Become a Social Media Expert For Free With These 8 Clever Tricks
Everywhere we go, it seems like everyone is throwing the term “Expert” around.
But what does it really mean? Because really, there’s no official way to get that title. Most of the time, people are giving it to themselves because it sounds good.
A social media expert is someone who has great experience and knowledge of social media. They are well up to date with the latest trends, the most effective tactics, the do’s, and the don’ts.
But how do you become a social media expert?
Well, I can’t tell you exactly step by step on how you become a social media expert, because really, you can just award yourself with that title at this moment.
In other words, it has kind of lost its power and true meaning.
I have used social media for both personal and business purposes for 4 years and counting. And during that time, I’ve learned the ins and outs of social media. In this article, I’ll share my best advice and the true and tested methods that have helped me be able to consider myself a social media expert.
Let’s get started!
1. Be hungry to learn
The foundation to becoming an expert is being hungry to learn.
After all, it is the knowledge you learn that makes you an expert.
This is more about mindset and setting up yourself for becoming an expert, rather than anything else.
As with everything, if you think that it’s fun to learn about social media, it will be a lot easier to quickly become a professional because you actually enjoy the process.
If you, on the other hand, dislike learning about social media – becoming an expert will be difficult. Unless you have the discipline, you’ll end up procrastinating studying, come up with excuses, and everything else that frees you from actually doing it.
Therefore, unless you are deeply passionate and hungry to learn about social media, I advise you to stay away from doing it.
You never become an expert doing something you hate.
2. Read blogs
There are a ton of social media blogs out there that provide you with knowledge every day!
If you want to become better at social media, reading social media blogs is essential.
On the internet, you can get answers to every single question you have about social media. And that’s the beauty of the internet. You just use Google!
The blogs will help guide you to whatever you want to achieve and learn. When you’ve found the blogs you need, start subscribing to their newsletters and their feeds. This will allow you to get fresh new social media content in your mail box and notifications which helps you stay up-to-date with everything that is happening on social media. After all, it’s a quickly evolving, and ever-changing world.
Not knowing what blogs to start with?
Here are my top 4 favourite social media blogs that I read regularly:
SproutSocial gives in-depth and actionable tips regarding social media and social media marketing. If you want to learn social media marketing, this is a blog you simply must read, because they share articles about topics on SMM that yo normally don’t think about.
SocialMediaExaminer is the world’s largest social media marketing resource. SME is mainly focused on social media marketing, but it also teaches actionable and helpful social media tips such as growing your followers, or building your community.
“Social Media Examiner® helps millions of businesses discover how to best use social media to connect with customers, drive traffic, generate awareness, and increase sales.”
Neil Patel is an expert in this space that we simply cannot leave out. Neil Patel covers the whole digital marketing spectrum in his articles, but he regularly writes articles about social media, as well as social media marketing. He has many years of experience in digital marketing and has built several multi-million dollar companies.
You can’t write an article mentioning great blogs without mentioning your own.
Maybe a bit pretentious but who cares. You’re learning something here, right?
At Veloce, you’ll learn both social media marketing, as well as the basics such as creating an account and setting it up for success.
With over 4 years of social media experience, you are able to accumulate quite some knowledge, and that’s exactly what I am sharing with you in this article!
Now that you’ve got a list of blogs you should read, make sure you read them regularly!
These blogs update their content daily to weekly, so you can be sure that there will be a lot of new content and knowledge to extract from the new posts every single day.
If you’re just aspiring to become a social media and marketing expert in general, then you need to dig into every single blog post that is released. You might think it is silly to learn how you can learn how to market a makeup brand, for example, but one day, a makeup brand might approach you asking for your help. The key to becoming a professional is knowing more than you are expected to know.
Because that’s when people will consider you to be a real social media guru.
This is, in my opinion, the single most important part of becoming an expert, and here’s why:
Studying is great. I can’t deny it.
However, you can study all you want, but there’s nothing that can prepare you for the reality as well as actually going out there and doing, failing, learning, and getting better for each day.
You can study and read about how you fly an airplane all you want, but when you are sitting in it and are ready for takeoff, will you actually be able to do it?
Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk says the following:
He also believes that ideas are shit, and that execution is the game.
4. Watch YouTube videos
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.
What does this man?
It means that you are probably going to find everything you are looking for there.
It also means that there’s a ton of guides, courses, and tips you can watch that will let you become more knowledgeable about social media.
The best part about YouTube is that most of the blogs listed above have YouTube videos where they are teaching you what they teach you in their blog posts, only this time in video form.
Depending on how you learn best, videos can either be an alternative to reading page after page on blogs or, it can be a compement.
After all, 90% of the information transmitted to the brain, so there is a big chance that you prefer learning through video.
SocialMediaExaminer also has a bunch of other videos that aren’t available to find in article form; such as interviews with social media experts and professionals that you can learn from.
Neil Patel has also not too long ago started sharing a new YouTube video almost every day. Every video is around 2 minutes long where he gives actionable tips to how you can use social media. The videos are mainly focused towards marketing and social media marketing, but as mentioned earlier , all knowledge is good knowledge.
5. Interact and become friends with experts
There are already a ton of people who have reached success on social media, and knows what you don’t.
So take advantage of that!
Learning from other people who have actually done things, and know how social media works is the best type of knowledge.
Because everything else that is being taught by people who haven’t actually done it is just guesses.
When you build a relationship with these individuals, you can ask them questions that go much deeper than “How do I get followers?”.
The best part is that social media experts have often created own blogs where you can follow them and their thoughts. This means that with their own personal experience, they might have already answered a few of the questions you have in their blog posts.
Secondly, their blog gives you a great place to interact with them! The comment section!
Because they are social media experts, you can, of course, find them there as well. Start by complimenting their blog posts, thanking them for the information on their social media posts, and asking questions.
Do this on a regular basis and they’ll start recognizing you. All of these individuals know the importance of loyal followers and supporters and will do everything in their power to retain you. They’ll show their appreciating by thanking you and taking their time to respond to your questions.
But to get there, and to have that relationship with them, you first need to provide value to them. Share their blog posts on social media, and mention them so they’ll see it, recommend the posts to your friends, etc. It’s all about providing value, especially when you are trying to the attention of greatly busy people.
6. Look at what the early adopters are doing
When looking at the early adopters, you can quickly get information on what’s new, and what’s hot.
The early adopters are ahead of their time and are quick to adopt new trends and methods.
When a new idea and method it spread, it will spread like a wildfire, and within a week, everyone will be doing it.
And what will happen then?
It will eventually fall out of style. Or, lose efficiency.
However, being one of the first individuals to hop on new trends, you’ll be able to ride on the huge Wave that comes with it once it gets traction.
Trends are super helpful when you are growing your page because it can give you immense exposure. Therefore, if you want to become better at social media, you need to know the importance of always staying on top of trends. One of the best ways to do so, is, as mentioned, to follow your industry leaders.
7. Dare to ask questions
Without questions, there will be no answers.
A common concept is that asking questions will make you seem less knowledgeable and make it seem like you don’t know anything. But the truth is that it is far better to ask questions when you don’t know the answer than to hold on to your pride (that isn’t affected if you ask questions) because of fear that it makes it seem like you are less of an expert.
Of course, if you have presented yourself as a dominant social media expert and leader, asking a bunch of questions might harm your reputation and make people question your expertise. But until you are there, make sure you ask all the questions you can, because that’s what will help you get there!
There is nothing wrong admitting when you don’t know something.
It’s wrong to pretend to know the answer to something.
But who will answer your questions?
Here is where the social media experts come in handy.
Often times, it can feel like your question is completely idiotic, thus most of the time avoiding you from asking it.
Well, the truth is that if your question really is stupid (which it’s not most of the case) the chances are that the social media expert will ignore it.
However, if you have built a good relationship with them, they will surely not ignore it, because they know the value of having you as a loyal supporter. Sure, they might joke about your question (depending on their personality) but that’s what friends do! But chances are that they will answer it, and give you the answer you were looking for.
Therefore, it’s also important that you build great relationships first, before you ask for their time and a favour.
If you want to ask a question but don’t want to ask it to an expert, try using Twitter or Facebook polls. Polls generally give more answers than asking a regular question, for example with an ordinary tweet.
8. Go to events
Going to social media events is a tremendous way to meet established experts in your industry. On these events, the experts are usually having presentations where they talk about social media and marketing.
Social media is however not only a great way to learn more and to build contacts, it is also a great way to start building a name for yourself.
Becoming a so-called industry-leading expert doesn’t come overnight. And if nobody knows you’re an expert, are you an expert?
It’s like asking the question “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
Plus, as you build your social media reputation, you’ll also be able to tie valuable connections with like-minded people in these events that you can partner and collaborate with in the future, for example.
You can check your localized event websites for events in the area, for example on Meetup.com and Upcoming.org.
Another great place to look at is Twitter. All the major social media experts are often visiting these events, and when they do, they let their followers know about it.
To get access to this knowledge, it demands you to follow these people. You already have 4 blogs that you can follow, but if you want to connect with more social media experts, here’s a complete list: Top 10 Social Media Blogs
Having been to an event is also a great way to build your relationship with the leaders because you have something in common with them that you can chat about.
Some events cost money, but some are also free. Usually, it only costs if you want to see presentations etc.
Becoming a social media expert means learning the ins and outs of social media. It means knowing the best tactics, the worst tactics, and the must do’s to reach success.
There’s no clear route to becoming a social media expert other than working hard and practicing even harder. Consistency is key, but make sure you are also working with social media practically instead of only focusing on studying.