How to Become a Social Media Marketing Expert – Infographic

Many words and phrases are trotted out by self titled social media marketing experts that are tossed around so much they lose their meaning and impact.How to become a social media marketing expert

Specialist, thought leader and even guru are some of the glib terms used. Maybe we should be using words that are a bit more fun.

Like…savvy, adept, adroit or even crackerjack.

Just imagine being at a dinner party and someone asks you what you do. You respond with.

I am a Crackerjack Savvy, Social Media Marketing Specialist“.

Bit more fun really.

The “Guru” term is the one phrase that makes me cringe the most. It conjures up someone who has disappeared into the Tibetan mountains, had a vision, hummed a lot and and has come back with insight and enlightenment that is god like and transcends being human. They are wearing sandals, donned a magical cloak and the halo is shimmering.

Sorry…haven’t met one of those yet.. but looking forward to it.

The path to professional

Becoming well known and a professional in your industry is often a journey that starts with a burning passion. This is maybe the most important quality because you need that fuel to maintain the dedication and discipline required to be at the top of your game.

Ever known a top sporting professional who doesn’t burn with passion?

In social media marketing the two most common formal paths that converge in a social media expert and specialist are from public relations and marketing. With the rise in the importance of content marketing, multi media and technology, the skills required can even extend into creative, technical and writing.

Also thrown into the mix is the need to have an understanding of data that keeps us on track in our quest for determining what does and doesn’t work.

Creative Ninja Geek

One term we should maybe kick around is “Creative Ninja Geek“. This conjures up a  picture of someone that  understands tech but hasn’t forgotten to be human and social. They have cloaked their nerdness with a creative streak and a large dash of humanity.

They are the sort of people I often enjoy hanging out with.

Ever been to a software or technology conference? Men in suits are often in abundance.

Attended a social media marketing conference? The women show up and there are a lot more hugs to be had. A bit Californian really.

That is why I like social.

How do you become a social media marketing expert?

Here is an infographic that provides some hints, colleges and education ideas that you may find useful on your path to becoming that social media expert.

How to Become a Social Media Marketing Expert

Infographic source: 

 What about you?

What was your path to being an expert in your area? Are you self taught or is it a combination of formal education, experience and learning on the job?

Are you passionate about social media marketing?

Look forward to hearing your stories in the comments below.

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Image by Shutterstock



  • andrew

    Yeah we like :-) Nice infographic

    • Jeff Bullas

      Thanks Andrew

  • Byron

    Hey Jeff, I haven’t had any formal qualifications in the above that’s suggested, and my path has been mostly self taught – will I be left behind in SMM or less employable if I don’t have formal qualifications?

    • Jeff Bullas

      Thanks for the question Byron. From what I have seen of the industry a lot of the top people are self taught. If working for a corporate then it doesn’t hurt to have a PR or marketing degree.

  • Cheval John

    For me, it’s self-taught and I’m still learning the ins and out of social media. I’ve been blogging for three years and I’ve learned that you have to continue to produce great content on a weekly basis and if you don’t keep at it, then the numbers will drop off. Learned that the hard way.

    • Jeff Bullas

      Thanks for the insights Cheval. The self taught had to happen as universities and colleges have only added courses over the last couple of years.

  • Jeff Bullas

    Thanks Melissa. It sounds like you may becoming a Guru! :)

  • Jeff Bullas

    Keep learning!

  • Jeff Bullas


  • nickie snyder

    Infographics is effective promotion technique , attracting user attention and encouraging their participation.

  • Ayshia Taskin

    Thanks, really informative 😀

  • Warren Whitlock

    In the “what does an SMM do” section I didn’t see anything about understanding the business process and working towards the KPI’s of the company. Everyone can be social, the expert is the person who understands how it connects to business.

  • Patty Shayler

    Studied Chemical engineering and now in Social Media doing my app and learning developers language. Live is a trip!

  • Airica D. Kraehmer

    Trying to promote my modeling page on Facebook to attract work and agencies. Not sure how to begin.

    Anyone have advice??

  • Vicki

    This is an excellent article. I am beginning a Virtual Assistant biz where I help small business owners save time and money by outsourcing their administrative, social media updates, blog and document writing and more, so they (the small business or entrepreneur) can focus their time and expertise on building their business. This was very helpful to me as well and my plan is to take your advice and become a “Crackerjack Savvy, Social Media Marketing Specialist”, Writer and Virtual Assistant. :)

  • Vicki

    Hi Robert: Sorry for the delay in response. I’m new to the VA services arena – however, I have a cumulative 27+ Administrative/Customer Relations and Writing experience that I decided needed to be put to better use – helping small business owners and entrepreneurs.


    nice article