Over on Facebook, strategist and author Olivier Blanchard shared this golden nugget of TV brilliance (if brilliance shares the same stage as pointless and lameness): there’s going to be a reality TV show on “social media stars”.
So sure, social media has embedded itself into the mainstream, with sporting events and news stories relying on live social feeds to add to their coverage. As a driver of social change, it’s an incredibly powerful tool.
For businesses, small or large, social media can also be hugely effective at offering alternative solutions for brand awareness campaigns, hiring new employees, competitive analysis, customer experience and more.
So, there’s no doubt that social media can be, and is, a key part of our everyday lives, personally and professionally.
Yet a reality TV show purporting to showcase “social media stars”? Come on.
Why It’s a Joke to Begin With
When you take a look at the promo page for the show, it greets you with this outstanding sales pitch:
Social Media Stars Reality Show is looking for YOU! This is your shot at stardom! Live in a Miami Beach Mansion, hang with fellow superstars and engage in social media challenges to show your stuff! From the creators of Top Recruiter: The Competition, comes Social Media Stars Reality Show.
Are you legendary on LinkedIn, a prodigy on Pinterest, talented on Twitter and fabulous on Facebook? If your friends ask you to “teach them Twitter” and their jaws drop when you’re done, we want YOU!
Now, I get that, for the sake of brevity, the pitch may be limiting itself to the platforms mentioned here. Either way, it doesn’t bode well for the show (if anything could – but I digress…)
At best, it’s Social Media 101: “Oh hey, we need to do that social media thing, let’s get on the Twitter and start Pinteresting stuff.” Because at the end of the day, that’s all social’s really about anyway.
Apart from the stereotypical pitch, though, are we really saying there are “social media superstars” that deserve a TV show (even in a medium as tacky as reality TV)?
Then again, when you think of it like that, it does start to make sense.
The Ego Has Landed
One of the things that social media has enabled is the ego to be not only heard, but amplified to the Nth degree. If you thought people buffed up their resumes pre-social to sound interesting, that was nothing compared to the ego-driven narcissism that social media empowers certain folks with.
Now authors can be bestsellers with just over a thousand books sold; social scoring platforms pretend you’re the most influential person on topic X; social media consultants list their physical address as social networking site Empire Avenue (I’m not making this shit up!).
And on, and on, and on…
In that respect, perhaps a reality TV show would be perfect. Now, instead of those in the social media bubble knowing the amount of self-loving assholes that can be found in this space, the wider general public can laugh along too.
It’d be like the Fast Company Influencer Project all over again.
Real Stars Just Get on With the Work
The Social Media Stars reality TV show is simply an evolution of the conversation that’s been happening on social media for a while now – that of building yourself up versus building the success of your clients.
Social media, for some strange reason, seems to continue to reward those that shout the loudest versus those that just get on with the work and deliver results.
To some degree, you can blame social scoring for encouraging an ego-driven points game to see who is the “best”. It’s not just restricted to scoring, though – even respected business network LinkedIn seems to be placing more emphasis on being part of a self-congratulatory Top 1% Users list… wahoo.
We can also blame ourselves. We don’t carry out due diligence on the claims of the social media folks we have placed on some fabled dais, rock gods who can do no wrong and espouse pearls of wisdom that are no deeper than a thin crust pizza with no toppings.
Meanwhile, the real stars, if you like, are just getting on with the job and getting results.
- Companies like Lebanon Ford, who showed what can be achieved with a solid social team and strategies.
- Businesses like Canadian Pet Connection, who’ve successfully bridged their offline customer experience into the online field, and are enjoying an increased community and ROI because of it.
- Organizations like Razoo, who’ve raised more than $160 million for charitable causes.
The list goes on, and on, and on.
These are the stars of social media. These are the folks that are delivering, day in, day out. These are the people that don’t care about some reality TV show where you might get 15 minutes of questionable fame – because the reality is, they’re already famous, but for the right reasons.
I’ll celebrate that kind of fame any day.
Influencer Project image: TechCrunch