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There Are No Social Media Experts

Gus Wagner


Sometimes when I am being introduced to crowds during my speaking engagements, the emcee will use the phrase “social media expert” to introduce me even though I have probably submitted a bio which doesn’t use this term. It’s an easy thing to fall back on and I am not offended by it.

It does cause me to think and change my opening presentation every time it happens.

When someone calls themselves a social media “expert” or “ninja” or “guru” (whatever that means) they are overstating their abilities and their understanding of social media.

Let me be clear: There is no such thing as a social media expert. TWEET THIS


No one can be an expert at the various platforms because they all change and evolve on an almost daily basis. Not even Mark Zuckerberg is an expert at social media because he only knows the true in’s and out’s of Facebook and Instagram. He is making highly educated guesses (insert comment about opposition research here) at the true operations of Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and the other platforms.

If you are going to call yourself an expert at anything you had better be able to back it up with deep knowledge of everything involved with the subject matter.

Right before I filmed the video above I was using Facebook’s power editor function. I needed to go back to the main page of the program and the interface had been changed…while I was in the system. After a bit of a tutorial and experimentation, I was back on my feet again but it did slow me down. This is an example of how often and fast the technology of the platforms changes.

The title on my five social media certifications is “strategist” and that is how I refer to myself and prefer to be referred to when a title has to be applied to me. While I do know plenty about the technical aspects and functions of the major social media platform, I do not know everything.

What I do know is what strategies work to build and connect with audiences which will actually make your cash register ring, your candidate get elected, and your name to stay top of mind.

Here are a couple of basic audience building tips to get your strategy flowing:

No friends and family

Sure it’s cool to show your buddies from college what your company does and how your brand yourself every day. If you are a storefront business, say a coffee shop, you shouldn’t build up an audience of friends and family from the four corners of the world because they can never spend money with you. Your audience should be made up of dozens, hundreds, or thousands of social media users who can actually impact your bottom line. Anything else is pumping up false numbers for you and will quickly lead to online and real world frustration for you.

Speak from your knowledge/heart/personality

There are specialties professionals can be experts in. If you are the leading expert on free range tomatoes then speak from that point of expertise on social media. Since that is a made up thing, you are probably the only expert in that field but you will own that market online.

You should also use social media to show the real voices, personalities and other traits of your brand and your people. This is the perfect use of the platforms 1) because your audience wants to see behind the curtain and 2) it’s called social media for a reason.

Save the pitching for the mound

Less than 20% of the content you post to social media should be sales related. This especially applies to coupons, sales, and other bargains you want to promote in every tweet.

Anything more and two things will happen: 1) your audience will tune you out or 2) you will only develop a bunch of followers who want you for your discount prices. Building an audience of loyal customers and prospects who appreciate your business and your people will help you to build a healthy bottom line and save you plenty of frustration in the long run.

Follow our policy of educate, inform and entertain

Check out this post regarding how we approach our own social media efforts for The Rocket Group. You may find an idea or three which will work for you as well.

As always, be sure to connect with us on social media and email to stay ahead of your competition.

And beware of ninjas and gurus!


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Gus Wagner

Gus Wagner is the President.Owner of The Rocket Group – an award-winning marketing and communications firm. The Rocket Group has specialized in building effective tools across traditional means and new media for clients in businesses, organizations, and nonprofits since 2001. Gus is also a five-time certified Social Media Strategist, a former Chief of Staff in the Missouri State Senate, a retired national champion amateur hockey coach, and a would like to be a singer/songwriter. His Welsh Corgi, Taffy, lets Gus and his wife, Farrah Fite, live with her in Jefferson City, Missouri.

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