Coming from a marketing degree and now interning at White Hat Media, it becomes apparent that companies in the industry are in a constant battle trying to define and prove their status as ‘social media experts’ against the online world throwing the term around so loosely.
As social media grows, more people are calling themselves a social media expert without any real knowledge. In 2009, 15,740 users on Twitter claimed to be social media experts. As social media is growing so quickly and with no official social media expert certification, it can be difficult to build a name for yourself as a true expert rather than just a well informed enthusiast.
It comes down to what defines a social media expert? Definitions of a social media expert will constantly be modified in a modern society, due to the industry forever changing.
1) Jargon – Is it the specific language used in creating ideas or in discussion between team members, making social mediums sound ‘hip’ and knowledgeable? Would jargon words; crowdsourcing, vlog or syndication mind boggle you?Anyone can claim to be a social media expert by learning jargon from a social media dictionary. So therefore, is it fair to say jargon is a key indicator of a social media expert?
2) Status – Does an authoritative figure have a social media expert opinion because they are well known experts in other fields? Users will follow authoritative figures on to social platforms, because they are distinguished within the public domain. Having a high expert status and accomplishments like your work experience and clients you represent, will prove to others you are an expert in every field. So qualifications and achievements will raise your status as a professional. However, these authoritative figures are only being followed due to their status and popularity within online society, not necessarily their expertise in social media.
3) Sales – Will a focused selling approach make a social media expert? Some social media salesmen are totally focused on profit generating and not participating in the community aspect. This allows them to be more interested in a product that will drive sales, and not what is best for the consumers. The sale driven self called ‘experts’ will be constantly hassling consumers. Can this be called a social media expert when the interests are not benefiting the customer or their peers? If social media becomes more practical the fake digital smokescreen will eventually reveal the legitimate salesman from the spammers.
4) Value – Providing value to an audience through social platforms will allow the audience to become interested, making the audience more open to a business. If a company provides value then does this mean they are social media experts? Judging value can present many different opinions. If consumers feel valued then are you looked at as a social media expert?
Everyone will eventually be exposed to a source of social media. As this happens the title, social media expert will start to lose the value of its meaning because of the massive popularity social media has garnered in recent years. People will either begin to reject the term or want proof that the candidate is worthy of it.