I recognize even writing this blog post and the nature of my job alone makes me somewhat of a hypocrite for writing this, but the idea struck and I had to.
So today I’m sitting at my desk and a particular group of sales guys walk by. I see them every day and every day they’re just bro-ing out. Totally loving each other, ripping on each other, being a little too loud, lots of movement. They never travel alone and there are a lot of “yeah man”s. It’s amusing to watch.
I realized the same thing is going on in our industry. It’s a social media “bro” fest. We’ve got a ton of bros, that I’ll categorize into two groups: the “it’s all about experience” bros and the “Twitter is too noisy” bros.
The “its all about experience” bros are all just “going rogue” maven-ing it up together, spreading the good word about how “the man” is right or wrong for how they approach social within their business or maybe how large firms *cough cough* cover social in the wrong way and how they’re all so right and the rest of the world is wrong and how nobody understands because everyone else is stupid.
Enough already. We know, we all know, that there are components to social business which we simply can not measure in numbers or direct profits. WE GET IT. But guess what, it is what executives want to see. And guess what x2, those executives are allotting the money to fit your clients bill. So guess what, sometimes people communicate about a numbers game. And I get that if you are the day to day practitioner, trying to please your execs and your social constituents is an almost winless game, but please recognize bros as bros and just consider checking out some other sources before defining your social media reality.
And on the other side of the equation are the “Twitter is too noisy” group of bros, the people who only care about numbers and have never tweeted about a mysterious stain on their shirt or the madness happening in the cafeteria, at the bar, or while walking through a park, you’re a bro in your own right. You’re in the group of bros that is too cool for social media, the “frivolous” part anyway. The part where we do things aside from talking about our jobs and what we’re trying to sell. The part where we leave embarrassing comments for our friends on their Facebook walls. The part where we’ve posted frameworks to Pinterest.
The message I’m trying to get across is this: strike a balance and recognize that just because someone doesn’t use a social network specifically for what you’re using it for doesn’t make them wrong, or stupid, or frivolous. You’re not smarter than everyone else because you’re trying to sell or really, prove how smart you are on a public social network. In fact, I would almost call this bro-type of behavior, on either end, obnoxious – just as bros are in real life.
I don’t have thousands of followers on Twitter. I have more friends on Facebook then most other “social media experts” (I’m cringing right now.) I only check LinkedIn sporadically. I am probably on YouTube every day. I share what I want and I have a bunch of different constituencies who I am confident are all smart enough to read through the noise they don’t want. But guess what, these people know me. Strangers I’ve interacted with on Twitter know more about me than those sales guys probably know about each other. Engaging on social and preaching the good word of social media is more than being loud and giving one another pats on the back. It’s about day to day interaction and connection with people who you never would have connected with before that makes social channels special.
Resist the urge to pop your collar, that is all I ask.
(Criticize my grammar, I can handle it.)
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