Over the course of the last year, I have seen quite a few people call themselves Social Media Experts and have even referred to a few as such myself but lately I have started to wonder what truly makes someone a social media expert…
5 Things That DO NOT Make You a Social Media Expert
- Having an account on every social media site – simply using social media networking sites does not qualify you to be an expert
- Nonstop posting on every social media site – just like number one, your activity is not what defines you as an expert
- Having a large number of followers – there are so many ways to get fans/friends/followers until that doesn’t qualify you either
- Getting a celebrity shout out – I see people who follow and post to people that they don’t know hoping to get a shout out and then somehow feel validated that they have arrived when that elusive mention is attained… sorry, that doesn’t qualify either
- You’ve taken a class or done some research on social media marketing – just like taking a chemistry class doesn’t make you a chemist; neither does having knowledge of social media…
I know that I haven’t arrived to the place of considering myself a social media expert based on my own criteria and that’s ok. You may not have either (based on my criteria) but I would ask you to consider ways to improve in these areas before using the title “expert“.
- You have an understanding of your target market on each social media network and present targeted messages to your audience versus posting the same information across all networks. Yes, that can be extremely time-consuming especially considering there are so many sites that allow for integration and automation but if you are serious about social networking then you understand that different people get information from different places and that each social network has a targeted audience. The key is figuring out how your brand fits within that larger demographic. There is a reason that Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, etc can all coexist and continue growing. They are each speaking to people in different ways. Is your brand doing the same? Can you identify the differences between your audiences on each network?
- You have an understanding of how your messages enhance your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This may require some research to develop a technique of creating messages that drive traffic to your website while also improving your rank among search engines in the area that you specialize. I know that a lot of people Google themselves and feel a sense of pride when their sites are prominently displayed among the first five pages. However, to be considered an expert, you should be able to Google what you specialize in and also see your sites displayed.
- You have an engaged audience. Remember when I said that having a large number of friends/fans/followers did not make you an expert? That’s because you can have a large number of people in your network but they don’t engage with your message. They may be following you for one of several reasons but the main reasons you want people in your professional network are to buy what you are selling, to tell other people to buy what you are selling and/or to interact with you and help to build your influence so that people will buy what you are selling.
- You are being paid to use social media. I further know that I am not an expert because for the most part, I use social media for free. Outside of the business that I obtain from my clients, no one is paying me to use social media. Most experts have an audience that is so targeted and engaged until corporations pay them to attend events, to give away items and to promote their brands because they know that when they speak/post people are not only listening but they are also responding. Companies do research to determine whether you are an expert worthy of their investment and this research is more detailed than just looking at your numbers.
Some of us use social media to keep in contact with friends/family; to entertain ourselves and sometimes other people or just because we like the idea of our voices being heard outside of our heads. Whatever your reason, enjoy it! Check out the links to your right to connect with me. I’m not an expert but I try to keep you entertained and sometimes inspired