Social Media Experts…Really?

Posted: November 16, 2009 in Uncategorized

social_media_experts_as_real_as_unicorns_tshEvery where I look online these days, twitter, Facebook, my email inbox…there are more and more people claiming to be Social Media Experts.  My question is very simple…..REALLY? Seriously?

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, his research shows that for someone to reach a level of mastery in a subject that it takes an average of 10,000 hours of experience and practice.  From Bill Gates to the Beatles, professional athletes to attorneys, the fact holds up that ten thousand hours is what it takes for mastery…expert level experience. On average that is about 10 years!

So if someone says they a Social Media Expert that means that if they have been working on it “full-time” (40 hours a week) they have been at it for 5 years!  OK, by a show of hands, how many of you have been on Facebook or twitter for 5 years?  That’s what I thought…

There are a few who have had a blog for 5 years+, but I doubt they have been blogging full-time.  Even if someone worked 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, it would take nearly 2 years. 

There are a lot of smart people out there who have a ton of knowledge about Social Media and ways it can be used to effectively communicate with clients ad prospects for your business.  Established marketing companies are creating Social Media departments.  Here is my advice to anyone looking to engage a company to develop a Social Media campaign… What results can they show you for their own company.  If they are twitter experts, how many followers do they have?  How many times are they retweeted? if they use video, how many are ranked? How many views do they have? 

As my friend Keith Cunningham once told me, “I need to use someone who can eat their own cookin without throwin up!”

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