I’ve had some people label me a social media “expert” whenever I’m a guest speaker at various events. I have never really been comfortable with that term and here’s why:
Reason #1: Social media hasn’t been around long enough for anyone to be considered an expert, especially me. Social media is one of the fastest growing and ever-changing industries we’ve seen to date. Who can keep up with it? I certainly do not have 25 years of experience in social media or even a fraction of that.
Reason #2: I don’t have a doctorate in “social media” nor does anyone else. There is talk of social media universities and PhD‘s but, like Reason #1, social media hasn’t been around enough years required of an appropriate designation. More importantly, just about anyone can start a social media business and call themselves a “guru” without any knowledge of what they are doing. When I started my business, I had knowledge of building a community from a previous job as well as a communications degree and a few years of marketing experience, but that certainly doesn’t make me an expert.
Reason #3: Social media is constantly changing. Just when I knew all there was to know about Facebook “like” pages, Facebook changed AGAIN! There has not been enough consistent data to accurately measure the effect of social media over a long period of time. We do know it works, for some businesses, if done correctly… but that’s about it! I can’t guarantee a business anything concrete, simply because it could change tomorrow.
Here’s what I can do. I can evaluate your business goals and challenges and determine a social media strategy or management plan that will enhance your current traditional (and non-traditional) efforts. I will work to engage your fans and followers by offering them more than static sales messages. I will use social media to drive traffic to your website or blog. I will work to build a community around your brand. And, I can offer exceptional customer service and follow-up, access to a human being 24/7, and someone who work tirelessly to represent your business and your brand online while conveying a message of value to your audience, potential customers, and current customers.
Call me a social media consultant, manager or strategist. Whatever you do don’t call me an expert or a guru!
Excellent post, you're absolutely right about the ever-changing world of Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms. One thing I've seen certain folks struggle with is the lack of immediate, measure results when it comes to their social media presence but that's why it's important to develop a strategy and stick to it!