Everyone is a Social Media Expert

In this day and age, anyone can be a social media expert. Jeff Foxworthy of Blue Collar Comedy does his famous redneck jokes. Here are the social media expert versions:

You know you are a social media expert if….

  • You’ve played with Twitter for 5 minutes
  • Your friends, coworkers, or bosses forced you to join or learn Facebook and you created one of those, you think
  • A blog is state of the art and your pages still end in /?p=123
  • You’ve uploaded a video of your pet to YouTube
  • You can rattle off 5 social networks with out stuttering… those are social networks, right?
  • A bookmark is something you literally still put in a book
  • You’re learned how to create multiple social profiles, have them all linked together and post the same message to all of them at the same time, every time.
  • When someone asks you for a digg you ask where the hole is
  • All your social media strategies consist of just Twitter and Facebook
  • You went to a chamber of commerce meeting and knew more than everyone there about social media
  • After attending a 1 hour social media bootcamp, you now can teach others everything there is to know about social media
  • Your Twitter ratio is 50 followers to 1,000 following, maybe they will recognize you and follow back
  • All of the posts you make on Twitter are to your own stuff, and as always, you’ve posted the same thing to all of your profiles
  • You use the words Facebook and Twitter so much in conversation they end up losing their meaning
  • You say I just joined ‘insert latest and greatest Twitter-killer social network name here’  more than once a week
  • A website is optional in your social media strategy, you have Facebook, right? Who needs a website then.
  • You’ve charge anything for the creation of a free Facebook page, the value is in just having one, people will just find it then
  • You have your own workshop or seminar that you promote and teach the same stuff over and over again
  • Your previous careers were either insurance, recruiting, landscaping or you just graduated college with a marketing degree and now you do social media marketing
  • You approved a comment on your blog where someone let you know your RSS feed was broken in Google’s Chrome browser when it first launched and you thanked them and then spent 2 hours trying to fix it
  • There is nothing in the social space for you that is older than 14 months

Social media is constantly changing and there is always going to be something new. Just because it is new, doesn’t mean its going to work either. Its fine to jump on the bandwagon and learn a new social network but to promote it too early wouldn’t be fair to whoever ends up using it thinking its going to be effective. There is a lot of wasted time in social media because people are either on the wrong social network, promoting to the wrong people, or using social media improperly. There isn’t a wrong way with social media, a strategy may work for someone, but it doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. There are a lot of best practices you can find online but take everything you see or hear with a grain of salt. You need to test and prove everything for yourself with your situation, product, industry, etc.

A social media expert is a really hard title to hang your hat on. I feel I know a TON about social media, and have been referred to as a social media expert at times but I feel I’m more of a social media enthusiast over anything else. I do join all the latest and greatest social networks when I can, I do try to participate and everything else. With my new role at Upright, I’m slightly removed from the day to day need of keeping up like I used to, but I still do it because its a passion. You can tell when someone really knows their stuff by digging deeper past the buzz words and the facade that people put on.

Bonus: A good friend of mine started an AWESOME hash tag on Twitter, right when I started writing this post. He has some hilarious tweets about the social media challenged. #youmightbeSMchallenged

Social Media Step 1 – Know the Lingo

Social media is an ever evolving part of internet marketing. There are thousands and tens of thousands of social networks out there with sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Digg being some of the bigger players. A lot of companies want to just run head first into social media without having any sort of plan. One of the first steps someone should take is to learn the lingo. Twitter is the best one to use as an example since there are things like URL shorteners, hash tags and tweets.

Before jumping into a social network, or maybe even signing up, start running through the public timeline. See how people are structuring their messages and pick out things that aren’t familiar. If you quickly scan Twitter, you’ll see messages with things like this:

  • # – Hash tag, used for tracking and other things
  • bit.ly or ow.ly – Examples of URL or link shorteners, allows you to fit a longer URL in your tweets
  • FollowFriday – used to tell your followers about people on Twitter you find useful
  • @ – Use this followed by someones handle or username to reply to them
  • RT – Stands for Retweet, passing on or forwarding someone else’s tweet

These are just a handful of unique things to Twitter. If a scan had be done, someone could pick these out and find out what they mean so they use them properly. It would be embarrassing for something to jump in and start tweeting to then use the lingo wrong and look silly. Something as simple as saying “FridayFollow” when the correct terminology is “FollowFriday” can put egg on someone’s face and let everyone on Twitter know they’re a newbie.

Shoemoney and Sullivan Got Me Thinking….

I read Shoemoney’s post within this last week and I honesty didn’t get into the debate about 95% of SEO’s being “the used car salesmen” of search engine marketing (SEM). But then yesterday his podcast with Danny Sullivan about 95% of SEO’s being “shady” and it really got me thinking about the real definition of an SEO and what their value should be. Ultimately Danny and Shoe made really good point, and I understand Shoe position.

What value do we truly offer as SEO’s or SEM’s? Danny talked a lot about new things coming in and kind of branching off SEO like reputation management, social media, etc. and I think they are viable SEO activities but at the same time, I feel they shouldn’t be used to “razzle and dazzle” but rather compliment the basics such as the title tags, building out content, and link building. The more and more I learn about SEO, true link building is an art and not such an easy one. I mean, people are building out great content and getting links back, but I think there are some elements to link building that can be tougher than just content creation.

I think this podcast was awesome and more real discussions like this should take place between people in the industry! Thanks Shoe and Danny!