Do You Want To Be Famous or Effective In Social Media?

In a single week recently, I had two conversations within two separate Facebook posts on this topic. Both conversations really boiled down to two things.

1) Using time most effectively

2) Doing activities that get real results

Let me outline the two conversations and include another situation that is becoming much more common…

Conversation 1: It all started with this chat message from a young lady I have been coaching for her social media agency. “I want to be somebody and I feel like I have to do everything I can.” The conversation was about her wanting to blog, do weekly videos on YouTube, etc., in order to become a “name” in the industry.

My Response was as follows: Do you want a name or to make money? If you want to make money, don’t waste time doing things that don’t accomplish that.

The young lady responded with: Both. I need to make money, I’m in a horrible situation but making a name is still very important to me and I don’t do free time. I work that’s it (literally) so if I have time I feel these things could at least help get my name known, plus I feel that the visual/audio is preferred to written blog posts all the time.

My advice to her wrapped up with: You can’t accomplish both when you’re starting out, if anyone tells you differently they’re lying. You either want a name with no proof you have actually done it and no results and revenue to show for it (and there are thousands of these people online) or you build a business and get recognition from doing it well.

Conversation 2: This conversation was apart of a long thread on a Facebook post. The conversation centered on being everywhere in the social graph and showing that you have “influence”. I really go involved when the comment “But, if someone really is an expert, they BETTER have a pretty impressive social media presence” was made.

I responded with: The point is that if you actually have clients and are making money because you are effective, you don’t have the time or NEED to manage your social media so much! – I know for a FACT a number of folks who waste a ton of time appearing influential in social media, yet have nothing financially to show for it. THIS is how people in this business get known as experts. Unfortunately, they have become experts at wasting their time and upping their egos…

Another person involved in the thread added by something to the effect that “If you actually have clients, you don’t have the time to personally be everywhere all the time, or manage a really big Klout score.” To which I wholeheartedly agreed!

Another situation: I was mentioned again on twitter in something like “I nurtured 1155 relationships on Twitter in 2012 with the app. Thanks my top members: @xxxxxx @xxxxxx and @xxxx .” This sort of thing is happening to me quite a bit due to the increased use of the application by some, but here are some things you need to consider:

1) Are the relationships you are “nurturing” with prospects? On this particular post (and most) I have noticed that the top “influencers” that you are mentioning with the app are competitors, not prospects. How does that make any sense?

2) If you are spending time building relationships and a name in the social media space but are not getting new clients that pay for this huge amount time, who are you kidding?

My intent here is to get you to focus, to spend your time and efforts wisely, and to use this incredibly powerful medium of social media marketing in a way that furthers your goals, revenue and results. Spend some time early this year to make some modifications to your social media management strategy that will result in achieving real goals and not improving your ego.

I will end my post with a quote one of my good friends posted the day after I wrote this article.

“I aspire to be well off while they aspire to be well-known… #We’reDifferent” by @sociallyahead


17 thoughts on “Do You Want To Be Famous or Effective In Social Media?

  1. This might be one of my all time favorites. Thank you for ensuring that those of who don’t have time to blog, vlog, post and comment aren’t misunderstood. I used to struggle with this myself, until I realized that as long as I’m keeping my clients happy, seeing results, and I’m making money while I’m enjoying working with them, their word of mouth recommendations are far more important than social fame. And on that note, I think I’ll put an end to this 16 hour day.

  2. Reblogged this on The Gallery Goddess and commented:
    This is of my favorite Social Media articles, written by Robert Caruso. As someone who has recently developed a passion for Social Media, I have also had moments of exasperation and frustration during my social media experiences, and do much reading on the subject of how much, how often, how essential…. I agree wholeheartedly that it is to be used *when necessary.* I’ve seen many killing themselves to be everywhere at once, and this takes their focus away from where it should be. I do believe that it should be used strictly for making relationships, and the trick in this is to be able to identify those relationships worthy of one’s time. When I was in my “Social Media in the Arts” class, one of the first things we learned was how to make sure you “walk the dogs” (each social media platform one opts to participate in was a “dog”) and not start with too many! If you can’t walk all those dogs, the result will be disastrous and a huge waste of time.
    I am revitalized and refreshed after reading this article. It was great to see such an objective and realistic approach to the subject. Not everyone needs to be everywhere, all the time. Find a few good avenues and stick to them. As Robert says, “… spend your time and efforts wisely, …use this incredibly powerful medium of social media marketing in a way that furthers your goals, revenue and results.”

  3. Think about some of the “huge” names (very popular) people on twitter – celebrities. Many of them are very successful in the entertainment industry, they have a very large fan base and make a substantial living in the “business”. The rest of us are offering a product or service and wanting to expand our customer base, but we are (relatively) unknown. If we have the mindset of being a celebrity, then (unless we are really good at acting or singing or dancing) there is going to be no substance behind our marketing and we will be found out (and it won’t be pretty). The idea is to build a business that works, not chase after fame; it’s (for the most part) worthless.

    1. Many in this industry chase the fame of a social media expert, not actor or singer. They have a need and drive toward being seen as somebody, which is much easier to develop then actual results from the hard work and strategy required to get results.

  4. So true! If you don’t have a record of results for your clients or you can’t pay your bills, they why should you have a ‘name’ in this industry? I do what I do because I have a mortgage to pay and kids to feed. Not to make a name for myself.

  5. Reading the comments on this article, I have to assume you have some very smart followers, Robert. I agree with all of their observations, as I agreed with your post. You have called it like it is, again. Influence in social media does not necessarily translate into real business currency. I didn’t realize this until last year when a friend who is well known in social media circles revealed to me that a lot of the “famous” people I follow are probably still struggling financially. I was naive enough to be shocked. Now I’m glad you and others are opening our eyes to reality that social media is not going to create business success for us – it will help, but it’s not the central driving force.

    1. Claire,

      Great input here. I would say that being famous in social media will often not create business success for you, but social media done properly without concern for social scores and false influence ratings certainly will!

  6. Thank you for the mention. I live by those words! It is very annoying to me with all these folks who claim to be “experts” or establish themselves as an authority and do not do any real work. I recently heard one self proclaimed expert say “Why be a community manager when you can hire one” UGH!

  7. So true! I sometimes encounter this myth with clients who are new to social media. They chase consultants with the rationale that “He has 750k twitter followers so he must be amazing.”

    Not only do they not understand that someone spending enough time to achieve those numbers on their personal twitter, FB, blog, etc. isn’t spending enough time on client work, they also don’t realize that promoting an individual often has different goals and tactics than promoting a brand.

    For a brand, who cares how many twitter followers you have if none of them are interested in your brand? It’s about TARGETED followers and fans, not just numbers.

  8. IMO those clients that hire based solely on personal social media numbers may turn out to be difficult to work with even if you do have impressive numbers. If after explaining to them that personal numbers are not necessarily the best measurement of a campaign’s success (yours or theirs) they don’t get it- move on. If you and the client disagree about which metrics are meaningful, you won’t get the support you need to build an effective campaign.

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