3 Traits of True Social Media Experts

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Expert by Pete Prodoehl is a Creative Commons image.

In recent years and months the Web has been flooded by social media experts. They’re everywhere you move, you can’t escape them it seems. There is one problem though: Social media as such exist only for a few years.

How can you consider someone an expert who has just 2 or 3 years of experience or even less?

Some social media in the stricter sense like StumbleUpon exist since 2002 but most people, especially the marketers who refer to themselves as experts joined later on, somewhere around 2005+, in the case of SU more 2007+.

So are there true social media experts at all? Yes, there are. How can you spot them among the plethora of self proclaiming ones? It’s easy. True social media experts display the following 3 traits:

Social media experts don’t call themselves social media experts.

It’s like with every other discipline. You can call yourself specialist, professional, consultant or whatever but you can’t refer to yourself as an expert unless others do, or rather only other people can call you an expert. Otherwise you’re simply boasting. So true social media experts won’t tell you that they are experts actually. They will point of what they accomplished, how long they are using specific social media “channels” etc. They might cite others referring to them as experts in reviews or testimonials.

There is no social media.
Imagine someone calling himself media expert. What media is s/he an expert in? Print media? Radio? TV? “Multimedia”? There are journalists, photographers or scientists studying media but there are no sicla media experts because there are no unified social media. Social media is a huge term basically containing everything you do online communicating unless it’s email. So you can be a Twitter expert, Digg top user or Power-Stumbler but you can’t be possibly in all social media. Mastering even one of those sites or tools requires a huge amount of time and commitment, how do you imagine to master all? I’m a complete Facebook noob. After one year of Twitter, I’m an advanced user of it. After almost 2 years of StumbleUpon I still struggle with it despite more tan 15k stumbles.

Real social media experts don’t reply to emails or answer calls.
You can coment on their blog or reply to their tweets. You can follow them or subscribe to them but they won’t reply via media or phone. Not only because they use other media, the “social media” but also because they are overwhelmed with time consuming social media participation.  Also due to a gigantic boom in social media marketing they have potential clients flocking to them like the gold diggers to Klondike during the gold rush. There are  simply put only a few social media experts out there and the demand by an overwhelming margin surpasses the supply.

Of course I oversimplified, I might even err but I’m no social media expert myself so how can I know? ;-) This post was inspired by this rant.

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