Social Media Expert

Damien Howley created this image in jest:

The proliferation of social media “experts” amuses me too. Evidently if a person has registered accounts at Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, WordPress, etc…, and records videos of oneself this makes them an expert in social media. Yay! Well, no. Actually, this makes you a software user. Gold star!

Are you really an expert in social media? How does one know? Here are some indicators:

  1. You have successfully launched, at least, one product employing primarily, or entirely, Internet tools.
  2. You created global appeal for this product.
  3. You did this with little to no budget for advertising, marketing and PR.
  4. You’ve launched and nurtured, at least, a few online communities to success. Success can come in a couple forms. Success doesn’t necessarily mean the community has upwards of thousand or tens of thousands in daily unique visits; although, this is a pretty clear indication you did well. An alternative indicator of success to the aforementioned site traffic metric is that the community captured a significant percentage of the overall population of given interest group. Basically, you’ve got to be in the top couple, which for some interest groups could be small.
  5. If the previous metric you selected for success was traffic then it is the case the traffic is 75%+ organic. Store bought stumbles or huge ad budgets don’t count.


  1. Traditional media and publishers consult you on product and site launches.
  2. You know the meaning of hyperlocal and understand what’s meant by “faces and names”.
  3. You are a regular listener of “On The Media” (I love plugging OTM 🙂

Factors that do not indicate you are an “expert” in social media:

  1. Saying you are a social media expert.
  2. Again, using social software tools doesn’t make you an expert any more than driving a car makes you an automotive expert.
  3. Having hundreds or thousands of followers on Twitter, Facebook and other social sites. This likely means you’re, at least,  a mildly attractive female or that you are someone others  want something from and it’s a near certainty it is not your wisdom of monetizing online social and media tools.

If you’re still wondering if you or someone you know is a social media expert watch this video:

6 thoughts on “Social Media Expert

  1. Great video. With all the time it takes to become a social media/new media douchebag no wonder they are not doing any real work. It's too exhausting .. I'm off to take a nap 😉

  2. Goody, does that mean I qualify? By the way the chart Damien Howley created has a few flaws:
    1) While there are many that falsely claim to be expert (as much as any of us are experts), I don't think the percentage of social media experts is any larger than SEO experts.
    2) If you judged amount of social media experts by the quality and success of social media engagements and practices by major corporations or even small businesses, you'd know that the field must be VERY small.
    3) Back up 15 years ago and the pie chart would undoubtedly read:
    webmaster/web expert 60%
    pr 10%
    marketing 15%
    graphic design 10%
    management 5%
    4) I find a chart in which management is spelled incorrectly (magagent) dubious.

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