Over the holidays my friend Pete Cashmore (yes ladies, we are friends and he is just as handsome in real life) wrote a post about how there was currently 15,740 “Social Media Experts” on Twitter.
That is a ridiculous number and one so big that it would almost be impossible to differentiate yourself within. This kinda makes me feel a little sad for all these experts because it takes a lot of hard work to be an expert at something and to have so many others with the same expertise you could almost make an argument that there is no expertise in actually becoming a Social Media Expert…..and that is kind of the point.
Social media is just a set of tools and a mindset that can be learned quite quickly with very little guidance. Pick up Mitch Joel’s, or Chris Brogan/Julien Smith’s books and you will have the foundation to start experimenting. If you are looking for help ask questions before you hire people and since there are so many of these experts out there be selective and remember you are the client with (hopefully) clear objectives beyond “We need a Facebook Fan Page” and always remember the wise observation I dropped on a group of folks recently while speaking on a Social Media Panel for Media Bistro and that was “all it takes it takes to become a SME is Get some business cards”
You may be saying to yourself that I am writing this because I am pissing on the ground and marking my territory but in truth I have never been a Social Media Expert nor do I want to be because the designation is far too limiting for what I do.
I am an award winning Word of Mouth marketer who happens to understand Social Media and uses it as a way to create interesting and talk able experiences.
In the new year I hope everyone aspires to be something more than just one of 15,740 all doing the same thing and brand themselves by actual skill because a shift is coming where people will have to start proving their expertise and not just talking about it.
Happy New Year everyone….even the Social Media Experts.