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The Art of Social Cadillac -ing

Photo Credit: Olivander – Cadillac of the Skies

This post has been driving around in my head for some time now and reading Benn’s recent post: Does Nice Make You Credible really put the pedal to the metal in my head …

I was watching some target marketing the other day. Yes, some of you would call that “watching commercials” … but it is more than that. I was watching the HGTV network and one of my favorite marketing pieces that was aimed at my demographic (30-something, upper middle-class professional) came on. It was an ad for a new Cadillac. It was not my favorite Cadillac ad, you know … the one where the girl asks, “When you turn your car on, does it return the favor?” because THAT one rocks.

This particular ad talked about how Cadillac owners are not people who enjoy “social camouflage” … woah. That was a great term. Social Camouflage.

This made me think about all the hubalub surrounding social media and networking.

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What is Social Camouflage?

There are many of us who are comfortable in the world of social camouflage … lurkers. These are the folks who are perfectly content to read all the different blog posts out there and maybe offer up a little comment here or there. They may even have their own blogs, but chances are no one knows where they stand on any particular issue. Of course there is nothing wrong with this, as there are different strokes for different folks, and it takes all kinds of people to make up the world we like to call the blogosphere.

However, there are those in the blogosphere who stand out. And of those who “stand out” a few have mastered the art of Social Cadillac-ing.

What is Social Cadillac-ing?

Social Cadillacs, compared to those in the world of Social Camouflage, are out there. And I don’t mean “out there” in the way people reference ME from time to time, I mean OUT there … being social. And I am talking about being social in a Cadillac kind of way. Social Cadillac-ing.

  • Social Cadillacs are not born; they are intentionally made from the goal to become the best they can be.
  • These people know who they are, who they stand for and what they want.
  • Other people know who these Social Cadillacs are, what they stand for and what they want.
  • They are not afraid to be bold and opinionated, without being a bulldozing, flame throwing Social Tank.
  • They are educated and display their intelligence without coming across as pompous.
  • A Social Cadillac makes people want them… and it works. People want to read what they write, JUST BECAUSE they wrote it, if for no other reason.
  • A Social Cadillac is predominately classy, but not afraid to admit when they’ve made a complete Cimarron out of themselves.
  • Social Cadillac-ing is being seen as credible and is very important, but not at the risk of ever taking oneself too seriously.

It is the balance between the 4-door sedan and the Hummer-Rolls Royce hybrid. The balance between wading in the shallow end of the blog pool and getting eaten by sharks and drowning in the deep end.

Social Cadillac-ing is the art of being respected for WHO YOU ARE based on your history of being respectable.

So, the real question is… When you are out in the blogosphere, what are YOU driving?

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Written By

Mariana is a real estate agent and co-owner of the Wagner iTeam with her husband, Derek. She maintains the Colorado Springs Real Estate Connection Blog and is also a real estate technology trainer and coach. Mariana really enjoys helping real estate agents boost their businesses and increase their productivity through effective use of technology. Outside of real estate, blogging and training, she loves spending time with her husband and 2 sons, reading, re-watching Sci-Fi movies and ... long walks on the beach?



  1. Matthew Rathbun

    April 28, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    When you told me that I was referenced in your post, I thought it was to say that I was a Social Cadilac, but nah…. it was a reference to my list of folks who keep me guessing 🙂

    I am such a rookie in this social media network that I am still honored to know you folks who are so proficient in it. This is a great classiciation for the participants in this crazy world.

    Funny thing is that most of the folks who are lurking are probably wiser than those of us running our mouths and we’d do well to get them to speak out!

  2. Jay Thompson

    April 28, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    Damn, what a great post Mariana! Not everyone can (or wants to) be a Social Cadillac. And there are clearly some that think they are and they aren’t even really Social Hyundai-ing (not that there’s anything inherently wrong with Hyundai’s. I was going to say Social Pinto-ing, but you youngsters out there have probably never seen a Pinto. Anyone remember Vega’s?)

    “The balance between wading in the shallow end of the blog pool and getting eaten by sharks and drowning in the deep end.”

    That wins for my favorite blog sentence of the week.

    You’re not a Caddy, you are a Ferrari… Vroooommm!!!

  3. Mariana

    April 28, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    Matthew – You know, you bring up one of my (many) points that I did not get across … I would bet that MANY of the lurkers are wiser than the “Cadillacs” … Smart people talk and wise people listen.

    Jay – Thanks, but I feel more like a Social 23-Window VW MicroBus … ! There is a car for every person and a person for every car, and the same applies to online social behavior. It is the diversity that makes this place so fun.

  4. Glenn fm Naples

    April 29, 2008 at 9:20 am

    Mariana – great post and very thoughtful. Most people tend to “go with the flow” and never really express their opinions for fear of rejection. We need to be more respectful of agreeing to disagree and expression ourselves as such.

    Often we look at the exterior and never look under the hood – there could be more than what the exterior shows under the hood.

    BTW Jay – I do remember the Vega’s and the Corvair. 🙂

  5. Mariana

    April 29, 2008 at 9:58 am

    Glenn – I love the “look under the hood” comment. Kind of like people (of any profession) who preach how to run a business when, in fact, they are not successful on their own…

  6. Glenn fm Naples

    April 29, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Got to credit my son with that comment – he has a ’79 Corvette and he has done extensive work on the engine and transmission to increase horsepower and gas mileage. If one looks at the car it is a ’79 Corvette – but it is quite different than what came off the assembly line.

  7. Colorado Mortgage

    April 29, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    I wish more people would comment on forums. It seems like I see the same people over and over again. Most people must just read and move on.

  8. ines

    April 29, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    I gotta tell you that this article rocks! it’s my favorite post EVER that you have written and I so can relate. Some mornings you may be afraid to even drive, much less get in a Cadi – some other days the back seat will do, but it gets old and you want to take the wheel and run full speed until you get a ticket and it brings you back to reality.

    And you, my friend, fit into the social cadillac-ing category and especially in the “People want to read what they write, JUST BECAUSE they wrote it, if for no other reason”

  9. Mariana

    April 29, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Oh, Ines … Thank you, but I usually feel more like a VW than a Cadillac. I love your analogy about sitting in the back seat all the way through getting a ticket and bringing you back to reality! LOL!

  10. Jamie Geiger

    April 29, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    @Jay-My first car was a pinto-orange and brown, sorry to say I remember Vega’s and how about the Gremlins

    As a newer blogger, I lurk, I read and I learn everyday from the Cadillacs. I am coming out from under the hood and comment from time-to-time, trying to comment more- as I learn more about the social media world, blogging and such. So- I am still in driving school with my station wagon, and saving for my next car.

  11. Bill Lublin

    April 29, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    Mariana – You may be a Social Mercedes – what an awesome post, and what tremendous comments it generated – I feel like I’m a social short yellow bus next to this 🙂

    @Jay and Glenn – I remember the Pinto, My dad owned a Corvair (the boxy one that was “Unsafe at any Speed”, and even the Maverick – a car that Ford boasted could be completely disassembled with only a screwdriver!

  12. Mariana

    April 30, 2008 at 9:23 am

    Wade – Yes. Most people DO read and move on …

    Jamie – It took me about a year to leave the “comfort” of Active Rain and feel ready to comment on other blogs. However, I LOVE being involved (to a point) now. It takes time though.

    Bill – HA! The social short bus. More times than not, I am right there with you… But who is driving???

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