14.4 million: the number of Google results on a search for “social media expert.”1
Clearly, the last thing the world needs is yet another blog written by another self-professed “social media expert.” Yet here I am.
Why, you ask?
Because I don’t blog to indulge my own narcissistic whims and serve my already overinflated ego. And, I don’t purport to be a social media expert2.
I am a graphic designer by training, marketer by necessity, MBA by default and savvy socialist by curiosity. What the hell does all of that mean? Well, my undergraduate degree is in graphic design – my first passion and creative lovechild. As most designers do, I fell into a career in marketing (the practical application of a creative background if you ask me). To become a more effective marketer, I went back to school to get an MBA. The savvy socialist piece is a bit more difficult to explain.
With the proliferation of social media, it’s pretty transparent of me to say that I felt a natural curiosity and gravitational zeal for it. Who hasn’t felt that? I’ve immersed myself in it on a personal level and have even branched out to consult with local businesses on the appropriate methods for integrating social media into their existing marketing strategies. So yeah, you could say I’m pretty savvy with respect to social media tools and practical business applications of them.
Forgive me for stating the obvious, but social media tools serve to facilitate the act of socializing. As such, when we engage in social networking activities – such as writing on someone’s Facebook wall, posting our vacation pictures to Flickr, tweeting about our lunch or checking into a bar on Foursquare – we are all being socialists at heart. No, not the creepy Marxist socialists of yester-year. I mean socialist in the sense of one who behaves in a highly social fashion.
A savvy socialist is one who has a deeper base of knowledge across all social media tools than the average socialist. And, beyond that, they have the know-how to smartly test and implement social media strategies in a way that jibes with business objectives and contributes to the top line. They are marketers first, and social media strategists second.
Hence, I am a savvy socialist.
I’m also a wife, dog mom, singer in a pop-dance cover band, runner, budding chef, novice crocheter, reality TV junkie and Scrabble champion. I’ve been known to eat an entire block of cheese in one sitting. I can do the worm. I have a penchant for red wine and crossword puzzles. I once pet a rhinocerous. I am petrified of heights, but long to ride in a hot air balloon someday. I have never lost a game of Scrabble.
If I were to do a SWOT analysis on myself, it would look something like:
- Strengths >> finding humor in everything (but mostly myself), seeing opportunity where others see epic failures
- Weaknesses >> being on time, tabloids
- Opportunities >> expanding my karaoke repertoire, earning every badge that Foursquare has to offer
- Threats >> the dark, jeggings, ice cream (yes, I loathe ice cream, now let’s move on)
And that’s “a nut(me)shell.”
1As of August 17, 2010, search term “social media expert” on Google.com.
2Allow me to digress for a hot second. Anyone who claims to be a social media expert is lying. An expert is someone who cultivates years of knowledge and experience in a particular field and can consistently turn out flawless results and guaranteed ROI based on this. Well guess what peeps? Social media evolve so quickly it is impossible for anyone to have developed such a broad and deep knowledge of all the various tools and channels.