I am a SociaL Media expert, OK, so now what?

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Over the past few days I have been having a twitter conversation with @AEB_IT regarding the requirements for calling oneself a “social media expert”. He quotes some guy who says it takes 10K hours to be an expert in anything…..

I would like to add to that 10K hours the following – an art/NEW MEDIA education investment of over 50K that spans three decades…starting at the bottom of the pit – so to speak – as a visual artist – mucking about with paint and paper…and going all they way through to classical animation and FLASH only to be kicked to the curb once again by the investment master of 3-D Animation -S. Jobs and locked out of the i-pad world- it never ends…(there is hope as RIM has its playbook on the way to save the flasher’s day…)

My take on it – is this….sure it is a new category – and there are no standards set – yet, and no real degrees being offered – but if one has a background in business art and technology with over a decade of experience in Sales and Marketing theory and has worked in the trenches and seen every kind of good and bad sales scenario while consistently holding ones head high and following the development of new media, the internet, its business models, mentors and heroes, read the NOW books and understands the process of creating and curating content from not only a digital advertising perspective but a down and dirty Wharholian STUDIO Factory …then, it is a pretty safe bet to say that from that knowledge BASE and or BANK – one could quite possibly have the wherewithal to develop “strategies” for Social media success…

If this “artsy” talk is all too much for you – allow me to give you a sports analogy. I am a fencer. I fence because it is a strategic sport. Why? Cause you learn the rules, train the body mind and soul and then faced with a million split second decisions you BUST a MOVE – lunge – and hit the target bang on!

Ironically I found the “badge” above on a site today where, in order to declare to the world that I am a social media expert it seems ALL that is required is the following:
1. Ability to cut and paste code
2. Access to a site or blog to post the copied code
3. Confidence to stand and defend one’s position as an expert just in case you get a call for work or get “called on it” …

Which, by the way – all boils down to SALES…..

You can call yourself an expert in anything but at the end of the day – you are going to have to sell that IDEA, service or product – in a very creative manner in order to engage your post modern technology driven cultural client and get him/her to trust you and believe that you are indeed an expert in said service, product or idea….

Here is the sting. Your client does not “get social media” – that is why they called you in the first place. They then ask for your ideas and because they are the BOSS they will try to put you in your place – cause they wonder “do those ideas really WORK, how can you prove it”? as if any one ever proved what half of the old school ad budget worked! But they are small biz they have always just relied on word of mouth – the problem is the “mouth has gone online, John and Joan…..” Then then tell you how it has always been done and how they want you to do it, even though they have NO IDEA what social media is all about. Now, if they were to followed your strategy their entire world would be turned upside down, that is the real fear factor…. just kidding….we take it slow….baby steps…..get a twitter page….a facebook BRAND page…….blah, blah,…

Chances are this potential client never studied NEW MEDIA or read the all time basic primer called The Laws of Media by Marshall McLuhan. but that is not their business….so they are forgiven…you on the other had are under the gun….
which is when I say the following –
“Try this logic –
People are social.
Social media is about people – not corporations.
It is a “people driven economy”.
People create networks.
Networks are cultures.
People create culture.
and the icing in the cake for social media experts like myself…
“CULTURE IS OUR BUSINESS” – Marshall McLuhan”

Study the graphic below, if you can figure out what Law the bottom right corner of the tetrad resides under you are on your way to understanding the sheer POWER of social media. That, however, is an “advanced” discussion, better left for at least another decade or so…

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