What I've learned since is this: I'm no social media expert.

Gerry Crispin posted a status update on Facebook recently that said something to the effect of:

There are more social media experts out there than those participating in social media.

The facetious post really hit home with me, particularly after coming off the holiday break and re-entering the work atmosphere, face pressed firmly against the heat shield.

It was a busy friggin' week, and a humbling one as well.

I kept thinking about what Gerry posted and the fact that in his blog bio the first thing he writes is that he's a student of recruiting.

A student. That's so true. I've been in higher education, hi-tech and HR marketplace marketing communications for over 22 years, and I know a lot of stuff, but yet I learn something new every day.

That's the way it's supposed to work, right?

Unfortunately I've seen the proliferation of social media experts fill the virtual air around us with enough hot white noise to lift off from the ground and carry followers into oblivion.

A slight exaggeration I know, but c'mon. Let's get back to:

Notice I didn't use the words marketing or selling. Don't get me wrong, social media is a powerful marketing channel -- albeit one of many that is more personable, more focused and must involve more listening and TLC than any other marketing activity you engage in.

Executives and captains of industry may not want to ride unicorns and jump over rainbow rivers whilst singing "So happy together", but for those who do -- figuratively mind you -- participating in social media is a learning, growing, networking and relationship-building experience like no other. Don't even think about tracking hard ROI or I'll sick David Meerman Scott on you.

Social media marketing is all about combining the power of online marketing and social networking so that you converse openly with your buying and influencing universe about anything and everything – good, bad and all in between.

In our latest report due out soon (I swear), when HR buyers were asked what social networking sites they frequent, LinkedIn ranked an overwhelming first (72%), followed by Facebook (51%), SHRM Connect (35%), HR.com (31%), and Twitter (20%).

And participation only continues to grow.

Many of our HRmarketer team members participate in social media and we see the number of HR buyers and influencers growing daily; it's only begun to migrate into mass adoption.

Although you can follow us on Twitter at @HRmarketer, don't hide behind an avatar, icon or brand. Ensure that you and staff who participate in social media are visible -- real, fallible human beings -- and visibly connected to your company.

When I wrote Conversation Starters: Social Media Marketing in the HR Marketplace eBook last year, I was trying to make sense of this channel and the power therein for HR suppliers and buyers.

What I've learned since is this: I'm no social media expert.

I am a student of business, of the HR marketplace, of marcom, of social media and global citizenry, of fatherhood, of living mindfully moment to moment.

Teach me what works for you and I'll teach you what works for me.

(But I am pretty good at some stuff. Really.)

Post by Kevin W. Grossman (join me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn - and now join HRmarketer on Twitter!)

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