How to Be a Digital Media Douchebag
I met a great friend for coffee today, and as usual, we ended up discussing digital marketing, a favourite topic for both of us. One thing that kept striking us is how bad most digital marketers are at, well, marketing.
"The last thing I need," says said friend, "Is another shot of you with a three day beard, or you drinking a latte, or you retweeting your brand's tweets, and then going into your client's account, and retweeting what you just retweeted. That's not exactly community management, that's being a douchebag."
It's sad, but I'd have to agree.
Digital marketing has exploded in the last two to five years. I'm speaking just from experience, but I pulled this set of slides with 2008 forecasts that say companies are spending more dollars on programs than personnel. I think this implies a move towards automated services that are being paid for, which is digital media. And budgets for digital media are set to increase, according to some people in the space.
This is a topic for another time, but this relates quite a bit to your 'online digital brand.' I've just done a typical google search, and I came up with 1.12 million results on how-to articles on 'your personal online brand.' Another great quote from said friend:
"A student came up to me the other day and said they were stressed about their digital brand. I told them to forget about it because who really cares? No one cares about your online digital brand if your skills suck. I've never heard 'You have lots of experience, a great resume and great skills, but we just can't hire you because your digital footprint isn't great.' Really?"
Again, I agree. I did a quick survey of all the people I know on twitter working in agencies. I would say about 3/4 of them have between 100-400 followers on twitter. Which is equivalent to saying, no digital footprint, as far as I can tell. And these are people who have been hired by PR agencies.
The best part about all of this is that these people think they are big deals in social media, in the social media space. In reality, however, they are "self-important self-absorbed idiots that like to talk about themselves." (ie. the criticism most often applied to Gen Y really is specifically reserved for these kind of social media disasters.) I am vaguely aware of Toronto's social media glitterati, and I can say with a fair amount of honesty that I don't care for most of them. I'm sure some of them are nice, but perhaps there's a line between good social media connections and simply broadcasting louder and way too often?
Reality Check: Most people like social media as a way to open their eyes to new audiences. But unfortunately, there's still that segment in life and the business world that turn it into a popularity contest. (Shame.)