Social media expert? Yah, right!

With a full time job (lovingly referred to as my day job) and going to school to finish my MBA at night (and did I mention a husband and a 5-year old son?), I have to say I take pride that each week I come up with two or three unique blogs.  Well, I am going to have to break with tradition this week because I found a blog that I really liked that I wanted to make sure you saw.  It’s a blog by Rohit Bhargava entitled “The 12 Types of Social Media Experts-which one are you?” I really enjoyed this blog as it relates to a blog a did a while back entitled “Combating Social Media Inertia” .

Here’s Rohit’s premise: in social media, everyone labels themselves an expert, but the definition of expert is fluid.

Here are most of the expert types from his blog, with my commentary of course (hey, I have to give my opinion somewhere!).

  1. The Pretender – These are the unpaid version of what I call social media tourists.  These are the people who read a couple of books and don’t use any of the tools, but like to give you their opinion on how to effectively use social media.  They don’t blog, nor do they add anything really useful to the Twitter stream.
  2. The Trainer/Teacher – This is someone who teaches others how to use social media.  While some of these folks are paid, most are just social media saints that help others for free—out of the goodness of their heart.  Thanks @DrBret!
  3. The Professional Speaker – I detest these people.  These people are the professional public speakers who go on the road speaking about web 2.0 and social media and don’t practice what they preach.  And, worst of all…their tweets are focused on what great things their company is doing.  Appalling! The only saving grace as Rohit puts it:  they “often create inspiration and excitement about social media as a whole.”
  4. The Content Curator – These are my favorite blog sites.  They add considerable value to the social media stream because they pull together great content from bloggers around the country/world and put it together for their readers in a very easily digestible format.  Some of the better ones I am following are: @Smallbizanswers and @Dukkytweets.  I can find all the small business and marketing-related information I need from these sites!
  5. The Event Organizer – These folks specialize in social media conferences/forums, meetups and tweetups. I like these folks because they are on the front line of what’s next with respect to viral meetings.  Perhaps the next generation of the webinar?
  6. The Community Manager – It’s hard to be a good community manager.  Particularly if you have a vested interest in the group.  My case in point… a marketing company executive that runs a LinkedIn group talking about marketing issues.  I only have an issue with this if the group focuses on selling to its members rather than adding value to its members.
  7. The Content Creator – As you might expect, these are the people that blog on very specialized topics and consistently add value.  These are the folks that I look to for “what’s next” in marketing and market research.  I like to believe I fit in here.
  8. The Marketing Strategist – Unlike the social media tourists, these people get it right.  They listen and then engage on a one-on-one basis to build their brand and then eventually sell their product/service.  While I am a creator first, this is the type of social media expert I aspire to be.
  9. The Designer/Builder – This needs almost no explanation…these are the really intelligent people that make things like Hootsuite possible.  THANKS!!!!

Okay Rohit has more titles and you should look at them all.  That said, these nine resonated the most with me.

What social media expert do you think you are?  And, more importantly, what type of social media expert do other people think you are?

Happy marketing!


12 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Robert Charpentier on April 23, 2010 at 7:16 am

    This is great stuff, Sharon but you might add one more type to your list: The Huckster. This is a more insidious version of “The Pretender” because they take the form of a PAID consultant who doesn’t really know what they are doing but have mastered a sufficient number of buzz words to sell their “expertise” to people who don’t know any better. I think a lot of marketers have been on the receiving end of this and it stinks. The Huckster will hypnotize you with zazzy trade-speak and then take his or her fat cut after farming the actual work out to a third party. Beware!


  2. Posted by sharonmarkovsky on April 23, 2010 at 7:28 am

    I love this comment! The Huckster! It is so very true! There are a lot of marketing Hucksters out there. And, the worst part is they are giving those that are truly practicing what they preach (for money) a bad name and rap.

    Thanks for the insightful comment!


  3. Just when I was about to take a nap, I see this and now have to stay awake to live up to the expectations you’ve created! (Just kidding, I’m still going to take my nap. 🙂

    Sharon, thank you very much for including me in this post. I’m honored to be mentioned!


    • Posted by sharonmarkovsky on April 23, 2010 at 11:23 am

      You a so funny!

      You provide a lot of great value to the Twitter stream and the blogisphere! I am glad I found your blog! I try to read it every day.



  4. Hi Sharon,

    Thanks for this post and most of all from adding your own take to the list rather than just rehashing it … that’s the kind of building post I love to read. The one thing I will say (probably because I increasingly end up taking the role of the Professional Speaker) is that some of us do go out and specifically talk about how we use these tools on a daily basis and what really works. I know that speakers who share actionable tips and real techniques seem few and far between … but there are a few out there, I promise!



  5. Posted by sharonmarkovsky on April 23, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Well, I am very glad you clarified that! Hopefully I will get to see you speak some time. I was so disenchanted by an author who is on the web 2.0 and social media circuit who really doesn’t get it.

    Thanks for your great blog and your comment!



  6. Great article, thanks for posting!
    I am constantly shocked by all of the social media experts I come across who seem to be just in it becasue it’s the buzz word of the moment – and they have no real grasp of how it works. I set up a website 10 years ago and have since set up Handpicked Media as I wanted to make sure blogs and brands could work together with transparency and integrity – I end up speaking, consulting and advising – it just happens rather than court the idea of being a public speaker – we get invited by companies to help them understand it more. It’s an exciting time to be online – enjoyed and agreed with your points! I’d like to think I am 2,4,7, 8.


    • Posted by sharonmarkovsky on April 30, 2010 at 12:20 pm

      Thank you for your insightful comments! I hate when I am confronted with a “pretender” or as another commentor said a “huxter”. It’s great when you have a true social media expert, such as yourself, who has spent the years in the things that lead up to social media rather than someone just hitching your wagon to the social media train.

      Thanks again!


  7. You’ve only missed out one very important role as far as I can see:

    The Do-er

    Someone who actually puts all of this Social Media loveliness into practice and is getting results from it.

    I’m a Trainer/Teacher type who gives away advice on Social Media free because it isn’t my day job, but I use it all to great success and only teach people things that work for me. If I’m honest, none of these Social Media Types matters as much as The Do-er, since that ‘s where sales and revenue generation actually happen.


  8. Posted by sharonmarkovsky on April 30, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I really like your concept of the Do-er. You are right, it is sort of the anti-pretender/huxter. Someone who is really an expert and makes money doing it.

    Thanks for sharing!


  9. […] Social Media Expert? Yah, right! – There are lots of people in the social media space. Which shade of “expert” art you? […]


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