How to Spot a Social Media Consultant

American Social Media Consultant

Digitus Guruist

(Often mistaken for the American Hipster, but never for the Ass-Throated North American Attorney.)



The American Social Media Consultant (also known as “Digital Guru,” “Aren’t You In IT?” and “Do You Know How To Download Apps?”) originated on the West Coast of the United States in the early 2000.  They have migrated to the Northeast, but clusters exist in Chicago and in and around Austin, Texas.

Commonly found working at PR, advertising and interactive agencies.


“Content is king.”

“It isn’t only about Facebook.”



The American Social Media Consultant has two distinct sub-species: Stout and Spindle-shanked.  However, both varieties share common traits, plumage and behavior.


The male of both species favor short, mussy hair generally styled with mousse to make it appear as if he has just awaken from a fitful night of sleep.  The male rarely shaves on a daily basis.  Many of the males grow facial hair (often during the autumn month of Movember).  The more outrageous the facial hair – the better.

A western spindle-shanked American Social Media Consultant with facial hair.


















Females of both varieties wear their hair long and often bundled into ponytails.  They can often be seen wearing unusual hats or dyeing their hair pink or purple.

Both males and females prefer custom-branded eyewear with thick frames.


Few American Consultants are as slovenly as the American Social Media Consultant.  Wrinkled and stained shirts are a regular feature.  Both sub-species prefer to wear retro t-shirts typically depicting subjects such as:

  • Punk rock bands (Ramones and The Clash are popular)
  • Defunct video arcade games (Space Invaders and Asteroids are common)
  • Iconic pop culture personalities (Bob Dylan, Che Guevara, Elvis)
  • Cynical or ironic phrases (“I liked this t-shirt before it went mainstream,” “Eastside, Westside, Genocide”)

Popular plumage includes iconic cultural personalities.











The female variety often wear plumage that could have been stolen from Stevie Nicks.  They like discrete tattoos on their mid-sections, lower back and on their rumps.  Nose rings are not uncommon.

The spindle-shanked variety likes to don skinny jeans and ankle-high boots.  Beware when they try to bend over and their flabby mid-sections (often held sucked in) desperately try to break free of the constraints.  The stout sub-species wear their t-shirts extra-large to hide their ample mid-sections and they like baggy jeans and khaki pants (some even dare to use elastic waist bands).


There are six commonly associated behaviors associated with the species (considered one of the obnoxious breeds by experts):

  • Presenting PowerPoint slides to clients and associates, commonly at trade shows and conferences.  These presentations are generally riddled with profanity and rely heavily on self-deprecating humor.
  • Avoiding eye contact because of an addiction to their smartphones, most often an iPhone or Droid.  They constantly interrupt conversations to tap away at keyboards while insisting that they are, indeed, listening (they are, in fact, playing Angry Birds).
  • Getting drunk on expense accounts at SXSW and/or BlogWorld conferences.
  • Bickering and sniping at one another in the comments sections of blogs or on Twitter, mostly on insignificant trivia and details that bore everyone but a small nesting of their closest peers.
  • Declaring their peers who they aren’t sniping with or who link to their blogs “geniuses.”
  • Declaring things “Dead” or “Over” just as it is being widely adopted by the mainstream.

Warning: American Social Media Consultants are considered an invasive species and its population is surging while threatening species such as the Failed Author Ad Copy Writer, I’m Really An Artist Graphic Designer and Rumpled Ex-Journalist PR Guy.


  1. 2012 PR33 – Top PR / Communications Blogs « Paul Roberts on PR - January 16, 2012

    […] HighTalk by George Snell Twitter: @HighTalk One of this blogger’s most recent discoveries. Not sure how his blog didn’t find its way to the top of the must read list earlier, but thanks to a local (Boston) industry event (Publicity Club of New England) the introduction was made and George’s writing did the rest. Usual disclaimer, this post isn’t the reason he is on the list, but it is a good sample – How to Spot a Social Media Consultant. […]

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