Before social media experts were a thing, and when social media first became “social media”, marketers and businesses struggled to figure out how to make the most of these platforms to grow their businesses. It wasn’t until a few people began to figure it out that eventually more and more businesses and marketers began to see what worked and what didn’t.
With time, social media became a place where businesses could simply have a presence, to a place where businesses can grow. Now, that people who pave the way for other marketers have become social media marketing experts.
What is a social media marketing expert?
To become a social media marketing expert in 2019, it’s best to get a good understanding of what we mean when we call someone a social media marketing expert.
Social media marketing experts are leaders, specialists, and authorities in the world of social media. Their skills consist of planning and executing social media marketing strategies for businesses, optimizing company pages on social media platforms, and understanding how to build an engaged audience on social media.
Many social media marketing experts are thought-leaders and will usually offer a regular “state of social media” or share the newest trends in social media marketing. Professional social media marketing experts usually work in companies and run the social media marketing efforts and paid social media marketing efforts.
Requirements to become a social media marketing expert
Becoming a social media marketing expert doesn’t require any college or university degrees or education, although a background or education in business, marketing, communications, public relations or psychology can help.
Of course, a passion and deep understanding of social media is important. It’s also important to have knowledge on all the major social media platforms, as well as a willingness to learn and experiment with new platforms.
Good communication and writing skills are essential as well. Becoming familiar with copywriting will help you keep people engaged on social media. Also, some experience with photo and video editing software and tools will help make your life easier.
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How to become a social media marketing expert
Whether you’re interested in becoming a guru or offer social media marketing consulting, we’re going to offer 5 tips to help you become a social media marketing expert.
Own your projects and learn by doing
The most important tip is the one we’ll start with: learn by doing.
It’s important that if you want to become an expert in everything social media marketing, you will learn much more by doing than by reading or taking courses.
There’s nothing wrong with reading books and taking courses to learn more about social media marketing. However, most of your knowledge will come through your own experience. Most of marketing is experimental and contextual. That’s why it’s important to create and own your own thing that you can practice on.
Create a simple online store or blog and try to build an engaged audience through social media. This allows you to try things and learn from your own experience. You’ll retain much more of your learnings this way since you have context. Plus, it’s a good excuse to build something that may make you some money on the side, or even become a full-time business.
Build credibility and your brand
The most well-known and respected social media marketing experts have personal brands.
To build your credibility on your way to becoming a social media marketing expert, you’ll need to build your brand. If you can’t market yourself on social media, how do you expect businesses to trust you to market them on social media?
To build your personal brand, you’ll need to put yourself out there. Once you start putting yourself out there, you’ll begin to find your voice and your niche. It’s important to be authentic to you. You don’t want to be a clone or mini-version of another popular social media expert.
Being credible isn’t just about your knowledge and experience, it’s also about your uniqueness. Acting like and sounding like someone else comes across as disingenuous and untrustworthy.
Give your opinion and keep a pulse
Part of being a social media marketing expert is being recognized as one. You can’t be recognized as one if you don’t put yourself out there and share your opinion.
Like we mentioned earlier about building your personal brand, you’ll need to have an opinion. You don’t necessarily need to be controversial but having an opinion on things such as the state of social media or social media marketing strategy will get people to respond to you.
To have an opinion, you’ll need to be informed. This is why it’s also important to keep a pulse on social media, follow the biggest news outlets around tech and social media, and follow the news and product releases around Facebook, Google, Pinterest and Twitter.
However, it’s also important to remain authentic to you and your personal brand you’re trying to build.
Talk about the things in the industry that you care about. Share the news and tips that you find interesting and useful.
Once you’ve been building up some experience, your personal brand, and your credibility, it’s time to interact with other people… outside of social media.
While networking online is extremely important to becoming a social media marketing expert, and we recommend you make an effort to do it, it’s also important to get out and network.
Some of the best ways are to attend conferences and use Meetup.com.
Our favorite conferences are Traffic & Conversion Summit, Social Media Week, and Social Media Marketing World.
The important thing about networking at these kinds of events is to not go into these events with ulterior motives. Be open-minded, have fun, and simply try to meet new people. If a business relationship happens, it should happen organically. When you go into these kinds of events with an ego or the intention to find someone who will help you, you’ll tend to rub most people off the wrong way.
Networking is important because not only will it help you meet new people that allow for new opportunities, you can meet and learn from other people across different industries.
Learn and use the right tools
Finally, when it comes to becoming a social media marketing expert, just knowing the trends and strategies isn’t enough. Knowing the right tools and even the best social media marketing management tools, is important.
Of course, we recommend Linkiro as an addition to your social media arsenal. It allows you to add a call to action to the links you share, driving more of your engaged traffic back to your website through the content you curate.
Since content curation is an important audience building strategy, it’s important to know and use the right tools.
Knowing the right tools for social media means testing and exploring the tools you come across as you become more and more experienced in marketing.
If you’re looking to become a social media marketing expert, the most important action you can take is to start now.
Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in what other experts are doing or saying, and don’t allow yourself to get caught up in trying to learn more through books and courses.
Doing social media marketing is how you will become an expert at it, just like anything else in life. Experience is the best teacher.
What do you think? Are you interested in becoming a social media marketing expert? Maybe you are one already? Let us know in the comments below what you think and if you have any tips we missed here.