Do you feel you’re struggling to get a grip on social media while others are somehow racing ahead and reaping all the rewards? If so, then you may be interested to learn that you’re not alone.

It seems that, contrary to common perception, only a relatively small minority of social media users actually consider themselves as experts and that most of us think we still have so much more to learn.

And you only have to look at the findings of a new survey, conducted on behalf of daily PR and marketing news site Ragan’s PR Daily, to see exactly what we mean.

According to the study, which evaluated the responses of more than 2,700 people from a variety of public sector, non-profit, and private organisations, only 13% of communicators believed they were part of an advanced, well-run social media machine.

While the majority of respondents said that they used social networks regularly, nearly two thirds (64%) admitted that they still had more to learn and more to accomplish. The remaining 23% classed themselves as newbies.

Overwhelming growth

One of the common threads to emerge from the study was just how overwhelming the growth of social media had become.

More than half of respondents (52%) said that they were just keeping their heads above water, while about a fifth (18%) literally admitted to being overwhelmed.

It therefore comes as no surprise that many of those surveyed tended to stick to the most common platforms, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, and didn’t feel they had the resources for other emerging networks, such as Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr.

However, evidence suggests that of the lesser-known platforms Google+ is the one that is beginning to attract the most attention – quite clearly because of the SEO implications of having a Google+ page.

As a PR company that provides social media services to numerous clients, we know that it’s hard enough for most organisations just to get a grip of how social media work, let alone know how to use all the various platforms.

So we actually find it encouraging that relatively few users out there really do consider themselves as experts. This suggests to us that most people give discipline the respect it deserves and understand that it takes a lot of knowledge and experience in order to genuinely make their social media campaigns work.