The Idiot's Guide To Being An Idiot (with Social Media)
Sales & Marketing for Professional Services & Sales Tips

The Idiot's Guide To Being An Idiot (with Social Media)

September 19, 2014

by Tony Vidler

idiots guide on social media

True or false?

“the largest demographic in Australia is the aged 25-65 year olds”

Given that accounts for some 60% of the entire population in any given first world nation, it is a bit of a no-brainer isn’t it?

This “amazing statistic” was cited in a presentation to the gullible as evidence of the the size of the social media landscape.  No actual link was made to the proportion of the population using social, or how that related to the business opportunity for the business owners paying attention.  In fact the presentation wasn’t even to Australians.  Or people doing business in Australia.  It was entirely unrelated to the marketplace that the business owners do business in.

It is a perfect example of the continual nonsense which is self-appointed “experts” selling services to the gullible.  Leaning on statistics which are irrelevant to the audience to make bold claims of the opportunity which awaits!  Such presentations are as useful as the following type of “news“:

Nonsense statistics are just nonsense.

Here’s a statistic:  94.3% of all statistics used by Guru’s are made up by the Guru’s.

I just made that up by the way, but it is a statistic nonetheless, so you can depend on it.

As an aside, during this particular presentation when being amazed by statistics from another country I thought I’d google the stats for little ‘ol NZ, where all the audience were from.  Bingo: found it in 0.7 seconds:

Why couldn’t the expert presenter do that?

That is Tip Number 1: Question the Guru’s, and question their arguments.

Tip Number 2 (which I have written about before): Google the Guru.

This is why you should Google-the-Guru: you are testing THEIR credibility.

Guru stories as examples:  

  • the particular session where I found out about the largest demographic segment in Australia featured someone with less than 400 twitter followers, no business Facebook page, and what I would consider to be a “bare bones” and basic LinkedIn profile. And that was nearly about it for their own social media presence.  I found this out by using my Google-the-Guru strategy during the presentation.
  • another session was even more interesting in that I listened to a Guru teaching fellow professionals how to use social media well, and a significant part of their session was explaining how Tony Vidler uses social media.  I shit thee not, as we say in these parts.  I was in the room (which clearly they didn’t know) listening to this guy get paid to teach people how to use social, and they weren’t using it well enough to use themselves as examples….unbelievable!  It was sort of cool to find out that apparently I do use it well though, and it was fun getting the sideways looks from the others in the room.

So here’s is something I have learned while using social media: most of the Guru’s live on Mount Stupid.

Tip Number 3: If you are going to get expert advice, get it from an actual expert.

One of the smartest things I did once I had decided to start using social was to sign on to a 10 week training course delivered by one of the Genuine Guru’s.  One of the reasons why he is a Genuine Guru is because he doesn’t think he is one.  He is constantly learning, evolving, adapting – and applying. “He’s real world dude” as the kids say.

It actually cost me real money to get taught real stuff by someone who really knows their stuff.

So free plug here to my own Jedi Master: Robert Caruso (@fondalo or @Bundlepost ) – you would do worse than to watch and learn from him. He happens to be on the Forbes list of the world’s Top 40 Social Media Marketing Talent along with 39 others who could be called Genuine Guru.  Sure there are more than 40 Genuine Guru’s out there, there are hundreds if not thousands.

There are NOT 181,000 Genuine Guru folk out there though.  181,000 is NOT a made up statistic.  That is how many are describing themselves as guru’s, ninjas, mavens or some other similar “expert” in this area.  I am not one of those by the way.

But why not give myself a plug if I still have your attention?

If you need an entertaining speaker who knows a fair bit about how to use social media down at street level – like I know some stuff that works, and I know what some dumb and expensive mistakes look like, and who is good at taking the bullshit out of the business, then give me a call!

I do serious presentations.


Check out me: I am awesome (Mum always said so).  (sorry, couldn’t resist trying some Guru-speak just to see what it felt like).  The REAL point there is you can learn some useful stuff from amateurs like me, but it is just the stuff that get’s you headed in a right direction and gets you started.  If you want to master something, you need a real master.

Back to the useful stuff though….here is my genuine

Idiot’s Guide To Being An Idiot with Social Media

  1. Free Guru’s are the way to go.  Don’t never pay nuffink to top talent.
  2. Don’t never Google nobody to check them out. It is just rude.
  3. Statistics never lie.  If a number is used in a presentation, you can take that sucker to the bank.
  4. Just go with the biggest social network regardless of who or where your customers are.  Actually, just get a facebook page.  That’ll cover it.
  5. Bet on “Awesome!”.  If you are listening to a Guru and they say something is Awesome, just get your wallet out and buy it. You can’t go wrong.
  6. Social Media is best managed by adolescents. Or younger.  Put your grandkids on the payroll to manage your business marketing. It will be way cool, and so will you by association.
  7. Be random.  Surprise people.  Don’t be boring and predictable with your presence and posting on social media channels by being regular and stuff.  Chuck stuff at them when they aren’t expecting it.  And then ignore them for a while to keep them on edge.  Then surprise them again 2 months later.
  8. Wing it.  No plans man…this is a fast moving environment and who knows what platforms might be cool tomorrow?  Just take it day to day….see how you feel….like whether you’re inspired man….or not maybe.  Think “Happy Hippy in the 60’s” – that’s the planning style you’re after.

Follow these guiding principles and you will have mastered the art of Being An Idiot with Social Media.

Peace people!

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