We’re all loving social media aren’t we?  The broad unrestricted platform, the ease of entry, no one telling us what to do and it’s free.

And, it would appear that we are all social media experts.  Dive into twitter for example and there are all manner of experts sharing their wisdom about how to tweet, how to blog, how to make 1 million quid online in your sleep provided you purchase their particular brand of snake oil that is …

And that’s the problem.  Being experienced in social media is a world apart from being an expert in social media.  You could bestow the title of social media expert on yourself if for example you’re tweeting 20 times a day with thousands of followers at your beck and call.  After all, you’re aufait with the latest buttons and gadgets and you’ve got a rather neat avatar.  But, pardon me for being a party pooper I don’t think that’s enough to make you an expert at social media anymore than having a penchant for scoffing cupcakes makes you an Artisan Baker.

Of course, you’ve got relevant insights but they are based on your own experience so some may be narrow, biased even flawed.  They’re good enough for you but that doesn’t make them withstand scrutiny when applied universally.

When you start dishing out your own social media experience as the Holy Grail, you can cause all manner of trouble when people with very different businesses, very different objectives follow your advice to the letter.   As a marketer, I see this happen on many occasions in the off-line universe too.  The business owner that sends out 100 direct mail letters a week considers himself an expert at direct mail.  He may know a trick or two, he may be very experienced, but unless he has obsessively studied the craft of direct mail and applied it to a whole army of different businesses with spectacular success, he’s not in my eyes an expert.

Surely an expert in social media is someone that is….. I’ve gone over my word count so that will have to be the subject of my next blog.