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Did Guy Kawasaki Inadvertently Admit That He Doesn’t Use Social Networking?

Eat your own dog food. – Guy Kawasaki

Whistleblowers have received a great deal of a publicity over the past five years or so. Today one of the champions of social networking, Guy Kawasaki, inadvertently became the latest whistleblower when he revealed on Linkedin what he really thinks social networking. Apparently a team of assistants handle most of his social media tools, thereby, allowing him to spend his time more wisely. Isn’t this is the same Guy Kawasaki who published a book on Google + last year and touts social media at every opportunity? One of Guy’s most famous pieces of advice for entrepreneurs is that they must “eat their own dog food.”

It sounds as if Guy doesn’t really care for dog food.

Social networking: The Great Circle Jerk

Social networking: The Great Circle Jerk

Here is the Linkedin article by Guy: How I Manage My Social Media Presence

The piece starts off with Guy sharing all the social media tools he uses including one he co-founded. This is all mildly interesting for those of us not sold on social media as an activity with a positive ROI. Kudos to him for not mentioning what is perhaps the most egregious waste of time ever devised to consume the lives of the lonely and unproductive, namely Klout. (If you use Klout, please leave this site immediately. You are an embarrassment to your yourself, your family, and your ancestors. Your mere presence taints us, okay?)

Many people ask me how I manage my social media accounts (and others make stuff up rather than figure out what I do). Here are the gory, inside-story details

Then it gets interesting in the second half because Guy openly admits that he does little that he does little of his social networking himself.

On LinkedIn, I am Guy Kawasaki. Peg Fitzpatrick takes my Google+ posts and publishes them to LinkedIn using Buffer. One of the cool things about Buffer is that you can post to Facebook and LinkedIn at the same time, so this is easy.

On Pinterest, I’m Guykawasaki, but Peg Fitzpatrick manages my Pinterest presence.

Facebook and LinkedIn: Peg Fitzpatrick reposting some of my Google+ posts as well as new material.

Don’t get the impression that there is a huge team of people doing what I described above. The total of all resources, excluding my own activities, is one full time person and the additional editors at HolyKaw. You don’t need a big team, you just need the right team.

Does social networking actually work? The answer is that it can for a small number of people who were celebrities before it appeared and already had a following. We have no doubt that it pays off for Guy even if he is actually delegating most of the work to others. For those who don’t know him, Guy has been publishing books since the 90s and doing the rubber chicken circuit. During that time he has attracted tens of thousands of followers who have, not surprisingly, subscribed to his various social marketing feeds.

The real question then is does it work for the other 99.999% of Internet users?

The answer is no.

In most cases, it’s nothing more than a blackhole for your time and energy. The only parties who really profit from it are companies like Facebook that provide the platforms in exchange for billions of page views and the ability to data mine you to your core.

The Shotgun vs the Rifle

We are not telling you not to use it. Rather we are pointing out that fact that good old fashioned sales & marketing which requires an investment of time and effort will pay off more than sending tweets and updates into cyberspace. Recall the old marketing analogy. With the rifle approach you have to put in the time to find the right prospects for your product or service before pulling the trigger. With the shotgun approach you just blast away wildly hoping that you will hit something. Most of social marketing is nothing more than shot gun blasts that do little more than add noise to an already noisy Internet.

From now on pay close attention to who is pushing social marketing. You will quickly notice that it’s invariably authors of books on the subject and bloggers trying to make buck off it as consultants.


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5 Responses to Guy Kawasaki Admits Social Networking is a Time Waster?

  • I don’t do anything inadvertently.

    • It depends on your industry. If you are in an industry that likes social proof in the form of social media metrics then it is not a time waste. If you’re in an industry that doesn’t care if you have a perfect Klout score, then it doesn’t. It’s pretty simple. I’m guessing that guy does not. He’s also Guy, so there is a level of “Klout” that comes without needing to do any extra work. Others whom would like to develop a reputation would need to do some work. And in truth, Guy has done more indirectly with Social Media than he lets on. Any time you speak to a group of people with cell phones, expect some social media buzz on some level. Then multiply it by the amount of times he’s spoken.

  • So it’s true then?

  • Alexis,you are too funny about Klout. I tried it for a while until it began consuming too much of my time. It can quickly become a full time non paying job if you don’t watch out.

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