How Do You Find Social Media Experts?

experts*

How do you find true social media experts? It may be harder than you think.

Just because some people have millions of followers does not mean they are experts.

There are many automated services where you can buy followers for cheap.

Follower numbers are often inflated by bots, especially on Twitter or Instagram.

Yet in recent years the Web has been literally flooded by social media experts.


Some Social Media Are too New to Be an Expert on Them

You can’t escape social media experts it seems. There is another problem though: social media as such often exist only for a few years.

How can you consider someone an expert who has just 2 or 3 years of experience or even less?

Some social media in the stricter sense – that is social media sites beyond forums and blogs – exist since around 2002 but most people, especially the marketers who refer to themselves as experts joined later on.

Many social media sites exist only for a few years and then disappear.

In other cases there is a huge hype for a year or two and then they become an also ran.

Can you call yourself a Snapchat or even TikTok expert? Don’t you need a few years of experience first? It depends.


How to Spot Social Media Experts

Are there true social media experts at all? Yes, there are. How can you spot them among the plethora of self proclaiming ones? It’s easy. True social media experts display the following 3 traits:

Social media experts don’t call themselves social media experts.

It’s like with every other discipline. You can call yourself

  • specialist
  • professional
  • consultant

or whatever but you can’t refer to yourself as an expert unless others do. In reality only other people can call you an expert. You are inherently biased to judge your expertise.

When you call yourself an “expert” you’re simply boasting.

Thus true social media experts won’t tell you that they are experts actually. They will rather point out what they accomplished.

They may tell you how long they are using specific social media “channels” etc. They might cite others referring to them as experts in reviews or testimonials.

There is no single unified social media.
Imagine someone calling himself media expert. What media is s/he an expert in? Print media? Radio? TV? “Multimedia”? There are

  • journalists
  • photographers
  • graphic designers

but

there are no social media experts because there are no unified social media.

Social media is a very broad term containing everything you do online while communicating unless it’s email. You can be a

  • Twitter expert
  • YouTuber
  • Instagram influencer

but you can’t be possibly an expert on all social media at once. That’s like being a car expert. You need to specialize at least a bit or you will be just a generalist.

Mastering even one of those sites or tools requires a huge amount of time and commitment.

How do you imagine to master all? I was a complete Facebook beginner for several years until I started to work for clients as social media manager taking care of their Facebook pages.

After a decade+ of Twitter, I’m still just an advanced user of it. Am I an expert? Just because I’ve been active on Twitter since 2008? Judge for yourself based on my Twitter resources.

After almost a decade of using Pinterest and reaching millions there organically I still rather call myself a Pinterest influencer.

I used Pinterest for several years and amassed 100k+ followers there but that number by itself does not make me an expert.

Real social media experts are busy.
You can comment on their blog or reply to their tweets. You can follow them or subscribe to them but they won’t reply to every stranger practicing “cold outreach”.

Many influencers could be considered experts but they also won’t respond in many cases. They stay silent not only because they use the “social media” instead of one to one communication but also because they are simply busy!

High profile influencers are overwhelmed with time consuming social media participation.

Everybody wants to talk to influencers! Also due to a gigantic boom in social media marketing they have potential clients flocking to them like the gold diggers to Klondike during the gold rush.

There are simply put only a few social media experts out there and the demand by an overwhelming margin surpasses the supply.

Of course I oversimplified. I might even err. I may not be a social media expert myself so how can I know?

Instead of looking for an social media expert who might be hard to find rather search for a social media manager – that’s someone who actually takes care of social media for people.

Other than that there are some lists of social media experts that use some more or less transparent metrics. There are lists of social media experts like this one.

* (CC BY 2.0) Creative Commons image by Neil Rickards