The internet is truly amazing. There is no other place where you can give yourself the title of guru, maven, ninja, or other impressive sounding labels without having the knowledge or experience to back it up. I run across this all the time in the social media sphere. People claim to be an expert at social media marketing and, yet, manage to do all the wrong things on Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks.
With so many posers out there, it can be difficult to know who to trust. Most of these people are only regurgitating the advice of real experts in order to sell you their affiliate programs. Others are truly clueless and pass along dangerous advice that could get you banned from the internet.
When it comes to social media optimization and getting the most out of this effective marketing strategy, it is important that you are able to separate a true social media expert from a poser. If you find yourself talking to a self proclaimed social media expert or are reading the blog of one, here are some questions you need to ask in order to figure out if this is a person you should be listening to.
Tips for Determining Who’s a Social Media Expert
Are they taking their own advice? – A social media expert who recommends a particular marketing strategy to you should be doing it too. For example, so many of the people who say they are social media consultants or strategists recommend that you engage with other members of the social networking site. Yet, when you visit their Twitter stream or Facebook profile, it is nothing but a bunch of self promotional posts. Even worse, when you try to talk to them, you get no reply. Needless to say, if they are telling you what to do but not doing it themselves then they are probably just rehashing the advice of other social media experts.
Where do they get their information from? – Legitimate social media experts will be able to cite information from their own experience or credible sources. When a person who claims to be a social media guru states facts or passes along advice, ask them how they know what they know. If they say things like, “well, I heard from [some obscure blog]” or “These facts come from a study done by [a company no one has ever heard of before]” then you’ll want to proceed with caution. They may be making assumptions that are not based on real facts.
Do they admit to being human? – We are all human and prone to making mistakes. Even true social media experts will share some of the errors they have made because there is something to be learned from their experience. In an attempt to project an image of being a social media god, some people will never admit to making mistakes. If you ask them, they will say they do everything perfectly and it always works out in their favor. This is unrealistic; especially since not every social media marketing technique will work for every person. Ask them about their mistakes and what they have learned from them. If they have none to offer, then look for another social media expert for advice.
There are many wonderful people out there who know their stuff when it comes to social media. Unfortunately, there are just as many posers who are only in it to make a quick buck. Stay on your toes and ask the hard questions. Your success if worth taking the time to find someone you trust.
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