How to Become a Social Media Expert is the kind of headline that makes me roll my eyes. I hate it because it sounds ridiculous. I hate it because it sounds like a scam. I mock the so called experts who charge ridiculous amounts of money to teach others how to be successful at this. You don't need to pay someone to learn how to be an expert.
In a moment I'll provide you with the single most important rule of social media and then you'll understand that if you pay someone for working in social media this is what you should be paying them to do.
Engage with others. Listen to what people have to say and have a discussion with them.
It is not any different than the real world. People are social creatures. They want to be heard. They want to be useful, worthwhile and valuable. The people that we like the most tend to do a good job of doing that for us. It doesn't necessarily mean that you have to be friends with everyone either. It really just means that you have a two way exchange in which both parties feel value and appreciation.
Remember that The Power of Social Media is simple:
Power in social media is derived from your ability to convince others to respond to a call to action.
Engagement with others is the most effective way to do that. Ideally that means that you develop friendships with others. As a father I teach my children that you can never have too many friends. As a realist I know that you can't be friends with everyone, there simply isn't time. However that doesn't have to prevent you from using social media to become far more influential than you are today.
Engage, engage, engage. That is it. Talk to others, be real and be authentic.
That's all it takes. Now you are a social media expert and it didn't cost you a dime.