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[Social Media Daily Reflection] I am not an expert, I am a human being

Be sure to read all of @katlen’s Social Media Daily Reflection posts

I’ve been working in the digital marketing industry for several years now and I cringe on those occasions when someone introduces me as an expert.

I know it’s intended to be a compliment — but ever since I started my digital career during the dotcom boom, bubble and burst — I struggled with these types of terms, such as expert, when referred to others since the whole landscape was so dynamic and everchanging.

Let me ask you: How can you be an expert if something is new and emerging? If you’re trying something that has not been done before and has some risk, then well, how can that act be considered expert? You’re doing something new, so explain that. You’re an expert risk-taker? Or expert at doing something different that could work or not?

Recently I worked on a project where I learned a great deal about instinct, and balancing that with trying something entirely different. It was uncomfortable - perhaps downright foolish some would say - but at times I believe you have to come out of your comfort zone to discover. To innovate.

This project was an experiment that in concept was interesing but in execution, hmmm (pause),  not so much.

It never saw the light of day, but in fact it swirled internally. There were a lot of questions, in some cases I bet there were folks wondering whether I knew what I was doing, but I knew in my gut that it was a great idea, but wrong in execution.

And reflect on it, I have. It got me thinking, “Aha, now they definitely won’t ever call me an expert again. No, no they won’t. But what they might call me is something even more honorable — yes, human. They will call me human!”

The punchline of this reflection: We are all  humans and we’re learning how social media is changing the business world. Certain tactics will be brilliant and others, well, they’ll be downright dumb when all is said and done. Or they might not be dumb, but others might be too afraid that it will create the wrong perception or tarnish the brand. Or maybe just maybe it might be a little too human?

But being bold and continuing to explore ways to connect with your community comes with a price and some risk. To turn something on its head to show the other side opens the potential for backfire. Perhaps the underbelly isn’t what you want, but this process of investigation and testing has to be part of the process or something fresh won’t ever come about.

You might not get it right some times and if you don’t, well, consider yourself lucky. You’re human; mistakes are part of the game, and if it didn’t cause a PR crisis, a drop in stock prices, or a law suit then take the lesson, know you’re not an expert. And go back to the drawing board for the next  idea - because sooner or later it’s going to be big.

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About katlen

Digital Culture //Web Girl Circa 90s //Working Mom //Observer Of Constant Change //Music Saves Me //Worldwide Partner Group, Microsoft //My POV & Not MSFTs

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Virtual Business Assistant

    media power has been recognized as influential force for effective promotion
    of a business. A business can become part of other a community that is built
    around some particular business type. Social media strategy either builds a
    brand image or destroys the identity if not utilized properly.

  • Jen

    Seriously glad you are still human!

  • http://twitter.com/spincycle3 David Patton

    This ties to this week’s Dilbert. There is great value in pitching what we do as a journey that people can come with us on, rather than browbeating people about their ignorance. Great post. 

  • http://twitter.com/spincycle3 David Patton

    This ties to this week’s Dilbert. There is great value in pitching what we do as a journey that people can come with us on, rather than browbeating people about their ignorance. Great post. 

  • http://twitter.com/katlen Katlen Tillman

    Great way to think of it, David. And journey it is indeed!

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