Be a social media learner

school-desksCaroline McCarthy at CNET has a thought-provoking article more or less predicting the death of the “social media expert” as a marketing position.

McCarthy points rightly to the flux of people who have populated the marketing world advising clients/companies to start Second Life storefronts or Facebook pages or whatever the fad of the moment happens to be with no strategic thought behind the advice. Those kinds of people have, and always will, be a problem for the industry and their work will result in a lot of abandoned efforts other stories of failure.

My entire career in social media I’ve considered myself a learner, not an expert. The advice I offer is based on what I’ve learned, not based on any claim to expertise. I’ve always tried to have my ears and eyes open for what others are saying and then absorbing that for use in my own job. When I have something to share I do so and hope people look at it not as wisdom from on high but as my thinking out loud and contributing to the ongoing best-practices conference that is the conversation.

Social media is too new for there to be experts. That’s just a fact. There are some bright people out there who know what they’re talking about, but ask them if they would give clients the same advice today that they would have two years ago and you’ll see that we’re all on the same learning curve. The only area you should strive to be an expert in is as an open-minded social media learner.