“In Social Media marketing how do I know who really is an ‘expert’ in my niche?”  That’s a question I was recently asked by 2 different clients who are new to social media so I thought it would be a topic worth exploring.How do I know who is an expert in their niche?

A primary marketing strategy of social media is to “promote yourself as an authority” within your niche.  Of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with that marketing strategy if indeed you do know what you’re talking about.  As social media has gained popularity there are more and more messages being put out there that don’t have much basis or credibility.  

Tweetdeck makes social media life quite a bit easier via the organization it provides.  It was via Tweetdeck that I was able to pay attention to the incredibly diverse social media messages being put out there and the crazy claims that are made.  Since being asked about this I have been honing in on what is being promoted via the Tweetdeck column I have that shows everyone following me.  From ways to increase your followers, ways to grow you list, the latest/greatest way to sell products; you all have seen them too ~ the claims go on and on.

We are bombarded with so many messages hourly that we are prone to believe (or at least spend time researching) “the experts” who sound like they know what they’re doing.  So many of these are experts in marketing strategy, but not necessarily in the niche they are promoting.

So how are we to discern who is an expert?  (This is a particularly daunting task for those who are new to social media.)  Here are 4 ways that will help determine if a claim made in a social media post is “legit” or someone’s “make a quick buck” marketing strategy:

  • Make sure you are following/connecting with those who have a track record of saying what is actually true.  They walk the walk besides talking the talk.
  • Evaluate the source of the message.  So many times messages are ReTweet’ed ad naseum and it’s tough to get to the actual source of the original message.
  • See who the message is popular with.  Are there credible people in your nichewho are supporting what is being said?
  • Evaluate the audience, not just the messenger.  This helps determine the credibility of the message.

As with any marketing message – if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.  Do your best to ignore the messages that you are exposed to that make big claims.  Social Media takes time and effort, just the same as anything else in life.  Put in the time, put out the effort and you will be rewarded naturally.  That’s the best social media marketing strategy you can have!