10 Steps to Becoming A Social Media Expert

We’re all pretty much experts at something. Since social media is all the rage, why no become an expert in that? So many of the world’s trends in technology, business, marketing, entertainment and overall communication are heavily tied in with online social media. It’s an important area in which to be well-versed.

I’ve been knee-deep in social media since I was a friend-deprived middle schooler (not to give away my age here, but that’s 15 years and counting). So I’ve learned a few things about social media trends, etiquette, expectations and implementation. Having been a blogger and a “pundit” for nearly five years now, I’d like to share with you a few things I’ve learned about becoming an expert in social media. Except with my help, you can jump start things in just a week instead of what often feels like a lifetime.

1. Read

This is one of the easiest ways to gain information. Look. You’re doing it right now. Depending on what your goals and objectives are regarding the utilization of online social media, check for blogs in order to see what your best course of action would be. If you need help getting started with finding the best blog resources, try a blog search engine like Technorati or Alltop to see where some of the most popular and useful content is coming from for any given category.

Once you start finding the blogs that are useful to you, subscribe to their feeds and use a feed manager to be able to keep up with blogs’ new content. Google Reader or NewsGator are great places to start. Google Reader will even recommend other blogs you may be interested in based on the feeds you add. Even these feed readers can be rather social, as you can email an article to a friend directly from most feed readers, share them with others that are using the same feed reader service, or republish the URL for the article to a variety of social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.

2. Become Friends With The Experts

There are plenty of folks that have already been through the social media trenches. Learn from them. Many of these existing experts have already taken it upon themselves to create blogs in order to inform others like yourself of the things you need to do to become a social media expert yourself. Others merely lead by example. Become friends with all of these people, and you’ll be able to pick up on things you may not have noticed or figured out on your own otherwise.

For instance, privacy settings on Facebook are commonly overlooked during the registration process, and many users that have been on Facebook for several months are still unaware of all the options available to them with their privacy settings. Befriending an avid Facebook user in this case would give you direct access to someone knowledgeable and helpful.

If you already have friends that have become social media experts, reach out to them as well. I have several friends from high school and college that call or email me with questions about getting started on Facebook and Twitter. They know me personally and can contact me anytime through any of my social media channels to get tips, hints and tricks for mastering their particular social media realm.

3. Check Out What the Early Adopters Are Doing

The early adopters are usually ahead of the curve when it comes to social media. If you want to stay on top of current trends, fight out what they are doing. The largest demographic of early adopters is the youth. Right now younger demographics are heavily using mobile, and cross-network and cross-device platforms are making this more and more possible every day.