What's Your Area Of Expertise?

Social Media Expert? No, Not Me.

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Social Media Expert? No, Not Me.

The bloom is off the rose. Being a social media expert has lost its charm. Why? Because there are too many experts. And many of them are advising from a light or cracking base of experience.

 

Good thing too. Because I am not a social media expert. I am not the guy to call the day a new platform launches. And I will not write the first post on how to use Google+,  Pinterest or the next hot hangout.

 

Now don’t get me wrong.

 

I love using social media tools to learn, meet new people and share ideas. I’ve been using them aggressively as a way to communicate with readers of Tim’s Strategy, my career blog. since 2008.  It’s been great. And I love teaching organizations how to effectively use social media to engage customers or donors.

 

This question came up last week as I was introduced to a nonprofit organization as a “social media expert”.  And I had to correct them.  Even though I’m sure the original introduction was more credible and comforting.

 

What then?  What is the better description?

 

Really what I do is help people share and engage on social media platforms that are right for them and their objectives.

 

My qualifications are less about some fancy level of expertise and more about certain experiences I’ve had online.  After a while, as you watch people succeed and fail on a platform like Twitter, you learn a bit about what really works.

 

And here’s what I’ve learned:  it’s about using social platforms with an authentic purpose.

 

If people want to hop online in this mature networking environment and blast everyone with selfish content, they can.  But growing any following in today’s online environment takes a few key characteristics:

 

Authenticity – To do this right, you are not involved in social media as a mask for more devious objectives.  If you throw in a few smiley faces from time to time or actually talk with someone each week, that’s not enough.  If you want to introduce people to a new product, do it.  And tell us you’d like your feedback.  There are many reasons why people won’t follow.

 

A willingness to engage – To succeed in social media you have to talk with people.  It’s not about blanketing your followers and fans with content all day long. Sharing content is important and can be part of your role as a knowledge base.  But you can go overboard.  And many do.  To their peril.

 

A purpose – If your purpose, however, is strictly social you may have a short run.  Because while, social is important, it is not enough to maintain momentum.  While we use social media to meet people, we also use it to learn from them and from the they re-tweet or share from along the way.

 

A personality – A company page on Facebook or a Twitter bio without personality is hard to follow.  It feels corporate and without the potential for true human interaction.  I’d like to follow Mike at @Nike a lot more than following @Nike.  So you need to have a brand personality there somehow.  One that reinforces the brand promise.

 

That’s what I think.  You?

 

Thanks Affiliate for the photo via Flickr

Tim Tyrell-Smith focuses on marketing, brand development and business strategy for emerging and established organizations. A veteran executive in consumer marketing, Tim started his marketing career with Nestle USA and has since worked in product management on premium brands including Nestle Quik, Tree Top Apple Juice, Mauna Loa Macadamias and Meguiar’s Car Wax. He was most recently Vice President of Marketing for a private equity owned food company in Southern California. He lives with his wife and three kids in Mission Viejo, California.

Tim Tyrell-Smith – who has written posts on Fix, Build And Drive™.


About the Author

Tim Tyrell-Smith focuses on marketing, brand development and business strategy for emerging and established organizations. A veteran executive in consumer marketing, Tim started his marketing career with Nestle USA and has since worked in product management on premium brands including Nestle Quik, Tree Top Apple Juice, Mauna Loa Macadamias and Meguiar’s Car Wax. He was most recently Vice President of Marketing for a private equity owned food company in Southern California. He lives with his wife and three kids in Mission Viejo, California.

Comments (3):

  1. Great post! I would totally agree. Experience is very important, but what it really comes down to is posting interesting content that makes people want to engage. What is interesting to me, may not be interesting to you. Therefore, it really comes down to how interesting you really are as a person and what your past experiences have been. Maybe you have lived in the same town for your whole life, but the person behind another social media account has traveled the world. I would venture to say that the person who has traveled the world will have more followers and be able to reach more people, which in turn will help to support the goals of having the social media account in the first place. Thanks for writing an interesting article that made me want to engage. 🙂

  2. Hey David – Thanks for your thoughts and glad to have you engaged. It matters! 🙂

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