If you notice, I did not use the term “expert” in the title of this blog, because in the course of my research over the last year on social media, there is no such thing as an “expert.” In fact, social media is the great equalizer, in that small and large companies can compete in the same sphere no matter what resources they have at their disposal.  All it takes is a little bit of time and some effort, and a whole lot of patience becoming acquainted with the constantly current social media platforms.

I have been fortunate over the last month to attend lectures given by Jack Dorsey, the chairman and founder of Twitter, Christi Day, the social media spokesperson for Southwest Airlines, and Daphna Michaelson, a writer who is traveling to the 50 states in 52 weeks using social media as a means to connect with strangers to write stories for her Facebook page chronicling her journeys. All these folks are “leaders” in Social Media because they are trailblazers at using a technologies that are in their infancy.  

Jack Dorsey spoke at Webster University in St. Louis and received the Person of the Year award for his creation of Twitter (Here is a great summary of his speech from Erin Eschen, a member of the Social Media Club of St. Louis).  What resonated with me most from his speech (and what I tweeted during his speech), was Start now, start here, and start small. Keep it simple.”  My own approach to Twitter has been exactly that – three months ago I started my Twitter account beginning with “retweeting” a simple web link; I now feel that I have a basic understanding on what Twitter is and continue to learn each day.

Daphna Michaelson (read about her “50 in 52 Journey” here), who said that it took her 6 months before she finally figured out what Twitter was all about; for here that was engaging her followers as she traveled using an iPhone to blog.

Finally, Christi Day (read her blog “Done a Dance to That…”) showed that even a large corporation like Southwest Airlines is constantly experimenting with how social media fits into  building their brand image.  This makes me think that a small company like the one that Ann Marie and I are building, can compete with much larger communications firms with a small investment in time.