Image by Pete Prodoehl via Flickr
by Frank Reed
I am not an expert in social media. I am not an expert in search marketing. I am not an expert in anything, really. I don’t like the title when applied to anyone or anything. It has been so misused, it is like the Internet marketing’s version of putting “New and Improved” on a bottle of laundry detergent. It is so overused and under defined at the same time, that the word expert has lost its real meaning. Don’t get me wrong, though. I do know some things about the industry. In fact, I am confident that I know quite a bit. But an expert? Nah.
What I am, though, is a seeker. I think that is what we all need to be in this space. Seekers. Seeker is a positive word. It’s a word that implies being inquisitive in a relatively positive way. It implies an appetite for exploring and learning. It is a powerful word and it is a powerful state of being. I like being a seeker.
Many times the term seeker is applied to someone who is on a spiritual journey. They are seeking more than what they have because they know there is something / anything out there that is more than what they are right now. Watch someone make this journey. What’s most fascinating is that when they “find” what they have been seeking, then the adventure REALLY begins.
I think the same goes for social media and this whole Internet marketing space. Why? Because there is always something bigger and greater out there. What we do today with Facebook and Twitter will pale in comparison to what will be done a few short years from now. Interestingly enough, it may not be that there are different tools being used but the
APPLICATION of those tools will have grown and evolved to a point that we will look back on 2009 in social media the same way we chuckle about Web sites done in Front Page just a few years back.
What will it look like? I don’t really know because, while I am not an expert, I am also not a good prognosticator. What I can say with a great deal of confidence is that there will be a lot of good, a lot of bad and a lot of frighteningly average variations on the same social media theme.
The difference is likely to be our ability to more efficiently sort through the mess (real time search maybe?) and also learn how to say more with less. I suspect that blatant self promoters will be seen as hucksters and snake oil salesmen whether they are or not. Just as all salespeople must overcome the stereotype of being shifty and manipulative (an earned title in many cases, by the way), the typical social media person promoting themselves will have to fight through a stereotype that is being hammered out right this very moment.
So how do you see yourself using social media for your business and your life in the next few years? Will you be buried in the avalanche of 140-character gems and the typhoon of status updates, or will you be at peace? At peace that you don’t have to listen to everyone because they are not experts. I hope we all experience the peace of being a seeker. That means we are in control and looking to improve rather than just add to the noise.
Happy seeking and I hope we bump into each other on our respective journeys.