Let’s Say Goodbye to Social Media “Gurus”

I’ve never liked the term Guru – it’s a throwaway word, much
like Paradigm, Content, or Kanye. Plus, I wonder if calling a marketing person a “guru” is
offensive to actual gurus, and whether by using the term I’ll get punished with
some karmic payback, like being reincarnated as a Fox News anchor.

But I particularly dislike the word when precedent by two
other overused words, “social” and “media.”

Any blowhard with a blog can self-designate as a social
media guru, and because any blowhard can, many blowhards do. Same goes for Twitter,
the only difference being that Twitter allows people to become assholes much
faster and with more grammatical errors.

If you say you are a social media guru, then you are
focusing on the wrong thing. It’s important to understand the tools and channels
and all that, totally fine – twenty years ago it was important to understand
fax machines too, but not a lot of people touted themselves as gurus in
“faxable media.”

What really matters is understanding consumer behavior, how
people communicate and why, what they are saying and why, and to whom, and
where. We use the word “social” as often as a person with a cold reaches for a
tissue, yet we forget that “social” is about sociology – you know, people, not

All media today is social, so in my opinion there is no
“social media.” And there are no gurus either, only those who know a little
more than some others – and trust me, the others aren’t too far behind.

3 thoughts on “Let’s Say Goodbye to Social Media “Gurus”

  1. I believe it has to do with creating comfortable spaces, and perceived distances. Some people will never delurk, but over time more and more ‘readers’ will engage with the texts, as it were

  2. There are definitely social media “gurus”, however those who have given themselves that title are usually just web savvy.
    The creators of social media outlets and Web 2.0 are the real gurus and credit should be given, where credit is deserved.
    Social media offers many opportunities to individuals and organizations alike, and if one is able to master the art of social media, that has to account for something. So why not call them gurus? If they are creating a guiding path for others, do they not deserve the respected recognition?

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