If I had a nickel for every Social Media Expert I came across, this blog post would be about how close I came to an ace back on 16.
"Expert" is a term used very loosely, which intrigues me.
To me, an expert is someone with unique, specialized knowledge that is practically inaccessible to the average person.
Neurosurgeons. Laser Scientists. Nuclear Chemists. Those are experts.
Dominos Pizza, I noticed, is referring to themselves as "Pizza Delivery Experts". Really? Is it especially difficult to acquire the knowledge needed to put a pizza in a car and find an address?
Though not to the same extent, I feel the same way about "Social Media Experts". It is not especially difficult to acquire the knowledge needed to participate in online conversations. The difference between simply doing it and doing it well is noticeable. But the point is, with a little effort and dedication, anyone can do it. Some will be better than others because they possess that charisma and appeal (yes, it's evident even online) that makes them popular and respected. Others will be successful because they engage in the online experience more frequently, and for longer periods of time. But all that being said, there's no reason to think that everyday people can't discover the keys to social networking prominence.
I call myself an Advisor. I have advice that I can offer to people and organizations less inclined to make the effort that I have made. If I do my job well, I will share with them all the techniques I have come to embrace in a manner that inspires them to participate in the movement.
My good friend @HiDavidHicks has a blog called hibasme, which is an acronym for How I Became A Social Media Enthusiast. I like that.
I also like that Subway Restaurants now refers to their minimum-wage, behind-the-counter staff as "Sandwich Artists" rather than "Sandwich Experts".
TAKEAWAY FOR YOU:
- You will come across many Social Media Experts. Some much better than others. The best you can do is determine for yourself what you want to take from them, then have them convince you they can do that.
- The next best thing you can do is try it for yourself. If you have the inclination and the (ever-elusive) time, set up some profiles/accounts/pages and play around. Listen. Engage. Take notice of what you like and apply that to your business.
- Finally, in your own company, be careful about labeling yourself as something that you aren't. Your customers will notice and you will lose valuable credibility and brand respect.
Always interested in opinion... especially from Experts!