11 Controversial Ways to Become a Social Media Authority

This is a guest post by Darren Monroe.

You don’t always have to be controversial as in devils advocate to stand out and build credibility. All you have to do is be willing to say the uncommon things while delivering quality content. And yes that matters in social media as well as blogs. I dare you to be controversial and challenge the social media status quo in the following ways.

11. Support the ideology of building a serious following over followers. Instead of concerning yourself with 10,000 followers for social proof. Focus on a core 500 for serious performance. Remember social media is just as much about partnerships as it is about building your customer base and clientele. The power is in the quality of the following not the followers.

10. Block and break open an explanation. There are some who need to be removed from your social media circles. I remember having this guy who I had to ban from stalking me on social media about a contest. He decided to get really nasty and talk about me directly via social media. I decided to give a unofficial series of messages in a polite yet firm tone explaining why this person was banned. I also followed up with suggestions for others to handle similar situations. Yes it was an unfortunate situation but the return was a greater respect in how I handled that incident.

9. Be willing to walk away. If you truly believe that Facebook is a waste of your time and you could use your time better building your business etc. Then your most likely right so walk away. But make sure the time you were putting into Facebook is giving you the return you thought it would.

8. Enforce what you endorse. This is a common saying of mine. If your promoting another blog, a affiliate program or your own products. Be responsive and willing to explain what you posted. Also be willing to share the details of your post. A friendly yet direct debate about something you posted will take you far in credibility.

7. Raise hell then send him to college. What I mean by this is that IF you are going to “get attention” make sure you have an ultimate means to an end. And that doesn’t always mean money or credibility. The concept of perspective can sometimes be just as powerful. I made a major argument against the super powerful merchant powerpay. This conversation in a forum a few years back opened up Pandora’s box. But the end result was a greater respect for my perspective. Raising hell is one thing but educating why you are doing that is another.

6. Take a public stance against discrimination of any kind. IF you want to build your ranking as an authority be willing to fight against discrimination.

5. Say substantive things beyond the popular quotes. The popularity of posting quotes across social media is well documented. I have shared thousands of quotes. But if you want to lead challenge the quoting and ask as well as provide substance. Inspirational sayings are nice. However if you want to become an authority in social media circles dare to inspire even at the risk of losing face.

4. Fight Twitter for your friends. One day Twitter decided to remove all of the friends from several accounts calling them spammers. I knew several of them. The people I knew were by no means spammers. I traded tweets with twitter staff for days. One friend a spiritual person who would never spam lost 22,000 followers. So I created a campaign called “Twitter Thinks Only Spammers follow God”. Then tweeted it for days and shortly twitter returned my friends following.

3. Join a movement. I was one of the first 10 people to join the FREE Iran movement in 2009 by going green. I had no idea it would get me international media attention from every corner of the earth. Honestly I didn’t do it for that. I did it to rebel against what I felt were unfair elections.

2. Make a bold prediction. I told people at one point I thought twitter would die. Of course this was before they changed CEO’s. But it indeed raised some eyebrows and got some attention when I started telling people in the mist of the Twitter blow up to concentrate LESS on Twitter. The idea here was to bring up alternative ways to grow your following.

1. Tell the unpopular truth. I believe in being real versus popular. That doesn’t earn you the biggest respect from the cheerleader squad. But the thinkers of the group will definitely take notice. People are looking for leaders that are bold and honest.

Your Controversial Thoughts

Ok, so they might not be controversial, but have you ever tried using one of the above tactics or another to increase your social media presence? Share your experience, and the results, in the comments.

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  1. says

    Hi Darren,

    Thanks for the informative post. I do have a question, though. You mentioned how Twitter falsely accused several of your friends of being spammers. Did Twitter ever offer an explanation of any kind? If not, do you have any guesses as to why your friends may have been singled out?

    This, by the way, is one of the reasons why I am hesitant to invest too much time in social media. I’ve heard too many stories of social media accounts being suspended for no reason.

    Thanks again!
    Antonio del Drago just posted Lessons From The Wire- Character Development and Contrast

  2. says

    Hey Antonio thanks for the comment imannnn! LOL hey I will tell you this brother….

    Twitter is bipolar! LOL they didn’t “single my friends out” they several times throughout the last 3 years did this to anyone. I helped people because they needed help mostly for FREE back then. They became friends but frankly I didn’t know them from Adam LOL

    Twitter does that insane stuff (though less these days) when a spammer violates them. There is no “why” or explanation of twitter than there is facebook.

    OK last note you should do social media if it is something your passionate about and want to do. I am great with SM and very controversial as well LOL sometimes.

    But Seth Godin the great marketer said “hey Darren I am not doing social media only RSS my blog because I dont like it and dont think I will be talented at it” – he is also the same guy that responds to ALL of his email so I guess he says thats enough.
    Darren Scott Monroe just posted Get Paid 1 Million Dollars to Scratch Your Butt and Sniff Podcast

  3. says

    Hi Darren!

    I’m a big fan of being on the ‘unpopular’ side, so I can definitely relate with this post in so many ways!

    You really explored something here that is becoming more and more apparent to not only social media specialist, but everyone on the internet today. You must be original, outgoing and do something truly different. Be ‘anti’-something, be ‘for’-something, be ‘supportive’-something.

    In the end, it’s about being there and making connections and not worrying about a huge following. Just let it happen. :)

    Morgan just posted Is Twitter an Effective Marketing Tool 5 Tips That Will Help

  4. says

    I have encountered my share of nasty people, those who really are out to say bad things about you. But, as long as you know that you’ve done nothing wrong and you respond politely and explain your side of the matter with calmness. That’s okay, people or readers can see through it and they would know.

    I liked the way you numbered your posts. You truly are being different in a good way! Shows that you are practicing what you preach.

  5. says

    I have found that, as in real life, its often NOT the quality content that makes people stick to you but something else, like your nose, your dress up, your style or something else.
    Life is unfair, and social media is no different.

  6. says

    Twitter is an amazing resource! You just need to space out your posts. You’ll lose a lot of followers if you think you’re going to go on and post as many updates as you can in an hour’s time. It all goes back to Darren’s #7 — you need an overarching strategy. So many businesses are placing a greater stake in their social media, but you have to ask yourself, “Am I using it for dialogue or to announce company updates? Do I want to run contests and get people engaged, or do I just want another placeholder online?” You get back what you put in… unless you’re a spammer of course. :)
    Michael just posted Introduction To Points And Paths In Adobe Illustrator

  7. says

    Darren mate!

    You had me at hello! Seriously that first tip (or last?) got me thinking already – because I totally agree that it is better to focus on a targeted few than try and shout to the masses.
    I have been shouting to my ‘masses’ on Twitter and all it gets me is a hoarse voice and angry followers.

  8. says


    OMGosh, how fun to see your face and post here on the site. I enjoyed the read and I remember the night I saw your face “go green” on Twitter. I wasn’t aware you were one of the first few that did it.

    Hope you’ve been doing well. :-)

    Michelle @mmangen

  9. says

    I noticed this article elsewhere and my comment there was to focus on what’s in it for the followers! Too many leaders like leading so much they forget that followers are following for their reasons – not the leaders.

    True leaders focus on where the best interests of the pack lie.

    That being said if you are authentic and real then the above tips might actually come naturally to you instead having to learn or practice them.
    Gary Hewett just posted Using a Linux ssh tunnel to solve RDP slowdown issues

  10. says

    Outside of the first 3 (which some might interpret as counter-intuitive, but are a very persuasive arguments for quality over quantity both in terms of social media followers and use of time), I don’t know these are necessarily controversial so much as they are examples of being individualist, honest, and standing by your opinion in a social media sphere that has become increasingly collectivist. Supportive of the fact that maintaining your integrity in the face of being different will help you rise above the collective.

    That said, I think these principles are equally valuable as ways of conducting yourself in your actual social circle. I don’t see why values like integrity and individualism shouldn’t extend beyond social media and into your everyday life.

    O, and somebody tell the folks at Kenneth Cole about #7.

  11. says

    I admire any blogger willing to stand by his or her convictions and always do the right thing. We CAN create a better world by knowing what is ethical and refusing to be coerced into doing what is not.

    Telling the unpopular truth is definitely something bloggers who are visionaries must do. I took on Automattic and Akismet and warn against multi-national Corporations and monopolies – especially Google. While some may think I am just plain crazy, those who are wise will at least be open to reading why I believe what I do.

    I am glad Kristi published your post so I found your blog. If you are interested in more guest posts I manage multiple blogs that can always use quality content.
    Gail Gardner just posted Google Monopoly- The Google Guillotine

  12. says

    I think becoming an authority requires being genuine. Just like you said its all about being who you really are.

    For instance, I would much rather have someone who is in it for himself be upfront about that and I could still have a relationship with them. If they pretend to be about something else though it doesn’t usually work out.
    Seth W just posted Login Lockdown for WordPress

  13. says

    Interesting post, Darren. I have to agree with you on concentrating on building a real following on Twitter than an impressive follower count. I think this message is finally starting to sink in with people, but it’s still hard to keep that “he’s only got 200 followers” mentality from creeping in.

    I’m reminded a lot that the internet is forever. Who knows what database or person is collecting the information or for what purposes, but rest assured it’s likely out there somewhere. You might as well tell it like it is, even if it is unpopular.

    Thanks for mixing it up and getting us to think outside the box.
    Brad Harmon just posted 21 Resources for Writing Guest Posts that Kick Some Serious Butt

  14. says

    Darrrrren , nice to meet you

    that is a well written one major suggestion that I applaud – be yourself, and test test
    There are countless books on how to improve your creativity, strategies for social media, etc… but what happens when people start using the same even “sound-creative” strategies?
    It happens like in this true saying:
    “The democrats become conservatives”

    just do what you like. I achieve the best results by coincidence- my most successful articles, like one that received over 1400 visits in less than 6 hours were created by sheer coincidence, written in 15 minutes, etc.
    so, yes- be “controversial” meaning honest 😛

    all the best
    Martyna Bizdra
    Martyna Bizdra just posted At Last! Enter the Challenge and Win Over 300

  15. says

    I’m glad this was reposted because it’s a wonderfully written statement on how to deal with social media. I like your perspective on not wasting time and how to stand up to bullies. And I’m one of those people who every once in awhile tells the unpopular truth, and so far I’ve been agreed with all but one time; I can handle that. lol
    Mitch Mitchell just posted Keep Hope Alive