Social medias emerged only a few years ago and have become an integral part of our lives. Actually they have been dragged into our lives. They connect us, alienate us, people like them or don’t like them … Many critics point out social media as a culmination of alienation.
Alienation or not, recent research here is telling us that social networks are used by 2 billion of people, so being adept in the knowledge of the social networks is not irrelevant, but how far can you go? Is it possible to master everything about social networks? In short: No.
Social Media Expert or Guru
Mallie Hart has already explained the reasons why it’s impossible to become a real social media expert: “different platforms, applications, services … “I would suggest reading her article.
You cannot be Real Social Media Expert or Guru due fast technology advancement and other things Mallie said in her blogpost. However, I will explain acceptable use of word “expert” in social media world.
Acceptable Meaning of Word “Expert”
If one of my friends tell me that she/he is Social Media Expert, first thing on my mind would be “Social Media Marketing Manager” or “Social Network Application Developer”. Why? Because word “expert” is usually used in the business, academic and professional environment.
So, if you haven’t graduated or if your primary/secondary resource of funding does not come from social media job environment you cannot call yourself expert.
Using social networks for “fun” is just that = “fun” there is no expertise required in having fun. You can only become savvy in using various social networks and web applications.
Social Media marketing managers are the closest thing to real social media expert term. They have full time job with regular monitoring of trends with various tools that include analyzing twitter hashtags, google+ circles, manage social media campaigns and similar day-to-day online marketing activities.
Full job description of marketing managers for social networks could be found here.
Who am I then?
Social Networks are made for two reasons
1.) To connect people all around the world
2.) Business. If you are using social networks just for fun, then you are nothing else but casual user or just a “user”.
Some people claim that they are Social Media experts because they are using around 15 social media applications and 15 social networks. They are nothing else but savvy applications users and addicts. Using applications connected with social network or browsing social network has nothing in common with “expert” term.
There is no reason to bring this topic on the higher level. We are all products of Social Media giants who exploit our presence on one way or another and we are trying to make the best out of it for our business. Money defines their future and available features, so there is no way that someone can cope with all changes they are making.
Also keep in mind, it’s not just Facebook and Google plus. Social Media is a wide term for all communities where members rate, share, exchange and comment contents among themselves.
As you rightly point out at the end, “Using applications connected with social network or browsing social network has nothing in common with “expert” term.”
I read an article the other day that said that there are about 180,000 self-proclaimed social media gurus on Twitter alone. And with the crazy emphasis on Klout, things are getting really out of hand.
When people call me a social media guru / expert, I usually explain that I don’t like that — and prefer the term “advocate” or even “coach”. Social media is a wide field that goes way beyond social networks. Participants in my workshops are always shocked when I tell them that even emails are part of it!
Thank you Cendrine for the comment! My apologies for the late reply.
I’ve see the visualization of that article shared in Google+ and in Facebook. It is really funny that after using a social media for couple of months some people suddenly proclaim that they are experts. I have seen many people in this field, like you who daily deals with social media and hesitate to call themselves as an expert. Because you know that it is impossible to be an expert. I think the article you mentioned is giving the data about the “Social Media Experts” in Twitter. I wouldn’t be surprised if the number of such experts are higher in LinkedIn 🙂