By all reasonable accounts, social media is a huge industry. Recent social media statistics estimate that the monthly number of users for Facebook is around 1.2 billion; Twitter is about 240 million; Google+ is hovering around 300 million; and LinkedIn is approximately 277 million.
That’s a tremendous opportunity for experts who understand how to earn the respect of colleagues, customers and potential clients when it comes to social media marketing. The problem, of course, is that a lot of so-called “experts” in social media aren’t at all. They may want to have expertise, but they haven’t followed the rules of the road, so to speak, when it comes to learning how to best use the most popular forums.
If you want to put yourself front-and-center as a social media know-it-all, you can’t afford to overlook these methods of maintaining your status at the top of the heap.
1. Learn From the Best of the Best
In other words, don’t sit around on your duff and hope that you’ll wake up one night with an “Aha!” moment regarding Snapchat or Reddit. Get out there and actively look for opportunities to find out more about social media best practices. Read articles, attend webinars and listen to podcasts. As you start to glean more information on social media, you’ll begin to develop your own thoughts and ideas.
2. Practice Makes Better
Don’t be a social media dabbler. You can’t call yourself an expert at anything if you’ve never done it. It’s like telling your buddy that you can fix his broken tablet when you don’t know a thing about the process. Obviously, he’d be better off working with a person who was familiar with the ins and outs of Apple iPad repairs. The same is true of social media. If you’re not engaged in it, and you aren’t serious about using it to its best advantage, you can’t hope to say that you know how it works.
3. Conduct Some Trial and Error
No guru is made overnight. This means you have to go through a few “growing pains” along the way. For instance, if you want to become an expert in Twitter, you have to focus on engagement and deep understanding of the many ways tweeting can be profitable for business people. Test, re-formulate and re-test any theories you have when it comes to your social media platforms. Track your successes and your failures, always realizing that you’ll learn more from the latter.
4. Share Your Social Media Insights
Once you start to have some success with any social media platform, it’s time to take to the Internet! Write an article and submit it to one of the top social media sites that is actively looking for content. Or start your own blog or website devoted to social media. Every time you publish an article, link to it using your social media of choice. Eventually, you’ll start to be seen as someone who knows what he or she is talking about.
5. Stay on Top of New Social Media Trends
Who would have guessed that Pinterest or Instagram would become so powerful? The point is that you can never tell which social media site is going to explode in popularity. That’s why you have to keep abreast of all the new opportunities for “getting social,” whether those opportunities are B2B, B2C or C2C.
Most of all, make sure you take your time as you begin to gain momentum as a social media expert. Nothing worth having happens overnight, nor does it happen without some hard work. The good news, of course, is that social media is enjoyable! There aren’t many jobs out there that pay you to communicate in text-speak or that encourage you to play around on your computer all day.