I’m often introduced to people as a Social Media Guru. It drives me crazy, I have never once given myself that title nor have I accepted it. I understand that we humans have to have boxes, or rather labels for everything. From job titles to clothing styles, to even people groups, like digital natives etc. But we can really come up with a better label than Social Media Guru. (Besides I dislike being put in a box, you might call it a postmodern thing.)

I don’t call a lawyer a law Guru, Or what about the graphic designers should we call them Photoshop Gurus, or better yet Pixel Gurus? (I know that some designers might wear that label with pride, nerds). What about an office manager, do we label them Office Gurus?

The crowd responds with a resounding, NO.

Why Social Media Gurus

Hindu Monk - Social Media Guru?So why would we label a new role in the workforce a guru? Probably cause we don’t know what else to call them (or me). I’ve heard some fun attempts at introducing me without saying the G word… such as Paul Kortman knows Social Media, or Paul spends all his time on Facebook, or Twitter. — Yeah that’s the qualifications I want entering a new business pitch, or a speaking engagement.

Lets not forget the kissing cousin, Search Engine Guru, aka SEO Guru.

Because Search is just as difficult as Social Media (even though there is overlap, search is totally different!) and even though the SEO role has been around for 10…. count em, TEN years, we still have this Search Engine Guru label. I’ll stick to talking about Social Media Gurus, but the same applies for SEO Gurus.

Guru defined

A friend of mine once said, ‘Gurus are for Love, not Social Media’ – think of that when introducing someone as a Social Media Guru… aka they know how to make love in social media. Um yeah please don’t use that title anymore.

One last point about the Guru label. It’s the Guru-Maven definition proof:

“A guru is one who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom and authority in a certain area” From Wikipedia

“A maven (also mavin) is a trusted expert in a particular field, who seeks to pass knowledge on to others.” Also from Wikipedia

So should we call these people Social Media Mavens? Perhaps, this label is light years better than the G word. It reflects how we desire to help others get smarter. I don’t want to be the person who is considered a magician, I’d rather be the best trainer/teacher/doer as possible which will in the end bring about sustainable results for your business.

Social Media and Business

Lets look at the roles Social Media plays in business. First we have the Strategist, a person who can look at the business plan, think about the big picture and help you navigate where, what, how much, and the other meta questions about social media and how it applies to your business model.

Then you have the other roles, such as team lead, analyst, marketer, director, developer, designer etc. Which provides us with the following list:

  • Social Media Strategist
  • Social Media Analyst
  • Social Media Marketer
  • Social Media Director
  • Social Media Coach

Did I miss any titles you like? Any other roles that are miss-labeled on a regular basis? Let me/the other readers know via a comment below. Oh and if you are one of those people who call me a guru, I’ll accept your groveling apology in the comments ;)