Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Don't Be A Social Media Expert. Please. Don't

There are a lot of brain surgeons, calligraphers and armadillo breeders out there who can rightly be called an "expert." They have trained for years, have the experience and impressive credentials to back up their claim.

There are 277,000 Google results for "social media expert" and over 44 MILLION results for social media expert. (I did two searches, as the former is specifically looking for that phrase, especially if it's used in a job title.)

So, a few days ago I threw out the question: Do we need to add the words "social media" to job titles these days? The way things are going, clients who need some PR or communications work, expect the agency to include some social media strategy as a given. I wonder if it gives them some comfort -- or stomach knots -- if the person dealing with their account is a social media "expert"? Why does that person feel the need to add the E-Word?

Unfortunately for the E-Word people, social media is changing constantly. Fortunately for everyone else, social media is changing constantly. So that means, the minute you think you know *everything* about it ... guess what? It just changed! So, how can you be an "expert" now?

Granted there are a LOT of people who understand a LOT about it -- and you all know who they are if you hang around in the social media goldfish bowl long enough -- but these guys are constantly learning from each other, swapping tips and strategies, meeting offline at events and recommending other people to follow.

I honestly can't think of one social media "expert." If anyone can claim that right, feel free to contact me and make an offer for this domain name. I bought it on a whim, but now wonder too if domain names with "social media" in them are stating the obvious?

Man, I love this stuff.


  1. I know seven social media experts. But none of them call themselves that, and none of them need a domain name to get exposure or business. Maven, innovator, educator, strategist, maybe. But no true expert calls themselves one except in sales copy.

    Why? Because they don't NEED to - anyone who To me, you're not an expert until you've proven yourself in the marketplace, and your customers as well as your peers Call you an expert. Even then? Most true experts I know don't claim the title. Because they don't NEED to. Anyone can Google them and figure it out.

    Great post.

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