2. Anyone can do it. A surfeit of whiz kids and more experienced marketers are claiming to be social media experts and even social media gurus. Search the bios of Robert Scoble’s 56,838 Twitter followers using Tweepsearch (www.tweepsearch.com), an index of the bios of Twitter users, and you’ll find:

• 4,273 Internet marketers

• 1,652 social media marketers

• 513 social media consultants

• 272 social media strategists

• 180 social media experts

• 98 social media gurus

• 58 Internet marketing gurus

How many of them have actually created a successful campaign for clients using social media tools? I bet you’d be hard-pressed to find half a dozen with real track records.

I would say that the author somewhat understates the actual number of people with profitable/successful IM or other SMM track-records. In fact, many of the most successful likely didn’t show up in this Tweepsearch query, simply because they wouldn’t put words like “Internet Marketer” into their bios.

That said, it is true that the inflation of “social media experts”, by any moniker, is a funny phenomenon to behold:

No one has fully figured out Social Media up to this point, it’s very much an evolving/emerging work in progress. And as Malcolm Gladwell had us know, true expertise/mastery typically only begins after ~ 10,000 hours of practice.

(In other words, after about 1 year of simultaneously living near 24/7 on both Twitter and FriendFeed for @Scobleizer… 🙂