Let me start off by saying that this posting was inspired by Peter Shankman’s blog post I Will Never Hire a “Social Media Expert,” and Neither Should You.
What got me excited about his Peter’s blog post was that he was addressing a topic that has irked me for ages: the use of “expert”, “guru” or “savant” when touting ones own abilities.’ The issue I take with this form of nomenclature is that when you dub yourself an “expert” at anything, you are labelling yourself as someone who doesn’t think they have anything left to learn.
Historically, these are the individuals are those who have the most to learn.
By calling yourself a “social media expert”, you are essentially marketing yourself as is a two dimensional individual who doesn’t grasp the volatile and expansive nature of any form of new media.
If your expert status is derived from, let’s say, your non-stop presence on Facebook, or your religiously updated Twitter feed, or the vastness of your Mayoral empire onFoursquare. If these mundane acts make you an expert in social media, then sign me up for Nascar, driving myself to work, to school and the mall a couple of times makes me an expert at driving.
There does, however, need to be a delineation between being an expert and having expertise. Being very new to the social media game, there are a LOT of things a person needs to know in order to be effective with social media.
This is due to the fact that everyday, a new start-up, with new technology, or a new idea is being released. You need to know:
7 Priceless tips On How To Go Viral,
How To Write a Blog Post,
How To Make a Video Look More Professional,
How To: Use Social Media During Your Family Vacation,
How To Post Good Content On Twitter,
Can You Facebook Too Much?,
And So On, And So On.
There are a myriad of things people need to know if order to be successful at using it, unless you have an innate sense of how to use it -which some people do-.
Knowing how to use social media is like knowing how to bake bread.
It isn’t the HARDEST thing in the world to master, but you can tell the difference between a Pillsbury Oven-Ready Bread and an authentic five-star French baguette.
This simple fact would never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER discourage me from advertising my (yet to be acquired) proficiency at social media on a resume.
Yes social media is “another arrow in the quiver of marketing”, but it is definitely an arrow that many organizations are lacking or, as the blog post from Peter tangentially moved into, are using ineffectively yet claiming they know what they are doing.
It is also an arrow that can be used effectively in other proverbial quivers. Be they the quiver of discussion, networking or community development. I’m sure there are even quivers that have yet to be tapped, but surely will be by the new media entrepreneurs who have done so much thus far.
What are your thoughts? Are people able to be experts in social media, or simply just have expertise in social media?
Is there space for social media to exist outside of marketing?