I am not an expert on social media.
I am passionate about it because I believe there is great potential to better facilitate communication, collaboration and knowledge sharing using social media. There are tons of people and businesses I come across that present themselves as social media experts, and I guess in reality you just need to know more than your customer to hold the expert title. Begin rant now:
Are you an expert in social media marketing claiming you can market for your customers on twitter when your own twittter account was last posted to in 2009? Or even worse – you just tweet advertising from clients? Or leading people on with your posts?
Can you claim to sell the value of a blog when you don’t blog yourself? Or you don’t allow comments, or you moderate comments on your blog to only display the comments you want?
Can you claim to be an expert in SEO when your own website fails miserably at SEO?
Really? Am I missing something? End rant.
As a business owner you might not know much about social media and how to approach it. You still need to do your due diligence when selecting a vendor just like you would with any other service provider. And in reality if you hire a company to do social media for you, then you are missing the point.
I blog because I find it enjoyable, and because thoughts get into my head that need to be organized (or vented). I have done talks for free on social media because I am passionate about it and find it fun to challenge peoples status quo. And I work for an engineering company!
The first step to social media is to listen, then start interacting, sharing your insights and value, provide credibility and thought leadership genuinely about who you are as a person. Don’t start selling until you have permission, or better yet, let your thought leadership speak for itself. Solve people’s problems without them even talking with you. Produce content that is valuable, interesting and unique. Cultivate the relationships you make and make sure you know how your followers are consuming your content.
Now I don’t know what will actually make a person an “expert”, but if people start interacting with you, and consuming your content, then I have to believe you are on the right track.
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