filtering bad social media adviceI’d say at this point most businesses of all sizes are using social media in one form or another. I know in the Twitter chat (#kaizenblog) that I host, we talk about social media and its uses quite a lot. And, truth be told, we are big fans. After all, we all met via a social media networking site.

But how do we know what works best? Who do we listen to? How do we know “they” are right? Valeria Maltoni has written posts about influencers and how to apply filtering questions that will help us determine if we’re getting snake oil or legitimate information. The other day, my friend, Danny wrote a post, Why We Can’t Give Up urging us to go forth and develop ourselves as influencers who have something worthy to share despite it seeming like an uphill battle.

Whether you’re a small business owner or in a larger organization and new to social media, it can be confusing to know how to use it effectively. We’re told so many things about how to use it and there are certain people who get  lots of attention. Yes, even in the virtual world, there seem to be people who are the “Popular Kids.” But do they deserve to be? There are several ways you can game social media but is that consistent with how you run your business usually? We post things on our blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites to get people to notice us and our business. We want to attract new clients by positioning ourselves as experts in our fields. There is nothing wrong with that. Social media is a tool. The trouble lies in the crazy amount of hype that surround some of the so-called experts. We start wondering, “if I do what that person does, I can be big too?”

Some questions come to mind about filtering social media advice:

1.. What makes that person an expert in social media?

2. Does he/she (pick your favorite guru or the most recent favorite) give advice that fits my business?

3. Do I have the time/money/people/resources to do what the expert is telling me to do?

4. What will I gain from becoming an influencer?

5. What are uses for social media are there beyond marketing my business?

Can someone who is less flashy and has a message that resonates be just as good a resource as the “rockstar”?

So how do you weed out the influencers with the best advice on how to use social media?

*For this week’s Twitter chat, #kaizenblog, we’re discussing week’s “Social Media-Snake Oil, Noise & Filters” this Friday at 12pm ET/5pm GMT/9am PT. I hope you can join us!