Before I launch into this I just want to say that what I write on this blog is my opinion. What I write about on here is how I use social media and the techniques I use not THE way you should use social media. Increasingly I have read and watched people telling others THE way to use tools out there and the advice they are giving is usually so off target or ill conceived that I cringe.
I came across this video the other day when someone tweeted about it and frankly it kind of worried me.
First of all I just want to say that Perry obviously has some charisma and is passionate about social media, which is great. I didn’t know anything about Perry until I saw this video. But what Perry is talking about in this video is not only wrong on a lot of levels but is dangerous to new social media users whom the video is primarily meant for.
1) There isn’t one way to use these tools- In the video Perry tries to relate using Twitter to going to a party and says that you wouldn’t turn your back to someone that came up to you at a party. He may have taken this example from the book “Horrible Analogies.” You can’t relate the two things together. The mediums, the approach, the connections, and the techniques are completely and totally different.
How you use these tools is your own choice. If you want to follow ten people that you find interesting and that is it then so be it. Even if other people are approaching you and adding you because they find you interesting you don’t need to reciprocate. This whole quid pro quo approach to social media is something I find disturbing.
Does this make you anti-social like Perry states? No, it means that you want to focus on a certain group. You have a purpose for using this tool this way and you are using it as such.
2) This breeds stupidity- Telling people that this is how they should use these tools or they will be branded as an “asshole” or a “snob” gives people the wrong approach and wrong ideas. When you try and express that these are the social norms around social media you have other people that are going to go out, apply them, and possibly teach others. That is dangerous.
3) Not following people is wrong but automating responses to them is ok- About 4:30 into the video Perry talks about using tweetlater to autofollow anyone that adds him and to send them a message. “I don’t send them out something real spammy.” An impersonal message to promote your other platforms is still an impersonal self-promotional message and is totally counter intuitive to his party analogy. If we are going to run with this analogy it is akin to meeting someone at a party and having them just chuck their business card at you and walk away.
The community in general looks down auto DMs. I don’t use them but if you get results with them then so be it; again it is how you want to use the service. But I find it funny that he is telling people how to use the service yet uses what is considered the most annoying technique out there.
4) Self-branded Social Media Experts are dangerous- Perry has a long career of Internet marketing and copy writing specializing in a lot of network and MLM marketing. He also has an arrest for computer fraud, imitation of a licensed professional, and deceptive business practices. (He did plead guilty to some charges. Here is a video he made to explain what happened.) I see this and read about his background in Internet marketing I understand the mindset behind his technique a little bit more.
Just because you have background in Internet marketing it doesn’t mean that you are a social media expert. While I think that Internet marketing, social media, and other skill sets blend together the philosophy, strategy, and understanding of it all is very different from each other. When I see his large twitter account I think that he is a perfect example of using Twitter to create false authority. (I know a lot of network marketers hold him in high esteem but he is stepping into the world of social media, which I find troublesome.) There are a lot of people like Perry popping up. People that used to work in PR, Internet marketing, or people that were in other fields and see the booming use of social media so they rush into it. The issue is that might have certain skills but not the broad vision or knowledge.
The entire point of this is just a reminder to be extremely mindful when you consider the source of the information and the lessons someone is teaching you. Think for yourself, question your source, and read multiple opinions.