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Be a Social Media Master, Not a Social Media Expert

Posted on: September 23, 2011

How often do you see ‘social media expert’ in peoples LinkedIn profiles and Twitter Bio’s? A term so loosely thrown around in the social sphere that it holds about as much weight as rocking horse droppings. Apparently close to 16,000 people claimed to experts of the social media variety in 2009 and that number has more than likely increased to six figures by now. As social media becomes ever more embedded into business as it is to drink coffee in the morning and groan about Outlook (simultaneously), the term ‘social media expert’ will start to lose its perceived value or more likely be rejected altogether. Until then, lets look at what we should do in the mean time.

Someone who uses Hootsuite is no more the social media expert than a blog commenter is an SEO expert. So what do these people claim to be an expert in? The jargon? Platform restrictions? Facebook status updates? The perceived image of knowledge and authenticated ‘expertise’ jargon brings to the table is quite safely validated but reciting terms doesn’t make you an expert.

Conscious that I am repeating myself, social media will embark further on business and as it does, these ‘social media experts’ will need to provide proof of their claimed credentials by demonstrating knowledge of customer satisfaction, sales, ROI (lorks!), strategies, clients, pitches, idea generation, multiplatform marketing, demographic profiling, competitor analysis and HR to name a few. The saying: ‘you can’t roll faeces in sugar and call it a doughnut’ springs to mind.

So here is the dénouement, or the compromise if you will. If you are insistent upon calling yourself a social media expert then how about thinking as a social media master. I will explain:

Keep Pushing Yourself

  • Like a kung fu master, a social media master should constantly be trying to push himself/herself to be better practiced and more knowledgeable. Social media is fast paced and forever changing. Keep up or be left behind.

Take Inspiration

  • A kung fu master will also take inspiration, both good and bad from their surroundings and use it positively to be stronger and better at what they do. Be a social sponge and try to read as much and learn as much as possible.

Dedicate Yourself

  • Dedication. I don’t do kung fu but if you want to be good at something, it takes time and dedication in massive equal proportions! There really is no substitute for hard work and whatever you want to do, you must work hard at it.

Enjoy It

  • We used to have to work 50 years of our lives but it looks like it will be longer than that now (thanks David). So whatever you choose, make sure you enjoy it!
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