March 6, 2009

Social Media Expert: Fact or Fiction?

The trouble with experience is the final exam comes before the lesson.
Author Unknown

As the world changes – because it always does – and we all get much too distracted by bad news and unfocused on trivial minutiae, there is a quite a bit of chatter about the value of social media.

You'd swear someone just poured blood in the pool and the sharks are hungry.

We have been building relationships, communicating, gathering in groups and satisfying our need to belong since the days of clubs and caves. And this is not a human thing, I’m sure the animal kingdom has their version of Twitter.

Good judgment comes from experience.
Experience comes from bad judgment.

Rita Mae Brown

As soon as you call yourself an expert, you run the risk of telling others you have learned all there is to know about a topic. The word 'expert' is misused more than the word 'irony'.

I hope my mechanic knows how to fix my car but I'd like to hope he is always learning about new and better techniques. Whenever you hear about a new wonder pill (the one with more side effects and warnings than benefits) there is always the requisite "call your doctor" mention. So, your doctor better stay on top of this stuff in case you ask her about it.

No one is a social media expert.

I worked in the radio industry for many years, had the amazing privilege of overseeing the launch of radio stations, made countless friends and built lifelong relationships. Does that make me a radio expert? Absolutely not. You may have never stepped inside a radio station, so I may know more about how they operate than you. So what, it means nothing.

Experience is the name everyone gives to his mistakes.
Oscar Wilde

We are all experts and we are all learning.

It matters not whether you have a PhD in Finance or a Masters in English, if you cannot share knowledge and information so others can learn and share with you – letters and degrees and experience means nothing.

Education is when you read the fine print.
Experience is what you get when you don't.

Pete Seeger

Where social media becomes a stumbling block for many people is when they treat it like another advertising medium – that is suicide. I was speaking with a colleague recently about social media and after an hour of explanation he said those five infamous words – “I know what I’m doing”. He then sealed the deal with seven more - "It worked for me in the past."

The world is your school.
Martin H. Fischer

He is looking for a social media expert to guarantee success. This is a horrible time to challenge ROI and metrics though many are attempting to do that. If you attempt to weigh an elephant with a produce scale, the chances of getting an accurate reading are remote - okay, impossible.

If you can guarantee your customers absolute success, buy a money printing machine and send us a postcard.

Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.
Andre Gide 1891

Social media is not the golden bullet to save us from the abyss. But it is for real and it is here to stay. It will continue to evolve but at the core is our human need to build relationships.

Then again, that’s just my opinion. I’m no expert on the topic.

What are your thoughts?


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