01/21/2013 03:19 pm ET

Social Media 'Ninjas,' Gurus' And 'Mavens' Are Multiplying By The Minute

"Social media marketer" is so 2011. Today, everyone wants to be a "ninja," guru" or "master" of Twitter.

While there's no exact description for what makes someone a Twitter expert, the number of Twitter users claiming to be one seems to have skyrocketed over the last four years, according to a survey by B.L Ochman at AdAge. She found that 181,354 tweeters put the phrase "social media" in their bios, a figure that is more than 11 times higher at the start of 2013 than in 2009.

These include some popular titles like "social media maven" (21,928 users), "social media ninja" (21,876 users), "social media evangelist" (20,829 users), and of course "social media guru" (18,363 users).

And where do these titles come from? Well, perhaps employers started the trend. For example, job listings with the word "ninja" -- such as "Javascript ninja," "web developer/technology ninja" and even "iPhone ninja" -- have increased 2,505 percent between May 2006 and May 2012, according to data from, first posted out by the Wall Street Journal. Posting for coding "Jedis" and "rockstars" have spiked as well, the Journal wrote.

Silly names aside, programmers tend to have a computer-science degree certifying their coding skills. Most social media "gurus" didn't earn their self-proclaimed title officially -- unless a couple thousand tweets count as proof of hard-earned expertise.

This begs the question: What does it take to be, say, a "social media ninja?" A certain number of followers? Viral blog-writing ability? Or just serious karate-chop skills and a Twitter handle? Your guess is as good as ours.



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