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As both a practitioner and teacher of social media stuff, it’s interesting to see what people ask for, what people ask to be taught, what other teachers view as important. Here’s an unpleasant truth to social media:

Most of what you need to be successful has nothing to do with social media.

We focus a great deal on tools and metrics because these are tangibles, as tangible as you can get for an information-based medium. We talk about tricks, hacks, methods, and skills because frankly, we have nothing better to teach, and we won’t for a while.

It’s not for want of intelligence or cleverness. It’s that what powers social media is ultimately being skilled at communicating something fundamentally human. Media, social or not, merely amplifies what’s already there.

So how do you succeed in social media quickly? Figure out what human skills you’re already great at. Unless you’re a complete failure at everything in life, you have at least something you’re proficient at. Find that human skill set and work the message amplification power of media into it.

We’ve said for years that you have to be the expert in order to be successful in your use of social media, but not because people inherently trust expertise.

No, you have to be the expert at something because it’s where you’re most confident, most comfortable, most skilled as a human being. When you are communicating with others, if you work in the dead center of your comfort zone, it shows. It’s reassuring to people. It’s energizing to watch, to listen. It’s compelling to see a true master at work in their trade.

In other words, it’s exactly the kind of thing you want to see in your media, social or otherwise. Why watch the Olympics, for example? Because it’s a breathtaking display of the world’s very best, demonstrating to us all what incredible mastery looks like.

If you’re new to social media, communicate from the dead center of your comfort zone at the peak of your game so that whatever mistakes you make with the communications tools themselves are easily glossed over and shined away by the demonstration of your mastery on display.

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