As a full-time social media professional (I’m a marketer for a company that promotes music, art and design), I get called a lot of things other than a social media professional. You’ve heard the words: social media guru, maven, queen…
I’ve done it myself, once calling a colleague a social media guru. (She gently corrected me, reminding me that as a paid freelance professional with several years of social media campaign leadership experience, she is a consultant.)
I figure we use these terms because so-called social media is so new and so technology-based that there are many geeky people very interested in it who think they know more than they do — or who actually do know a lot but haven’t yet been able to make much money doing it, as with any hot, new field, paid pro work is hard to come by.
And these people are called gurus and mavens, since they often really have drawn extensive knowledge from multiple experiences. But so often they don’t really have jobs in social media, thus the lack of an official title.
I’ve compiled a list of terms I offer for people for use in referring to people who are paid to do social media. We might be gurus and mavens, but we are also people with jobs.
Gurus and experts speak at conferences. People with jobs can too, but we still need a name for our work identity.
USE these words for people who are paid to do social media, and make a living that way
* campaign leader
USE these words for people you wish to annoy or insult, who spend more time talking about social media than actually using social media tools, or who have several years of experience using social media in challenging situations, esp. while working with different clients or in different fields, and who share that knowledge publicly