Okay so, there are so many people who dislike being called a ‘Social Media Guru’ or who make fun of the term. (See this, this, this, and this). Now, don’t get me wrong – I get the overall idea; which is essentially that if you call yourself an ‘expert’ at social media then you are pretty much defining yourself as an expert in putting one foot in front of the other. You don’t need an expert, a specialist, a guru, none of them. Your better off using your existing people to fill in the gap, right?
Wrong. Stop thinking like you are high & mighty because you know what a hashtag is. Social media has not evolved to the point where it is a skill, and anybody and everybody knows what they’re doing. Let’s make this clear, though. I’m not talking about people who don’t understand marketing as a whole, & I’m not talking about the people who claim that they can give you a kick-ass social media plan and all they do is post, tweet, and so on. I’m talking about the people who educate, execute, empower, and are students themselves of social media.
For instance, I am a Social Media Specialist at work. That is my job title, and my day is NOT made up of tweeting and Facebooking. We have a very diverse product line, with multiple groups for each product. We have well over 20 social media properties for these products, including a mobile apps & corporate social media identity. So, I (along with my team, who are awesome BTW) are responsible for wrangling & managing content for these pages, advertising during product launches & throughout, constant research on social media & new developments in tech and mobile, managing SM real estate (Facebook tabs, Twitter backgrounds & the like), social media marketing campaigns, measurement & reporting, & contributing and engaging on these properties.
On top of the above mentioned tasks, I am responsible for monitoring the social sphere for mentions of our brand & products. These mentions generally equal up to about 1000 per day, so a lot of my time is spent in Radian6 scanning the worldwide web for promoters & naysayers. This, while I love it, can be very tedious and time consuming. Sifting through pirates & spam – I must find the storytellers & create relationships with them. Reach out, join conversations, help people where I can help, tag & assign to people in different departments… you get the point.
Now tell me, who are you to tell me that I’m not an “expert”?
Doesn’t matter what I want to call myself, I’m pretty sure that I have earned the right to call myself whatever I see fit. If I want to call myself a Social Media Guru, then I very well might. It does not diminish the fact that I know what I’m doing. This post is dedicated to the person on Twitter (whom I retweeted in case you’re interested) who said that they can’t “trust someone with the word ninja in their Twitter bio”.
If you put any sort of adjective in front or behind the term “social media” as a description of your job function, you will be judged. Whether it’s guru, specialist, ninja, strategist, junkie, enthusiast, fanboy/girl, etc. – you’ll get teased, it’s the new World of Warcraft, apparently. The real question you should be asking yourself is who cares? C’mon now, would Peter Shankman really hire you anyways?
- Why Social Media Experts keep finding jobs (starvingfilmcritic.wordpress.com)