9 Points on Why I’m Not a Social Media Expert


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Over at Chris Kieff’s blog today, there’s a post on how to evaluate a social media expert in 9 ways.

It offers tips on how to spot if your social media person is an expert or not, and uses the likes of Twitter lists, Google, Klout and Facebook fans to determine your expertise.

I’ve seen Chris write some good stuff before but this post is off in so many ways. I left my take on his post in the comments, and it’s repeated here:


For the most part, your stuff is usually good, but you missed the ball game completely on this one.

To your points:

1. Google. I can use blackhat SEO (I don’t) to not only help me own Google, but ruin the reputations of my competitor “experts” into the bargain. Scratch this one from the list.

2. Twitter followers must be over 2,000. Awesome – I’ll get Justin Bieber to market my company today – do you have his number? Or, I’ll get TwitterAdder to get me over the magic number and then I’ll be good to go (once I finish high school, obviously, unless I can get a note from my mum).

3. Twitter Lists. This can be useful, but again, it depends on what you’re being listed for. If I’m on 100+ lists, but 25 are for my Batman comics, then I’m not really going to be much good, am I?

4. Klout score of 30+. There’s so much wrong with basing a reputation on an automated measurement tool that I’ll just leave it at that.

5. Facebook friends of 1000+. Curious – how do my college friends, ex-lovers that hate me but haven’t removed me from their friends, my baker and the newspaper delivery boy that are part of my Facebook friends make me an expert in social media? Some of my ex-girlfriends would say I’m anything BUT social…

6. LinkedIn network of 500+. Have you worked with each of these 500+? Have you made their business more successful? If you’re only connected with them because you have LinkedIn’s icon on your blog’s sidebar and you’ve never really connected otherwise, then they’re faux connections.

7. Facebook fan page 250+ Likes. I can buy 1,000 fans for $197 from uSocial – does that make me an expert at social media, or an expert at gaming the system?

8. An active blog with active comments. Don’t disagree too much here, except don’t get caught up in the comments game. Two words – Seth Godin.

9. Profiles on every other site. Um…. yikes! Where’s the strategy in this? Where’s the benefit? Where’s the time management and being focused on where you need to be? Say you set up on 100 networks, have a basic profile, then are only active on 5. The other 95 are now dead, but anyone stopping by and seeing you haven’t updated since 2009 will then ask, why should I trust this guy with my social media needs?

I can see this comment as coming across as snarky, and to be fair, it probably is. Because I care about things being done right, and sorry, but your advice in this post isn’t.

Just my four cents.

Snarky? Like I say in the comment, probably, but stuff like this really pisses me off and devalues everything good people do. You know, the ones making sense of everything for their clients and bringing them success?

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just getting old and bitter.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown is partner at Bonsai Interactive Marketing, a full service agency offering integrated, social media and mobile marketing solutions. He is also founder of the 12for12k Challenge, a social media-led charity initiative connecting globally and helping locally.


  1. Danny,
    I too caught this post and I’ve got to admit I found myself disagreeing with most of it. I work primarily in the B2B space and a lot of what was written seems at odds with the idea of how to use social media effectively – the metrics had a smell of encouraging people to be connection whores – LinkedIn being the perfect example.

    I think there are better guides out there as to how to investigate and qualify whether an external resource can add value to your business.

    Mark Parker
    Smart Selling


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