There's been a lot of froth in the water about what makes a social media expert. My position is we can quibble about the word, but there are people who have demonstrated both a personal and a results-oriented approach to social media. If you're the kind of person who can boost sales 20%, improve SEO more than you internal department, get in more papers than your PR firm, and generally cut costs or boost profits, then I want to place you, and I'll damn well call you a social media expert.
But yes, being an expert for something so new is touchy, which is why I was glad to see social media expert Barry Hurd lay out the reasoning far better than I could. His main point is that social media, which has only existed as a concept for a few years, has been around for a long time, and if you have built communities or utilized the web for direct action, you might be a social media expert even if you haven't put in 10,000 hours.
The terms for social media have changed substantially over the years:
Social Media = New Media = Blogging = Chat Rooms = Online Forums = Bulletin Board Systems…
The acceptance of social media as a catch-phrase has clouded the way many people view the marketplace.
In a world where the terminology and technology changes every 180 days, no one could really claim to be an expert in any of these classifications. They simply don’t exist long enough.
Social Media is also hundreds of interconnecting technologies and trends.
Barry's a smart guy. More important, he's walked this walk. He has the results you're looking for. If guys like him can't be considered experts, then no one can. And if no one is an expert, than how come anyone is spending money on social media marketing budgets? If you can't call yourself an expert, then you should be charging $20 an hour. If your expertise involves background and experience relevant to your target audience, well then, maybe you're an expert, who also like to take advantage of social media.