response.

Upon analyzing their business, which simply tweets any crap someone is willing to pay them to tweet, it caused me to not only disengage completely from this person, but prompted me to write this post. So here are my suggestions to you:

1) Be careful who you connect with and give your like/follow to.

2) Verify that what notable people say YOU should do, they actually do themselves.

3) Use Social Media Marketing in such a way that provides value to others in a real human way, outside of cash for yourself.

4) Walk the walk daily. provide value to your audience and target market within social media and be consistent. Do it right and do it often.

* An Update to this post is at:

31 thoughts on “Social Media Faux Expert Gurus – Evil Pied Pipers?

  1. I will never call myself a guru or expert because I am constantly learning. Social media is a new field for everyone involved. Sure there are leaders to the pack, but we are learning still. And if you do not have social media etiquette, you absolutely cannot call yourself a social media anything. That’s rule #1!

  2. Hi Robert,

    Nothing says “Spammer” more than someone calling himself/herself a “guru.” I mean, I can call myself the Queen of the World, too! If you don’t have the tiara, it doesn’t mean much.

    Carol (AKA Queen of the World)

    1. You are so right Carol, but as I said on Twitter earlier, what concerns me more is the spam access they give hundreds of others to throw crap out there and further more the poor impression they give newbies that this sort of thing will make social media effective for them. UGH!

      As always, thanx for the input Carol.


  3. Well said! I have written a few articles detailing my experiences with Social Media from my own eyes, but anyone proclaiming to be a GURU is just ridiculous!

    And that’s just the point: If you have your own voice, and you communicate and connect with people who follow/RT/share your name or info then you know what you are doing. It makes no sense to continually bombard people with ‘cool’ links but never bother to engage with them at all – especially if they mention your name.

    A lot of people still haven’t realised that SM is an extension of ourselves: Communicate, Engage and Discuss.

  4. Oh my! Thank YOU for writing this! I was just reading a forum posting in one of my linkedin groups by a Facebook “expert” talking about the key apps to use on Facebook. I listed several pretty fundamental things that he had not even brought up.

    I then took a peek at his other discussion postings… “Post your page link and I’ll LIKE you and you can LIKE me” Come on, seriously??!

    I took at look at the FB page. Lots of glitz, lots of glam but just lots of self promotion,not much sharing of relevant info but plenty of “sign up for more detials” I was left with “where’s the beef?”

    There’s a lot of black hat carpetbaggers appearing with their medicine shows right now. I think we’ve all got to be wary. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Robert

    1. You bet Bernard. I am so glad you found it helpful. Nobody is perfect, Lord knows I am not, however I really try to provide value to others. Naturally, when you do that people want to know more about YOU and what you DO. This is the formula for success I experience and teach others to follow. No pied piper here, just someone attempting to lead by example, not empty words.

      Thanx for the feedback my friend.


  5. Did you know (I am sure you do!) that you can BUY followers? I am not sure how and why companies like this exist or just who it is that is buying these followers but clearly this is skewing things. For one thing, it gves a false impression. Those on Twitter that have tens of thousands of followers are deserving of that community and it is, in fact, a community. But I have seen, like you experienced here, a lot tha follow me that have thousands of followers and provide no real value. Sorry to hear about your experience Robert but it led to a great post and hopefully readers will be skeptical about who they connect with. This will only make the real leaders in the space stand apart though – hopefully!

    1. Christina,
      Oh yes.. I’ve seen that first hand. I block some “new” followers almost daily on several twitter accounts for clients. Interesting when you to go them that they are:
      1. new to twitter with only a few tweets, normally only 24 hours old
      2. they follow 8 – 10 people, who also are new
      3. They all used to be “eggs” but have now taken to having a photo of a young woman (which is kinda interesting as I spend most of my time in the industrial space and they’re just not alot that dress like that :-)
      4. they all seem to count on “auto follow back” accounts.

      I’ve also found some “new to twitter” people, they seem to be doctors, health or herbal medicine related, that follow based upon a “keyword” search. It seems as if some “guru” is teaching some classes on how to find and quickly get followers with this method. I typically send them a thank you (early early morning) and ask them how xyz might be able to help them or what their interest is in the product or service. They generally leave on their own.

      I have a number of discussions with clients about the importance of a loyal following. Understanding that some are going to be lurkers and that’s perfectly fine… because “you’re providing value”. It’s all about quality of contact not quantity. I suspect the quick start learner guru’s all subscribe to the more is better theory

  6. Yes, Christina, you are correct. Buying followers helps nobody but the companies selling those followers.

    Well, leading is exactly what I am attempting to do with my posts, blogs and insights I share daily. I will let you and others judge whether I am succeeding. :-)


  7. BAHAHAHAHA…this is a social media scam. I think that guru is an abused word that many fake social media marketers try to throw out there. Now I do think that there are influencers in the industry who can be classified as gurus as by definition guru can be used to identify techies, experts, etc. I think there are a few but am amazed at how many people call themselves gurus and don’t even know what a retweet is—that’s really a sham!

  8. i so love this post. It seems you have run into @MrAutoTweetWhiteNoise, too. I have one of those in my realm whom I have blogged about several times because the way he does “social” media is not social and it makes me crazy. Thanks for a great, confirming, post! :-)

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