No Such Thing as a Social Media Expert

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If you have spent some time cruising around LinkedIn profiles, you will find that there are many people working in the social media industry who define themselves as Expert in their headline or position descriptions:

  • “Social Media Expert”
  • “Social Media Master”
  • “Social Media Guru”

The irony of the situation is that no one can be an expert in a rapidly evolving industry. You may be on top of a particular social media platform or third party application only to have the latest update knock the socks off your world and you are back in novice mode.

I have found that the media likes to label people.  I have done several radio (WKNU) and t.v. news guest spots (Fox 19/WLWT Channel 5 News) on various social media topics and the reporters always want to plug me as the ‘Social Media Expert’; I can usually get them to back down to the more palatable Social Media Guru title which seems to fit the situation a bit more appropriately- their label, not mine.

In the grand scheme of the knowledge scale, there are many of us who do know an awful lot about social media. Perhaps we were early adopters and have become complete enthusiasts constantly working to stay on top of the information game. We just may seem like experts to those making their entree at a much later stage of the industry development, but we have to realize that there is no end point. We can’t get to point B and state that we have arrived and lay claim to an Expert status.

The road to point B is a never-ending one and the best we can do is to continue to learn, to test, to fail and to continue on down the path of digital connectivity, all while leaving that Expert hat in the corner.

‘Cus the beast known as the Social Media Expert just doesn’t exist. If you think that you find one, make sure you aren’t dreaming….

Thanks to my good friend and fellow XU alum, Daniel Lally for an invigorating conversation that prompted me to write this post. You can hear more from Dan on 3/12/11 as he visits the New Media Cincinnati group to discuss Social Media Tragedies. Should be a sell-out crowd; stay tuned for ticket details.


4 thoughts on “No Such Thing as a Social Media Expert”

  1. I always tell prospects to flee rapidly if someone calls themselves a guru or an expert on social media. When they ask what I am I answer that I’m a pro. The difference is that I have happy, paying clients and the “experts” don’t.

    Then again I also tell my prospects not to listen to me but to check with those I’ve worked for / with before making any decisions on hiring me. I doubt you will ever hear that from an “expert.”

  2. Loki,

    I agree completely with your suggestion to prospects to check out what former clients have to say about your work. I make it a point to include a print-out of my LinkedIn recommendations with my C3 business materials for prospective clients. Many people don’t realize that LinkedIn gives you the ability from within your profile to print out a beautifully formatted PDF document. Set print to start on the page that begins the recos; print on your company stock paper and you have a nice document for clients to refer to and look at live on the site.

    Thanks for the comments!

  3. Oh Yeah! You had certainly made difference in briefing social media! I appreciate it! People are now concentrating more on social media marketing because it can easily dominate your market at little to no cost! I remember a statement :“Companies have no choice. This is where their customers are going.

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