Who is Teaching You Social Media?

Is Social Media being taught to you by a Novice? Over the past few months I have been invited to come to some Social Media classes and online webinars, not as a speaker or teacher, but as someone to learn what they had to offer… So out of wonder, I took a look at their Social Media bios and their websites… What I found were people who must be just using this Buzzword of “Social Media” and claiming they understood it to the point they felt they could teach it… Some had started an account in Twitter and FaceBook and suddenly were referring to themselves as Gurus or Experts, with many having fewer followers then many of my friend’s children in high school… Some even being affiliated with a college they deem them selves experienced or grasp onto some self proclaimed pedestal of knowing Social Media…

I have written once before about Gurus and Experts in Social Media- “Misuse of Terms for Social Media- Expert and Guru”…  This really bothers me, as so many are just faking knowing much about these great tools and internet services… Just because someone has tried it, does not mean they should be teaching it in webinars or classes with some even charging money for these courses or it being part of a college tuition… Would you want someone to operate on you because they say they have experience, but only read about it? But do they really have experience in Social Media is what you should ask yourself…

Now maybe have a bias view given my experience, as I have been using what we refer to as “Social Media” for a very long time- I have been online since 1989, designed my first webpage in 1990 using Hypertext before it was referred to as “HTTP” and earned my first freelance job in 1991 through chat on e-World just after Chat started gaining popularity outside of the Universities… I also have been doing web design, marketing and advertising for just as many years and have been doing free-lance art or visual problem solving since I was in 11th grade, even if it shows my age… So I have a lot of experience using and offering Internet services, branding, and marketing and also in using what is now called Social Media, Social Networking…

Just because someone buys a hammer and a saw and read a “How to” books, does not mean they should be teaching you how to build a house or that they are suddenly a Master Carpenter… Carpentry skills are gained through “Hands-on Experience and study”. I feel the same is with Social and New Media or Web Site Design or any major professional service… In the Carpentry Union in the United States- the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, they are required to pass a skills test to be granted official journeyman status… They work under a Master Carpenter and take courses to learn their trade… This often takes years of time to acquire the “Master Carpenter” status…

The same goes with Social Media, one should have years of experience and not just a year or two of using it- if your going to “Teach” Social Media, you should have the background and experience in it… “Walk the Walk, then talk the talk” as the saying goes…

I'm rated as a Twitter Elite- #1 in the Ithaca, NY area

Much of Social Media is about marketing and communicating with people in your field and in other fields or possible clients, sharing informative content and also communicating with people… It is not so much about Databases or Computer information degrees, as they are more about the setting up of computers and information then marketing and advertising…

If the person teaching you Social Media doesn’t understand marketing, branding, advertising and is really just a computer tech, then you might have the wrong person teaching you Social Media… Social Media has more to do with branding and marketing, then really understanding how a computer works or creating Databases… Granted some understanding of creating Databases can help, but that tends to be more about mass email marketing…

Twitter, FaceBook, Linkined and YouTube are the most used Social Media online tools… I think if a person doesn’t have much experience in these, they are truly new to this enriching field and just using the Buzzword…

Twitter recently announced they have grown to having 145 million subscribers, growing over 40 million in the last 4 months… This means there are a lot of people using this tool… If a person is stating they have experience in using Twitter, has fewer followers then 2000, think of it this way- Twitter allows anyone to follow up to 2000 people before they add a follow/follower ratio… If they have fewer followers/following of 2000 on either side, then they have only bought the circular saw, and plugged it in and pulled the triggers to hear the blade spin, but haven’t cut much lumber with it and probably haven’t built any houses of furniture… Experience and not just teaching what another has written is what I think is truly key…

Using TweetSearch, a very useful too for searching Twitter Bios, one can also find the numbers of followers Twitter subscribers have… I did a few searches and found these results:

8,831 users have “Social Media Marketer” in their bios
2,239 users have “Social Media Consultant” in their bios
892 users have “Social Media Expert” in their bios
444 users have “Social Media Guru” in their bios
92 users have “Social Media Professor” in their bios

What I found most interesting is some you can tell have experience but many of these people have very few followers and I ask myself- how can they state they are experienced in this if they aren’t very good at attracting their own followers? I have even found advertising agencies and website designers that boast being good at Social Media but also have very few followers…

Walk the Walk before talking the talk in Social Media…

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4 Responses

  1. Hi buddy, your blog’s design is simple and clean and i like it. Your blog articles or blog posts are superb. Please maintain them coming. Greets!!!

  2. Actually definitely very good weblog article which has obtained me considering. I by no means looked at this out of your stage of look at.

  3. It is certainly a lovely post. An information something like this demonstrates just how steeply the concept is actually thought of by creator.

  4. I really don’t mean to sound snarky, but deleting some of the spam comments would raise your professional image quite a bit.

    That said, it’s a solid post on a subject too many people dare not touch. I’ve had people in my classes who then went right out and put an ad in the paper, claiming to be “gurus.” I’m a great teacher, but I can’t make somebody an expert on social media in a four-hour workshop. I think it’s divided about evenly among snake oil salespeople who are self-aware, and incompetents who simply don’t know how much they don’t know.

    I sat painfully through the lecture of an acquaintance during which she made it quite clear that, although she was technically in the SEO business, she didn’t know what a NoFollow link was. Pain. Full.

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