9 Distinguishable Traits Of Social Media Marketing Rock Stars!

Elvis PresleyDo you know what sets social media marketing industry leaders from the rest?

Is it authenticity?



Or their good looking :)

Everybody and their dog is a social media expert these days. Some prefer to call themselves gurus, others call themselves ninjas, some Jedis, some others mavens…and the list goes on!

Truth is, it takes an imaginable amount of effort, dedication and hard work to connect the scattered dots of social media marketing and form a clear understanding of the big picture.

If you’ve been in social media marketing for a while, then you now know that it’s not about your Facebook page, Twitter profile or the pictures you post on Instagram!

It’s about the strategic approach that you take towards employing all of those social assets to best serve your business goals. Or should I say your customers?

Social is a culture, a business lifestyle, a privilege that only brave businesses get to reap the benefit of. Real social media marketers know that for a fact, and they do their best to spread those principals. If you’re an aspiring social media marketer, or a business owner who wants to find real experts in social media, then here are 9 distinguishable traits of social media marketing rock stars for you:

1- They Don’t Fall For The Latest Shinny Object

As you know, social media is one of the fastest changing industries in the world. Social media professionals experience time a little bit differently than other people in other industries. A year is literally 10 times more by social media means :)

When something new (a shinny object) comes to the industry, you find people rushing in to cover it and claim that they’ve figured it out. Video app “Vine” is a good example of that lately. Everyone tries to come up with fancy titles to their posts like “why your business can’t survive without Vine” OR “why Vine will be the THING this year”…etc

Real social media professionals hold back for a while until they see the real value of something. When they do (which is usually after the storm goes), they go full-power with it.


We shouldn’t fall for the latest industry trends trap. Keep in mind that tools and trends don’t really matter as much as their real use. A tool measures only by its usefulness and impact on your business. That impact takes a little bit of trial in order to take effect. So next time you hear that something new has come (which is any minute now), hold back while you think of how this new thing will help you serve your customers better. Otherwise, you’ll consume all of your company’s resources!

2- They Apply More Than They Learn

I believe that social media marketing is a little bit learning and a whole lot doing. ClickToTweet

The problem with today’s web is that if you’re not careful, you’ll easily get overwhelmed by all the information that comes on everyday. I’ve been guilty of this myself few years ago when I was consuming everything I stumble on without having the time to apply anything. I probably have like 5 or 10 years worth of application from all what I learned earlier :)


No matter how much experience we have, we should always keep learning. The key is to apply more than you learn. This way you’ll leave room to applying your creative ideas and not just copy what everyone is doing. Social media marketing is all about getting your hands dirty and failing over and over again, and you won’t be able to figure it out if you’re just watching from the outside.

3- They Don’t Like To Under-price Their Services

I didn’t want to say that they like to charge a lot so you don’t fall for anyone who puts a crazy amount on their services page. Social media experts appreciate their time and they have faith that whatever the investment you make with them, you’re going to end up with multiple times the benefit.

With all the competition out there, everybody seems to be under-pricing their services just so they can get a steady stream of clients. Not real experts!

No matter how much they charge for their services, they always manage to find high paying clients. WHY?

Simply because they have developed a perception of value within their prospects. When you believe in someone that much, then you won’t care about your investment, because you know that you’re going to make a whole lot more from their advice.


Don’t you ever under-price your services. You might do it at the beginning to build a good work history and a network that can be beneficial to your referral strategy, but that’s it. Instead, try to focus on how you can increase the value of what you offer. When you do that, your prospects’ perception of you will change, and you’ll soon stop worrying about pricing!

4- They Are Strategic About Their Work

I believe that the biggest problem why social media is failing many businesses today is the lack of strategy.

Everyone can probably post status updates and tweets, but very few can see the big picture.

I always say to my clients that social media marketing isn’t about the tools. It’s about the overall strategy that is designed to serve a specific purpose.

I like to call social media professionals “The WHY Seekers”!

They always keep the “Why” in mind when they’re working on a strategy. A purpose oriented expert is exactly what your business needs to make every strategy work.


99% of so-called social media experts approach social media marketing the wrong way. They tell their clients that they should have a Facebook page, a Twitter profile and probably a Pinterest account. Do you know why a business owner might need a Facebook page? Do you know the real purpose of having a Facebook page? Do you know why would a business need social media in the first place?

5- They Don’t Care About Vanity/Stupid Metrics

You brag to a social media marketing expert about the 100.000 fans you have on your Facebook page, and they’ll laugh at you all day!

Few social media years ago (which is just several months), everybody was crazy about numbers. You find those ads that each promise you with 10.000 fans in 24 hours, and business owners seemed to believe them!

Today, I believe that people are starting to realize the true meaning of social media. However, many social media marketers still care about metrics even if they’re not relevant (so how am I supposed to blame business owners?).

The only condition numbers matter is when they are relevant and targeted. Social media experts don’t really care about these numbers. All that they care about is your business’s bottom-line. They know that a strategy is only measured by its effect on the bottom-line. There are many sophisticated approaches and tools to measure social media ROI today, so don’t let anybody tell you the opposite!


Stop chasing vanity metrics immediately!

6- They Are Smart Communicators

This is one of the most powerful skills that social media marketers have in their arsenal!

I believe what makes the real difference between a social media marketer and a person who happens to know how to do social is their ability to communicate well with their network as well as with their audience.

You’ve probably heard this many times already, but if you want to be a social media expert, you need to be social NOT do social (the same applies for businesses).

Communication lies within every single task you do on social media, from replying to an email, thanking someone for retweeting you, writing a blog post or a status update, doing a podcast interview…etc. The better you are as a communicator; the more people will gravitate towards you or your brand. Although there are many important skills that make a social media marketing expert, this one I believe is the most important of them!


As I told you before, tools come and go, but what remains are the solid principals that social media marketing was built upon. If you see that you lack communication skills, then I suggest you start working on them right away, and you’ll be amazed of how your perception/approach changes towards social media.

7- They’re Super Curious And Passionate About Social Media

Social media marketing experts don’t just do social media for a living, then live and breathe social media!

I’m sure that you heard a gazillion times before that if you’re not passionate about something, then you’re not going to excel at it.

The same thing applies to social media marketing. If you don’t wake up every morning super curious about the latest happenings in social media, then I suggest you should consider doing something else. I listen to some social media marketing podcasts, and I can instantly sense that the experts in the podcast literally geek around social media. It’s like those old days when people used to geek around the latest hacks or tech news and nobody else in the group knew what they’re talking about!


I know that you might think of social media marketing as just a job, but people who don’t think of it that way will go beyond the limits. Passion is a necessary catalyst in the social media marketing success. If you’re curious to discover new things and try new strategies, then you’re going to form a solid understanding of how social media works, and this I believe is your only way to succeed in this industry.

8- They Understand The Pains Of Their Prospects

One of the biggest problems service providers face these days is their inability to understand their prospects’ pain points. Although the first item in the process of marketing your services is creating your buyer personas, many people seem to fail at that!

If you don’t know who you can best serve and what their biggest challenges and pains are, you’ll never be able to help them (that’s if you get them to work with you in the first place).

Social media experts know exactly what their prospects are struggling with the most, even if sometimes the business-owners themselves are mislead by all the “Rainbow” articles out there. Knowing the pain points of your prospects will help you address the right issues so you can communicate them more effectively through your blog posts, statuses, tweets…etc


Try to get as much feedback from your prospects as you can. Encourage them to send you questions on social media or by email. I do it all the time, and it seems to deepen my understanding of their problems. The more understanding I have, the more I’ll be able to serve them best.

9- They’re Creative And Don’t Just Copy Other People’s Work

What many people seem to miss these days is the fact that the only way you’re going to stand out of the crowd is by being creative!

Many social media marketers think that they can get away with copying what other people are doing in the industry. Sure they can, but that won’t make them industry leaders!

If all you’re doing is applying strategies that have been already implemented, then your success will be moderate. To be a real expert, you need to come up with new ideas and strategies that will help business-owners make the best out of social media.

Many service providers also seem to be caught in what I call “The Working Hard” storm, and they don’t leave enough room to creativity in their work!

Sure it’s an overwhelming industry, but that doesn’t give you the right to be lazy in terms of challenging yourself to come up with creative ideas.


It’s true that the strategies that already exist will probably take you years to implement. However, you should always leave room (even if it’s small) to trying new things from your own thinking. I’m not obviously telling you to reinvent the wheel or anything. I’m just telling you that you should try some creativity. Believe me it’s awesome :)

These I believe are the most distinguishable traits of real social media marketing experts. Do you have any you want to share with us?

Images Credit: oddsockSister72, D H Wright, jeffmol, AForestFrolic, cdsessums, Conor Lawless, Brian Smithson (Old Geordie), wisegie

Hi, I’m Houssem. I created hqsocialmedia.com for one single reason, which is helping small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs make more money from social media. Interested? Let’s talk!

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  • http://natalee-jewel.com Natalee-Jewel Kirby

    Great article Houssem! I like to think I have those traits ;p
    I agree with all your points, especially – 1, 2, 5, 8 and 9.
    Thought you might like to read my article: http://bit.ly/smbmus – “Tired of Singing the Blues? Be your Industry’s Rock Star!” It’s 10 key steps to developing your thought leadership through social media.

    Let me know what you think!

    Thanks again for your post. I look forward to reading the next :)

    • http://www.hqsocialmedia.com/ Houssem

      Hi Natalee, glad you liked the post :)

      Your article is really awesome. Very informative and visual! I’m sharing it right now :)

      Thanks for stopping by!


  • http://Www.thesocialphysio.com Marion

    I really enjoy your thoughts on social media and agree wholeheartedly. What I would like to know is what you recommend as a resource for learning STRATEGY…. I have read a lot, but I would value your opinion.