Have you noticed that everyone is now an expert?

Maybe not… if you don’t live in the social networking/new media world, like I do.

I noticed the glut of “new media experts” on twitter. Nearly all of my nearly 600 following/followers has some connection with social media/new media/etc. And everyone is an expert or offering workshops or chances to maximize my networking ability. Cool. I want to do that. I want to learn how to use Facebook and Twitter and Yelp and blogs to it’s highest capacity to do my job and promote my company…

So I go to workshops… I’ve been to quite a few by different people and organizations. (None from my tweeter friends. I think they have a bit more credibility in it but still…) And my conclusion? I could have led everyone of those workshops.

Nothing groundbreaking was revealed to anyone who knows how to use Facebook or write a blog. Now, I can understand that those introductory levels are important and without fail, 80% of the people at those workshops are Facebook virgins who aren’t quite sure what will happen if you “poke” someone but come on! Can’t there be an advanced level of these workshops… or are we all stuck at this knowledge level and no one knows much more that I do about how to use these tools to get donations or put Butts in Seats (BIS, yes, it’s a real term) or drive awareness?

Frankly, I am starting to realize that, for the first time in my life, I am actually part of the pioneering generation for this type of marketing/promotion. None of us know what the world will look like next year or the year after or the year when the last newspaper folds. Right now, one of the biggest pulls for our show attendance is physical newspaper ads and articles. What will replace that when the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post go out of business? Trying to stay ahead of the curve isn’t easy.

And frankly, I don’t despise the people who say they are social media experts and put on basic workshops on how to set up a myspace account but I wish everyone would just be honest and say, “We just aren’t positive. We aren’t sure what the BEST way is to maximize traffic to your site or sell tickets but here are a number of options that have worked in the past.” We don’t have enough historical data to give absolutes here.

The biggest lesson I want people who fall into that 80% who don’t know how to write a blog or create a Facebook fan page to learn is that they need to hire a young person to help them. My boss and I have discussed this often. She feels that without me at this office, BNC wouldn’t be where it is today. Where is BNC? At the forefront of current technology, on all the major what-to-do sites in Denver, all over Google. The best compliment I get is when people say to me, “I see you guys EVERYWHERE,” because that is the key. You must have a person on staff who has the time and know how to put your company all over the internet.

Whew! That was my soapbox today. I guess I just wish people could say, “I don’t know but we can all find out,” instead of assuming an answer.

P.S. I hope this doesn’t sound snarky. I know some really wonderful PR/Marketing new media experts who are really good at what they do. It’s just the proliferation of them that makes me think…

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