About a month ago, I had a conversation with Tim Sackett that went something like this.
Laurie: You know Vala Afshar?
Timmy: No, I mean, I guess.
Laurie: I don’t think he is real. And I want to figure his posting strategy out.
Timmy: I don’t see where you are going with this, Laur. Explain.
So here is my explanation.
Vala Afshar is a guy on Twitter, but more importantly, he could be any guy on Twitter who wants to be recognized as a leadership and management guru. He shares articles that he doesn’t write, and he tweets about leadership and technology.
It feels like he uses an algorithm to write his wteets. They are almost perfect.
Show gratitude. Show up on time. Choose happiness. Talk less, but say more. Be a supportive truth teller. Give without expecting a get.
— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) November 20, 2014
Is he real? Yes. What does he do for money? It doesn’t matter.
This guy could be a computer. He could be a woman. People love his stuff.
So I did what Vala does, to some extent. I went on vacation, but I’ve been posting daily tweets that lack substance.
Recruiters want you to believe they hold the keys to the kingdom. Don’t believe the hype. You are in control of your career destiny. — Laurie Ruettimann (@lruettimann) November 5, 2014
Nobody finds jobs on Facebook just like nobody found jobs in the newspaper. The social web is a beginning, not an ending.
— Laurie Ruettimann (@lruettimann) November 6, 2014
Always marry for love. Always take a job for money. — Laurie Ruettimann (@lruettimann) November 13, 2014
Confident, smart people do not engage in self-deprecating humor.
— Laurie Ruettimann (@lruettimann) November 14, 2014
No creativity. No engagement. No authenticity. My clicks, retweets and @mentions are all up. Way up. Off the charts.
All it takes is a keen eye for the obvious and a twitter account.
Your resume can be one page or six pages. If you suck, you won't get the job.
— Laurie Ruettimann (@lruettimann) November 20, 2014
Can you imagine if I did this, like Vala, multiple times a day? I would be #1 on all of those management guru lists. But I would also be an asshole. Nobody wants that.
So after playing with my “management guru” tweeting strategy, I am killing it today. And I’ve been thinking of some of my smart friends who have thoughtful social media strategies.
* My friend Sarah White no longer takes photos at conferences and guards her privacy. Her personal brand now reflects important things in her life: work and family. She says that Twitter is a platform where lonely people talk to themselves. I resemble that remark.
* Jennifer McClure talks about personal branding, authenticity and social media in our little community quite a bit. She has great things to say about developing a personal brand and leveraging key sites — Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook pages, Slideshare — to build your online reputation. I am with her, too. You should use these tools to your advantage when they serve your purposes.
I think most of us occupy the grounded middle. There is probably a place where we can be on Twitter and offer smart things to say about our areas of experise. I haven’t found that place. I’m still sorta looking.
But if you want to make a deal with the devil and hang with other management gurus, the simple technique is to schedule meaningless tweets throughout the day. That’s it. Write things that are opaque and emotional. Be a vainglorious bastard. Gain a bunch of followers for no apparent reason. Buy your own hype.
But I think we can all do better than that.