- Content Marketing
When Your Customers Become Your Contributors: Brand Journalism Meets TraditionalGoogle Is Changing the Close Variant Matching Option in AdWordsBefore You Invest in Online Advertising, Do This!Native Advertising: The New New Thing or a Race to the Bottom? [VIDEO]
Technology & Data
Data and Creativity at the Social Shake Up: Defining Your Data-Driven Social CampaignTalking Strategy and Data with Shannon Lee of Precision StrategiesNew IBM Study Reveals 3 Key Characteristics of the Most Successful CompaniesMinority Report: Confronting Privacy Issues in Big Data Gathering
- Tech & Innovation
- marketing automation
Social Startups: Moment.me Captures a 360-Degree View of The Social Shake-Up 2014Hootsuite Partners With Syracuse University to Bring Social Media Savvy to College StudentsThe Best Hyperlapse VideosThe Best Content Moderation Tools for Busy People Who Don't Have Time for That
Social Change Agent Survey: Passion, Skill Set, and Persistence Lead to Career Growth#SocBizShakeUp: Sandy Carter at The Social Shake-UpThe Social Shake-Up: How CMOs Drive Innovation and Revenue GrowthThe Social Shake-Up: The Future of Social Business
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Recap from the First-Ever Employee Advocacy SummitFormer IBM Senior Advisors Launch Brands Rising to Build Employee Advocacy ProgramsPerformance and Risk Management Through Social Media TrainingEmployee Advocacy Summit: Advocate Stories from the Field
- Customer Service
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
How to Become a Social Media Guru in 20 Steps [IRONIC]
Posted on July 24th 2013
Want to climb the heights to become a Social Media Guru? Want to learn the secrets? You're in luck!
In this article I am going to share with you the 20 Steps on how you too can become a Master Guru of Social Media!
Remember- this is very much a magic art- so keep this to yourself. DON'T share this article with anyone else!
Are you ready to start your path to awesomeness? Let's begin!
1. Learn How to Automate Everything
One of the most important tips for any social media guru to learn is the art of automation. Some inexperienced people in the social media world choose to manually craft their social media updates or perhaps selectively automate certain tasks. To be a true Guru, you must learn to automate every social media task at least where possible.
There are many examples of automation, some of which I cover in some of the other steps in this article. Examples include:
- Automatically following people back when the follow you
- Automatic retweeting
- Automatic mentioning
- Automated direct messages and automated posts from another social media guru's blog
- Automatic posting to LinkedIn from another Network
Sure, some less experienced social media people use some of these techniques, but to be a true Social Media Guru, you must practice them all- all the time.
2. All Social Networks are the same - Learn How to Cross Post
Some people say you should treat all social networks differently. They say that each social network have different audiences and different ways of working. Of course you need to treat such inexperienced advice with the contempt it deserves- of course all social networks are the same! OK, Twitter only allows you 140 characters, but that shouldn't stop you!
It's important to cross post to all your social networks at once including Twitter, LinkedIn (your profile, groups and company pages), Google+ (profile and pages).
To be particularly effective you should learn to use features that don't exist in at least one of the social networks. This used to be fairly easy until Facebook decided to introduce hashtags. Nevertheless, hashtags and screen names should be used all the time, particularly when you post to LinkedIn. The fact that hashtags and screen names make no sense in LinkedIn shouldn't put you off- remember, to shine forth your inner Guru, you need to impress your followers and connections with all the latest techniques. Your LinkedIn followers may not have a clue what your hashtags or screen names are referring to, but they will look up to you in total awe and respect since you obviously know your stuff!
3. Twitter Power Tip: Automatic Direct Messages
Direct Messages are a powerful tool in the Social Media Guru's tool kit. Use them frequently. Technically Twitter have a silly cap on how many messages you can send per day. However, since that number is 250, you can be pretty effective- especially when combined with automation. The most effective form of automated direct messages is the "auto DM on follow technique". By using a service like the one from SocialOomph, whenever someone follows you on Twitter, you send them an automated direct message to "thank" them for following you.
You can give the impression that you are interested in them as a follower, by using phrases such as
"I look forward to reading your tweets"
or even using their username or real name in the tweet-
"Hey, Ian- thanks for following me!".
To extend your Guru powers it's also good to introduce spelling morphing techniques (some less experienced social media people call this "text speak" or even go as far as "spelling mistakes"). Always use "Thx" instead of "Thanks". Remember, you only have 140 characters and you are busy.
Perhaps the most important lesson to learn in the automated direct message art is to blow your own trumpet. Remember- you are the center of the universe (more on that later). Of course your followers are interested in your Facebook page or Pinterest profile- so get them to like it! To give you a start, here are some power phrases that will turbo charge you to automated dm light speed!:
"Hey, thx 4 following me iagdotme. Looking 4wards 2 reading yr tweets!!!!!"
"Thx for connecting. I'm more active on Facebook- let's connect here- http://facebook.com/iagdotme"
"Thanks 4 following me. Looking forwards to knowing u. Like my Facebook Page >>> http://facebook.com/iagdotme"
"Hi! Need some free stuff??? Check out our super awesome web page to win a free thing http://iag.me/"
4. You are the Center of the Universe - Communicate your amazingness!
All Social Media Gurus instinctively know that they are the center of the universe. However, it's not enough to KNOW you are the center of the universe- you need to communicate this and your total awesomeness to everyone you meet online.
Some inexperienced social media people regularly post links from their blog or website, or even recommend people check out something new. Unfortunately the fact that they only do this some of the time shows up their lack of self belief. To be truly effective here you must talk about yourself, your business, product or blog all the time.
Have a new testimony on your blog? Cross post to all your networks to get all your fans to check it out! Remember- you are incredibly important to your fans, followers and connections- so they are bound to drop everything they're doing to check out your cool new testimony. Remember, it's not enough to do this occasionally- you must ooze your importance in every social media update!
You should also think about your biography on your social networks and on your blog. Sell yourself- mention how wonderful and influential you are! A good test of how effective you are here is by seeing whether you would be comfortable describing yourself like this to someone in real life. For example, if someone asked me what I did for a living, I'd hardly reply that I was a "World Wide Social Media Guru Expert and Top Ranked Power Influencer", but it's different online! Examples of phrases to use are:
- "Social Media Guru"
- "Global Expert"
- "Top Level"
- "Power Influencer"
- "World's Number One"
5. Numbers are EVERYTHING!
All Gurus are stats addicts- always chasing to increase their scores- checking them multiple times per day. In particular, you need to keep an eye on your Klout and Kred scores, Empire Avenue share price, number of fans on Facebook, number of followers on Twitter, subscribers on YouTube and number of people who have circled you in Google+. Never use tools like Commun.it that aim to build up your community. Forget about the people you want to reach within your networks or your core community- it's the big numbers that count!
6. Your Klout Score is The Guru Score
Speaking of numbers... your Klout score IS literally everything. To be a true guru you need to be aiming for a score of at least 85/90. If you follow the other tips in this article such as cross posting and automation, this will certainly help.
7. Power Tip: Buy Reputation
Some time back, I wrote an article on "4 Reasons why you should NOT buy followers". Honestly, I find it embarrassing looking back at the points I made. What utter drivel! Of course you should buy followers on Twitter, likes on Facebook- and in fact all your social networks! Remember what we covered in Step 5- numbers are everything! There are so many fantastic services out there which are willing to take your hard earned cash in return for hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of followers. Do it now- you'll soon be able to show off your social stats with your head held high! Your followers will soon be in awe of you and treat everything you say with total respect.
Technically buying followers is against most of the major social networks' terms and conditions- but don't let that put you off- they'll probably never find out. Do you really want the hard slog of building a community slowly over time- building up trust with actual human beings? Tshh, give me 100,000 automated spam bot followers on Twitter any day- it's the making of the inner guru in you! An extra power tip is to use services like Empire Avenue to get people like and share your content. By spending money (either real currency or virtual) you can bribe people into liking and sharing your content. This is a great technique for the social media gurus out there. Make sure you get "just anyone" to share your content- it's not about reaching the people who might be influenced by your content, you just want to have the maximum reach and highest share rates.
8. Don't Worry about design
You could spend money on a professional looking website, business cards and general branding and identity, but quite frankly- what's the point? I'll come on to some more website power tips in a bit, but to be a true guru you should use some cool retro techniques for your website. Remember Geocities? The cluttered look is very effective- pack as much as you can on to the page.
If you use WordPress, this is particularly easy, since you can add as many widgets to your sidebar as you can. It might slow down your site a bit, but you'll stun your website visitors with your amazing Guru Techniques! Your logo should be big and in your face. A special power tip here is to use a funky font like Comic Sans to give that cool look. Use pop ups, flash banners, splash screens and huge numbers of social plugins (I mean it!) Just remember- pack it all in- leave professional design to the boring corporate types.
9. Don't Worry about content
The internet, business, social media and marketing has nothing to do with content. Some people say "Content is the currency of the web". As a Guru, you know that data is just a collection of 1s and 0s, so the quality of the content on your blog or social networks is not very important. With so much content on the web, it's pointless trying to make your content stand out- you didn't think people were actually going to read it did you?! What is important here is to deliver LOTS of low quality content. Recycle titles and basically lift content from other blogs. Use popular news sites like Mashable and recycle their content (maybe change a few words just to be safe). Surprisingly, global brand Coco-Cola famously changed from being focused on "creative excellence" to "content excellence". Cognitive Media who was behind this badly thought-through strategy seem to be under the impression that content is more important than just showing how amazing you are!
10. Use ALL the social platforms
Almost everyone has heard of YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, and a big number of heard of LinkedIn or even Google+. A true Social Media Guru doesn't stop there- you must learn to have a presence on all social networks and master them. If this sounds like an onerous task, then remember steps 1 & 2- automation and cross posting are key here. At a basic minimum you should be using YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn (profile, groups and company page), Google+ (profile and page), Facebook (profile and pages), Instagram, Vine, Path, XeeMe, SoundCloud, Last FM, AudioBoo, app.net, Pinterest, Gentlemint, SnapChat, Flickr, 500px, Foursquare, Tumblr, Yammer and Vimeo- but that is just a basic minimum. A true guru needs to be at the front of the queue for all new social networks.
11. Become a Retweet Master
You would be forgiven for thinking that the art of retweeting goes against some of the other points in this article. True, it's important to give the impression that you are the center of the universe and learn the art of one way communication, but retweeting is different. Retweeting gives a feigned impression that you are vaguely interested in what someone else has to say, but do this effectively as a Guru you need to learn the Guru Retweeting Guidelines. Firstly, you will be particularly effective if you retweet in bursts- perhaps 10 or 20 at a time. Nothing smacks of a true guru than a timeline full of retweets! Secondly NEVER read the articles in the tweets you retweet. Remember- you are busy or are at least giving the impression of being busy. True gurus never read articles they retweet.
12. Always Follow Back - the More the Better!
Unfortunately Twitter has recently made some changes to their "Rules of the Road"- effectively their terms and conditions in which they now have outlawed the technique of auto follow back or bulk following. Auto follow back is the practice of automatically following back someone who follows you. Don't let this perturb you! Remember, social media has the word "social" in it- so you need to connect with everyone on all the social platforms you are on (which of course is every single social network that exists). Some inexperienced social media "professionals" may tell you there is the potential of following large numbers of spammers, zombie accounts and people who have no interest in you- but as we've already discussed in point no.5- numbers are everything- so it doesn't really matter. Previously you could use a tool such as SocialOomph to do the auto follow back, but they've stopped offering the service due to Twitter's changes. Hopefully someone will come back with an app that replaces this as Twitter's changes have only made the Guru's job much more difficult.
13. Do LION on LinkedIn
The acronym "LION" stands for "LinkedIn Open Networker". It is the practice of connecting with people on LinkedIn that you've never met before in order to bridge networks of closed people. Technically the LinkedIn terms and conditions state that you should only send and accept connection requests from people you know, but social network terms and conditions are there to be broken! The true power of LIONs is to build up your network to an insane level (remembering of course that numbers are everything) and being able to connect with more influential people who were previously out of your network. These influential people who are now closer to becoming your connection will probably not connect with you or at least respond to any of your messages or InMails- but that is missing the point. The fact is, you've built up your network to Guru status and your connections will be in awe of the people in your 1st level connections list. A power tip is to put the "LION" in your name in LinkedIn- that way you'll be showing off the fact that you will accept invitations from anyone. Again, technically this is against LinkedIn's terms and conditions, but whatever...
14. Pop Up your Web site
Forget web standards and in fact think about the sanity of your website visitors- a true Social Media Guru needs to bling up their website. This means plenty of special effects and blockades as the visitor walks through your website (if they get past the first page). Ideas to look at implementing could be an initial splash screen or a gate technique to instantly get people to sign up to your newsletter when the visitor wants to view an article on your site. Use pop ups on every page (don't give visitors the option for it to not appear next time) and use flash for snazzy effects (they won't work on most mobile devices- but who browses the web on a phone?!) If you put a roadblock in front of your visitor at every point, they will soon just give up and sign up for your mailing list. It works every time- 100% guaranteed!
15. It's all about Selling
Sell, Sell, Sell! This should be your mantra. Forget people, forget everything- you are a selling machine! You need to pounce on everyone who visits your website as well as everyone you meet in real life. Shove your product or service in their faces- they NEED it! They WANT it! Your website should be just one big advertisement for your product or service- SELL IT!!!!!!!!. Make sure that people know that the only reason you are talking to them is because you want to sell them your latest thing. They'll soon give in and become your latest customer.
16. Hide behind your business - Be B2B or B2C
Mark Schaefer should be ashamed of himself for such "touchy-feely" nonsense! To be a truly effective Social Media Guru, you should hide behind your corporate identity. It is also important to make sure that your corporate identity has nothing to do with you or your personality. Hide behind it and be corporate- people will be truly impressed by how professional you are!
17. Never admit mistakes - You know Everything!
You can't know everything, but as a true Guru you should never admit that! You should also NEVER admit any mistakes. How will anyone trust you if you admit that you are fallible? Do you want people to think you are but a mere mortal human being? They're certainly not going to let you loose on their project! Some social media people suggest that admitting mistakes can create transparency and build trust, but this rule does not apply to Social Media Gurus. If you combine this with Step 4 (you being the center of the universe) you will be particularly effective.
18. Learn the Art of One Way Communication
Leave listening to the low level social media types. You are too busy to listen to all the people on Twitter moaning about what they had for breakfast. You must launch into a long stream of shouts, rants and pearls of wisdom to your followers and fans. A useful technique is connecting a news feed to Twitter or Facebook so that there is a constant stream of one way content. People might occasionally reply to an update, but they'll soon realize that you are far too important to respond to their petty comment. Another power tip is to link your Facebook page to Twitter and LinkedIn so that visitors are taken to the post on your Facebook page. You could use a social media management tool with a funky URL shortener to make the Facebook post look really cool. This will also have the advantage of hiding the site that the article is on- the visitor will so want to click on it to find out what it is.
19. Always respond with just a few words or not at all
Remember, to be a Social Media Guru you must act like a Social Media Guru. You are very important- so act important. Once you rise up to the heights of a Social Media Guru you'll soon receive large numbers of mentions on Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn comments and emails. If you really must reply- do this selectively and with as few words as possible. You must give the impression that you are far too busy to deal with your fan base. This is particularly effective if a fan has sent you a very long email and you reply with just two words. You don't want to give the impression that you care or want to build upon a relationship!
20. Hold Back on your Mystical Secrets
Social Media, SEO and digital marketing are all dark arts- ones that require years of training in research from the University of Middle Earth. Always remember this! Never speak in plain English- you must confuse your website visitors and social media connections with strange mystical words such as "clickability", "SoLoMo", "big data", "gamification", "agile marketing", "KPI","PPC", "CPL", and "ROI". Never explain these words and always assume everyone knows what you are talking about with a virtual knowing smile. You should NEVER share your social media secrets with others on a blog- otherwise you'll lose everything you have. Some people mistakenly say that sharing all your knowledge builds trust- but if you give everything away you'll have nothing left and people will see the real you, which if you are a true Guru might not be all that pleasant....