We all know one, or have even met one… You know who I am talking about here, that guy (or girl) who proudly declares himself or herself a Social Media Expert. Perhaps it’s because of my martial arts background, my professional background or just personal qualms, but I inevitably roll my eyes at anyone who refers to themselves an “expert” or a “master.” Especially in an industry as new and constantly evolving as social media.
Most of the time, these so-called experts are great when it comes to setting up a social site, integrating APIs or link building, but when it comes time to integrate these social sites into a cohesive brand strategy, integrated across traditional and interactive channels, things don’t happen. Alternatively, sites will get set up with no thought to the purpose, goal or strategy behind maintaining these sites. Engaging, relevant content? Relationship building? Forget about it.
My theory is this – experts are generally viewed as someone who knows everything, or almost everything about a given topic. With this definition in mind, people who view themselves as “experts” don’t believe that there is much else to learn, and that is never the case.
I’m not advocating the act of disparaging one’s skills or experience, but I do believe that in most cases, referring to one’s self as an expert in a segment of an industry that has been around for less than 10 years comes off as egotistical and will eventually hold one back from developing further.