Expulsion of the Social Media “Gurus” –Impacts of the Recession

Thank god for the recession, as now the social media gurus are on the way out.

One of the challenges of the social media industry, oh, and in case you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of challenges, is that self-proclaimed gurus have appeared from everywhere. In fact, the recession is going to cause those who are unemployed to experiment with the tools on a personal basis, giving them ample ammo to update their linkedin profile as a social media expert category.

But isn’t that the point? Shouldn’t everyone be able to get into the action? Of course, yes. However times are different now, with budgets under scrutiny, layoffs at hands, companies don’t have time for gurus filled with opinion, over-used case studies, and empty books. I was inspired by this charged article: ‘Like pedos in a playground‘ from the Register that exposes some of the weaknesses of the space.

[The recession will force practitioners within corporations to start to focus on measurable results, as a result, they will seek advice beyond opinion and gut instinct]

The recession. This is going to cause a purging of the opinion-makers, pontificators, and the gurus to be passed up as companies need to make decisions based off intelligence, information and references of previous success. Why? their very jobs are on the line, as they have to be accountable for their budgets within their corporations, and demonstrate a return on investment to their management beyond ‘awareness, buzz or thought leadership’.

Aren’t I being a hypocrite myself? Yup. I’m no longer a practitioner as a community manager at a large corporate, nor do I work at a social media vendor helping brands, so in many cases, I too, am looking in the mirror. I write this with a lump in my throat, and it’s a constant reminder that if I’m going to give advice it’s important that I back it up with fact, data, insight, for business people to make business decisions.

So, expect the real practitioners (you’ve see the list right?) to focus on moving the needle to create actionable programs that generate leads, increase sales, decrease support costs, or make innovation more efficient–their jobs are on the line, and they don’t have time for “Gurus”.