Yesterday I hosted a conversation on Twitter all about authenticity and what that truly means. It's a buzzword, to be sure, but it was interesting that the 140 character based conversation yielded many different perceptions of what authenticity means. For most honesty was a big part of it, as was having real one on one conversations with people and not taking yourself too seriously. As I thought about my own use of social media both in building my personal brand as well as what I do for clients working my day job at a big marketing agency … I realized that I'm not a social media guy. Social media guys (I use this term collectively, as many are girls too) are becoming easy to find – and not all that respected (warning – this video has crude language).
Social media is just one of the tools that I use on a daily basis. To focus on just that and make it my identity would be like calling a runner a "sneaker guy." They might love their sneakers, but it's still the method they use to get from where they are to where they want to be. The way I use social media is similar … I use it for marketing. I'm a marketing guy first and foremost. It's why my blog is called Influential Marketing and why you won't ever hear my introduce myself as an expert in social media. I use it often, and do know what I'm doing – but my expertise and my career is in marketing.
I happen to believe that the future of marketing is increasingly going to require some level of knowledge and expertise in social media. But it's not the only thing. This fact completely dawned on me last night as I watched a video review about my book from a very interesting guy I met at the Blogworld Expo last month. His name is JB Glossinger and he is the creator of what is usually ranked the #1 audio podcast in the self-help category on iTunes. His use of social media is perfect to deliver his message, and on a daily basis he exhibits a mastery of using social media that many so-called "experts" simply could not. JB is not a social media guy either – but he uses it brilliantly to share his content and vision of the world.
Perhaps the real future of social media lies with people like JB. Not people who master the use of various tools and declare themselves experts of that domain, but those who have a real expertise or vision and simply use the tools that are available to them in that moment to share it with the world.