Assumptions About Entering Social Media Professionally


If you want to be a social media marketer or work in a role with social media responsibilities don’t let these assumptions stop you:

You need to be young
No, you need a deep and wide experience about how things work in your chosen industry sector. And what makes people tick. And life generally.

You need to forget everything you learnt about marketing and business
No, those core principles apply more than ever: know your market, know your customer, build credibility, engender trust, forge meaningful relationships.

Your need to be technical
No, you need to be articulate and creative and a producer/ publisher of media which is valued by others.

You need permission to start
No, give yourself permission. Start now.

You need to be in a job before you can start applying your knowledge and the theory
No, you need a live project to work on, any project – give yourself invaluable hands-on learning with a focus. Pick a hobby, a cause, help a friend’s business, anything. See above point.

You need to have worked in social media already to get a social media role
No, past job-titles and polished CV’s count for little in this space. Show us what you’ve already created and what you’re currently working on. Starting decking-out your online portfolio. See above 2 points.

You need money
No, you need time. Time is the new money. Watch less TV.

You need to be big to get noticed
No, you need to find and develop your niche. Quality trumps quantity. Find your groove-thing and own it.

You need to know what you’re doing
No, you need to constantly experiment and fail and learn and work it out on the fly like the rest of us.

You need to be very serious


How much is too much?


Sure, I’ve pissed off some people, offended them, and got them very royally off-side.

I’ve had people cancel their course bookings after receiving their first NET:101 newsletter (couple that with with plenty of unsubscribers). I’ve had complaints about my text on images quotes (“filthy and offensive”) and admonishing emails about my satirical social media blog (“very unprofessional”). I’ve embarrassed and disappointed people who’ve tried to book one of my mock courses, and I’ve confused countless others who don’t know why I’m holding a snapper by the tail on the homepage of my website (btw, I’m also confused about this).

How much is too much?

While I don’t set out to deliberately offend, it does fill me with minor delight when it happens. I view it as a sign that I’m headed in the right direction because I don’t think any organisation can confidently hold and articulate a clear brand-position without marginalising a few folk. It’s okay to show everybody the door, watch a minority beat an exit and then connect more ably with those left in the room. I’m also doubly-sure that no-one is asking for more of the same bland website, blog, social media wishy-washy, cliché-ridden, me-too rubbish that’s being bandied about. And anyway, try to please everybody with lowest common denominator output and you’ll end up pleasing nobody – better to save your energy.

How much is too much? Not as much as you probably think… have fun finding out.

NB: No animals were harmed in the production of this post


Facebook Rock

Facebook threw a party in the county jail
The fans were there and they began to wail
The newsfeed was jumpin’ and the joint began to swing
You should’ve heard them investors sing

Let’s rock; everybody, let’s rock
Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancin’ to the Facebook Rock

Advertisers played the tenor saxophone
CIA was blowin’ on the slide trombone
The Harvard boy from New York went crash, boom, bang
The whole of Wall Street was the purple gang

Let’s rock; everybody, let’s rock
Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancin’ to the Facebook Rock

The advertiser said to number three
“You’re the cutest fan I ever did see
I sure would be delighted with your data feed”
Come on and do the Facebook Rock with me

Let’s rock; everybody, let’s rock
Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancin’ to the Facebook Rock

Organic reach was sittin’ on a block of stone
Way over in the corner weepin’ all alone
The warden said, “Hey, buddy, don’t you be no square
If you can’t find an audience, buy a whole lot here

Let’s rock; everybody, let’s rock
Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancin’ to the Facebook Rock

Twitter said to Bugs, “For Heaven’s sake
No one’s lookin'; now’s our chance to make a break”
Bugsy turned to Twitter and he said, “Nix, nix
I want to stick around a while and get my clicks

Let’s rock; everybody, let’s rock
Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancin’ to the Facebook Rock

Dancin’ to the Facebook Rock
Dancin’ to the Facebook Rock
Dancin’ to the Facebook Rock
Dancin’ to the Facebook Rock
Dancin’ to the Facebook Rock


NET:101 Podcast: Gerry McCusker on Being a ‘Tough to Love’ Brand in Social Media

Organisations whose operational and reputational DNA involves enforcement, jurisdiction, policing, prohibition or taxation are not cool. Just aren’t. And when they’re on social, they’re more often flamed than famed.

Interviewer: Tim Martin

Here’s a sample from the interview,  or listen to the full version here.


Sorry Kevin – An Open Letter


Dear Kevin

I just want to apologise for criticising your website in public last week – it was unfair of me to call it a “piece of shit” in front of a room full of people.

I know that you must have spent quite a bit of time and money to get it launched seven years ago. And anyway, word on the street is those particular shades of brown are going to be big again in 2015… so you’re actually on the cutting edge there. Respect.

Just who the hell did I think I was when I said that the stock image on your homepage looked ridiculous?? Hey, that was my mistake – two suited-up alpha-males facing off on a chessboard is powerful stuff. I should have seen it for what it was: a multi-layered business metaphor.

And what about that totally cheap crack I made about you not having your telephone number anywhere on the site? A contact form alone is perfectly fine for people who need to get in touch with you. On reflection, I hate it too when potential new clients call me on the phone – usually right when I’m in the middle of something!

Bigger, brighter, wider websites – who needs em? The way your little site floats in the middle of my computer screen all surrounded by black is a statement of confidence in of itself – you just don’t see enough of that  ‘devil may care’ attitude anymore.

Here it is: my core misunderstanding was that I didn’t appreciate what a super-busy operator you are – there’s really no way a guy like you should ever need to spare a passing thought for his primary, branded online presence. Just let it be, everything’s cool Mac. Sheesh, like you I’ve got to learn not to get so uptight over the little things.

So Kevin, I’m totally back in my box where I belong. I’m sorry. Can you forgive me?


P.S. Fully loving that Facebook page you guys have happening. To help make up for my potty mouth in public I’ve gone ahead and liked your page, boosting your fan-count almost into double figures. And I’m really looking forward to seeing your stuff on my newsfeed. I showed my wife your last post, the one with the cat rollerblading… we both laughed until it hurt. Keep it coming!