Social Media Gurus, Mavens and Ninjas Don’t Exist

Us social media marketers get kind of a bad rap. “But Facebooking isn’t a job!” “What do you even DO on Twitter for a brand?!” “You get paid to take Instagram photos?!” We’ve been the subject of nearly every job insult you can imagine (“Why did you get your master’s from Duke, again?”), but we’ll agree – some of us are really annoying.

Most of us have job titles, of course not as prestigious-sounding as “doctor” or “lawyer,” but we are “community managers” and “account executives.” So why is it that there are more than 22,000 “social media ninjas” on Twitter? (However, I didn’t find any “neurosurgeon gurus” or “lawyer mavens.”)

Let’s Start with the Gurus

Social media hasn’t existed long enough for any of us to call ourselves “gurus.” I’ll be the first to admit – social media changes every day. How do these self-appointed social media gurus stay so up to date on not just Facebook’s algorithm, but also all those up and coming platforms in China that we haven’t yet heard of? “Guru” is Sanskrit for “teacher,” so unless you can teach those around you the ins and outs of this very complex business, maybe save the word for something you are positive you’re a pro at. For example, I’m a guru at identifying what color gummy bear I am eating.

Social Media Ninjas – Do you slice fruit at night with large swords?

Ninjas are very fast, quite like social media. However, social media marketing also requires a lot of think-through. That brand’s Facebook post went through several levels of approval, so your ninja-like quickness is not of much use here. Thinking fast is great, but working at a ninja speed is kind of a laughable concept. I also imagine ninjas don’t work well in teams, and it turns out there’s a whole lot of collaboration in marketing.

Also, do you wear a disguise to work? That would be neat.

Social Media Mavens – Indicates you’re a female who works in social media.

I’m all about some girl power. So rather than use a word that directly shows you’re a female, how about just telling them you’re awesome at what you do – regardless of your gender?

What annoying self-appointed title have you noticed lately?

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  • Kristen Pierce
    Posted at 12:15h, 22 October

    Social media evangelist is another I can’t handle. Great article!

  • Thea Neal
    Posted at 12:44h, 22 October

    Thanks Kristen! Yeah… a social media evangelist? I didn’t know they had advertising schools in the theology department.

  • Michael Carusi
    Posted at 13:56h, 22 October

    What exactly is a social media rockstar, anyway? Do they rock out on a stage as they talk about social trends in 2014? Which would admittedly be an awesome career.

  • Wiseass Wife
    Posted at 13:54h, 01 November

    I had to put my foot down to one of these becoming my official job title. Seriously, how are we supposed to put that on our resumes? “Yes I was a ninja at ABC Agency for 3 years, before becoming the guru that I am now.”

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