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What Makes a Social Media Pro?

September 30, 2010

The other day I participated in #sm79 a twitter chat about social media. The topic was professionalism in the social media industry, which lead to the question, what makes a social media pro? It got me thinking.

The dictionary.com definitions of a professional are:

“following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain: a professional builder.

and

“a person who is expert at his or her work: You can tell by hercomments that this editor is a real professional.

But can that be applied to every profession? Through the hour long chat a consensus came about of what makes a social media professional. Chris Heuer, the founder of the Social Media Club and a creative media technologist defined a social media pro as:

“being a professional is about your conduct, your honesty, your ability to say ‘i don’t know’ & by a willingness to learn”

Chris was guest moderating the chat posing questions such as does the term social need to be broken down more into specific areas such as social SEO, social advertising, and social business? Also taking us back to think about what we can learn from books and traditional media that we apply in our social and online endeavors today.

Many chatters believed being a professional in social media meant you knew what you were doing by blogging, using Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms, as well as being knowledgeable about SEO and being able to integrate the art of communications into this newly popular way of sharing information.

Social media is evolving everyday and we need to fail a few times before fully understanding the spectrum. Calling yourself a social media pro, expert, guru, or ninja sounds cool, but rarely those who call themselves such highly ranked names are really at that level of knowledge. I believe it is impossible to know everything about social media, because technology moves so fast, and word of mouth even faster.

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