The Word Elite Should Not Be In Your Social Media Vocabulary

By: Guest | December 8, 2010 | 

Guest post by David Murray, director of social web communications for re:group.

Look up the definition of the word “elite,” and you get the following:

A group or class of persons or a member of such a group or class, enjoying superior intellectual, social, or economic status.

The best or most skilled members of a group.

    If there is one thing I’ve observed this past year, it is that the tolerance for excess and elitism has hit an all time low. Now more than ever, we look for true value in the products, services, and people we’ve committed our limited time to. This is especially true when it comes to social media.

    We need to re-examine the word elite. If you really want to be “elite” in anything, let alone the social web, then you need to do the following:

    • Empower – If you are in a position of influence, then you have a responsibility to encourage others to move forward with their ideas and projects. Empower the people you surround yourself with (your community) opportunities to do their best work.
    • Learn – Never rest on your laurels. You will have a limited shelf life if you are the expert of just one thing. Your biggest resource (people) is at your finger tips. You owe it to yourself to learn something new every day.
    • Include – Build something that other people can be a part of. Let them help with the process. You’ll discover that what you create as a whole will be better than anything you could do alone. Include others in the process.
    • connecT – You have to pay it forward. Know of a job lead, project, or speaking gig that someone would be perfect for? Make it happen by connecting the person with the opportunity. People remember who helped them. Help others by connecting.
    • Execute – The people we look up to don’t concern themselves with how they are going to do something. They just know they have to do something. The results are not nearly as important as taking the risk to make something happen. Stop talking and execute.

    Individual achievements should take a backseat to the achievements and value of the communities they serve. The people doing good work are not elite. Their actions may be, but only in the respect that they are working on something that is much bigger than themselves.

    If by following the above suggestions you find yourself in a position of influence, then thank the people who helped you get there. Thank them and provide them opportunities to excel, because they will ultimately decide if you are worth their time. The social web doesn’t have room for elite, but it does have plenty of room for those who empower others.

    David Murray serves as the director of social web communications for re:group. In his spare time he works on additional projects like FutureMidwest, The Hungry Dudes, and Social Media Club Detroit.

    • patrickreyes

      I know that guy! Typical awesome post from Dave Murray who definitely practices what he preaches.

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    • I know this is what the post was directly about, but you seemed to touch on an aspect of humility, something that I think is key in everything you do, not just social media. The reason why people like gini dietrich , danny brown , joeystrawn , edwardboches , and yourself seem to do so well is that we all know that you know that you’re good at what you’re doing (obviously; you’re making a living by doing PR/Advertising/Social Media/etc.), but we also know that you’re very humble and very appreciative of the people, experiences, and genuine hard work that has/have gotten you where you are; you haven’t forgotten that nothing was easy and that you’re still learning It’s all about the big picture, not yourself, and you all get that. This post proves that about you as well .

      Great write up, David. Sorry I got on my soap box, that happens from time to time 😉

    • Oh Mr. Murr, you are so wise. 🙂

      I love your suggestions on what being elite really means. Being deemed “elite” or an “influencer” doesn’t give you the right to be arrogant and think you are better than others.

      Like you said, if you find yourself in a position of influence, use it to spread goodness. Share your knowledge, empower others, share job/industry tips and resources….simply help others. Give back, because you wouldn’t be where you are today if it weren’t for the support and guidance from others.

      You have helped shape me in several ways, and I’ll never forget that. 🙂

    • KevinCesarz

      Love this post Dave, and the line “if there is one thing that past year has taught us is that tolerance for excess and elitism has hit an all-time low.” Your work is only as powerful as your connections.

    • @KevinCesarz Thank you Kevin. We are quickly entering the stage where best practices will determine who will excel in the social media space.

    • @KevinCesarz Thank you Kevin. We are quickly entering the stage where best practices will determine who will excel in the social media space.

    • @Nikki_Stephan Thank you Nikki 🙂 It is funny how being helpful is really what it boils down to, huh? Thank you for your kind words. I am glad I helped in my small way.

    • @patrickreyes Thank you Patrick. You are good people.

    • @JMattHicks ginidietrich dannybrown joeystrawn edwardboches This is without a doubt one of the best comments I’ve received. Thank you for your insight and for putting things into perspective for me. When you are in the trenches, it can be hard to see the value you provide. That it is why it is important to get honest feedback from people like yourself. Thank you!

    • bradmarley

      You know, in a world where a lot of us tend to focus on the negative, I really enjoyed your positive spin on the word “elite.” Thanks for writing this.

    • geoffliving

      Nice post, David!

    • @DaveMurr ginidietrich dannybrown joeystrawn edwardboches Thanks for sharing, and keep doing what you’re doing!

    • ginidietrich

      What I love most about this guest post is it fits like a nice little ball into my community building secret sauce equation. I spoke in Charlotte today and I kept saying over and over and over again, “This is not about you. Stop thinking about it from your perspective. This is about your customers, your prospects, your employees.” I may steal your acronym and put it into a little slide. I’ll credit you. Thanks for hanging out with us for a couple of days!

    • ginidietrich

      @bradmarley Um. Spin sucks. Could you use a different word? Perhaps “approach”?? 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @JMattHicks What @DaveMurr said! You, Jeremy, are a fine man even if you throw your Power Rangers.

    • ginidietrich

      @DaveMurr Um, we need to have a talk. @patrickreyes has you fooled.

    • @ginidietrich LOL But I’ve never thrown my Power Rangers! BUT, I DID through a fit ABOUT my Power Rangers at the Minneapolis airport that dreadful, dreadful day. Please don’t make me relive it. That wound is still fresh after all these years!

    • ginidietrich

      @JMattHicks And yet just the mention got you riled up. Bwahahahah!

    • @ginidietrich Really? It’s his seedy eyes. They always trick me.

    • @geoffliving Thanks Geoff.

    • @ginidietrich I try to communcate the same thing to our clients – it’s not about you. Stop thinking like a company, and start thinking like a consumer who would be looking for the type of services you provide.

      Thank you for having me as a guest poster contributer person 🙂

      Seriously, thank you very much. Feel free to use whatever you wish.