by Rohit Bhargava
There is a fundamental problem among social media experts today. Some people have argued that the problem lies with people who are rushing to call themselves an expert without having the necessary experience. Others create some sort of artificial metric to try and put some parameters around who should be allowed to call themselves an expert and who should not. The easier way out (which I myself have taken on occasion) is to excuse yourself from the entire debate by saying that no one is REALLY an expert and we are all just people who use these tools and try our best. Since coming back from SXSW, I have been thinking about this and realized that none of these methods really works because they all assume that a "social media expert" is a single type of person.
To be sure, there are some people working in social media who really shouldn't be - but I don't believe this number is as high as others would say. Instead, I think that many people who could be great at certain roles are simply trying to fill the wrong role. So, to help, I thought I would share what I think the 9 types of social media experts really are. And in true social media fashion, since 9 is such an uneven number ... let me know what you think the 10th would be. I will add the best suggestion for a 10th to this list.
You might be tempted to read into this post that there are certain types of experts that are more valid than any others, but except for the first type I strongly believe that each has an important role to play as organizations and businesses of all sizes get smarter about how and when to use social media. If you work in the industry or interact with those who do - my simple plea is that we all need to get better about understanding which of these roles we are particularly good at and focus on that. As a whole I can think of nothing better to help legitimize and grow the entire area of social media and the groups who are able to benefit from using it well.
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