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How do your social skills measure up?

SmartPulse — our weekly reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social-media practices and issues.

Last week’s poll question: How would you describe your level of social-marketing expertise?

  • Student — I’m learning a lot about social marketing, but I’m not field-tested — 28.57%
  • Strong — I’m able to apply what I’ve learned and see results — 25.97%
  • Solid — I’m putting my social skills into practice, but haven’t seen results — 22.40%
  • Stellar — Others turn to me for advice — 13.31%
  • Struggling — I’m not so sure I understand social marketing — 8.44%
  • Still in shock — I just learned about this technology last week — 1.30%

The most common question I get about the polls we run every Wednesday is, “Who are these people you’re surveying?” It’s easy enough to just say that they’re SmartBrief on Social Media readers — 315 of them in this week’s poll — but that’s not really a very satisfying answer, is it? What does a SBoSM reader look like? Are they all social experts? Newbies? Somewhere in between?

It turns out that more than three-fifths of our readers are at least comfortable enough with social tools to try putting them to use — while more than a quarter say they’re seeing returns on their efforts.

I have to confess that those numbers are higher than I expected. Not because I don’t have faith in my audience, but because the notion of being a perpetual student of the craft has a lot of appeal in certain social-marketing circles. There’s something very reassuring about knowing you’re always learning and developing your understanding of how social tools work — and that’s really no such thing as a social-media master. I can see why “student” was the most popular answer, with nearly 29% of the vote.

The leaves us with the almost 10% who are still getting the hang of this whole social-media thing. I wish I knew more about what this number means — is it a sign that we’re doing our job and quickly converting newbies into smooth operators? Or are we simply attracting fewer newcomers to begin with?

What excites me most about this poll is that we’ll have the opportunity to run it again in a year and see how the brief has changed. I wonder how many experts we’ll have by then.

What else would you like to know about your fellow SmartBrief on Social Media readers? Feel free to suggest new poll questions in the comments — and check our our poll archive for more insights into how SmartBrief readers use social media.