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Imagine you’re doing research on different types of food, how they affect your health, what kind of vitamins they contain, if they’re hazardous or not. You’re well-educated in the science of food and maybe highly specialized in a particular food area.

Then, and only then, I’ll be prepared to acknowledge you as a food expert.

The fact that you’ve been eating food all your life don’t quite cut it. You might feel strongly about food, sure. You may even have an a-ok palate. But still, that doesn’t turn you into a bonafide expert on the subject matter.

I know this since PR and social media marketing so often is about getting clients endorsed through third-party expert opinions.

Endorsements and testimonials from peers or acclaimed critics plays central role in this transparent world of ours, simply because critics are influencers.

But calling yourself a social media expert? No way.

It doesn’t matter if you tweeted five or ten thousand times from that conference last week. And no, I won’t call you a social media guru either, unless you’ve somehow made an impact to the field your in. It has gone too far.

The words are quickly loosing their meaning altogether.

So the next time you read a Twitter bio from yet another John Doe claiming to be a “social media expert”, simply ask them if they have done some sort of real research on the subject? Have they in fact contributed or at least made a local impact to the field’s discourse?

You will find that most of them are social media critics — not experts.

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PR Blogger:

As the author of Doctor Spin, Jerry's passionate about online persuasion and public relations. He runs the agency Spin Factory, the community PR of Sweden, and the e-learning platform Spin Academy. Jerry lives in Stockholm with his wife Lisah and their son, Jack. Click here to subscribe to Jerry's posts!

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