13 thoughts on “What Makes A Social Media Expert?

  1. Even with the .com burst some of the successful businesses are .com. The problem is at the time people didn’t know how to monetize a .com. The same is occurring with Social Media, these sites have clear value, but no revenue. Becoming a social media expert is easy, you just need to hear about the latest thing first in a world where everything has already been said or Tweeted, its nothing about business. Once there is structure to social media its hype will fade, but its importance will stay. Imagine if Facebook charged each member $1.00 a year. The monetization would be fantastic and the social media bubble would burst, yet it will still maintain profitable and be one of the biggest businesses. Just like the .coms. This could make room for actual experts to once again enter the game.

  2. Jim Matorin

    Your statement: social media is one vertical speaks volume. I really enjoyed this post. Hank I will call you when I meet a sm expert, but I would advise not to hang by the phone.

  3. Hank, thanks for your posts. I enjoy reading them. While I agree with many of your points, I believe social media is here to stay and will be integrated into every piece of business – similar to digital and eventually mobile. There will always be specialists in those areas of business, but it will be more streamlined. At my past agency experiences, I too, had to develop a breath and range of skills, and I think that has helped me to focus more on client’s business objectives, goals and audiences, rather than a specific social tactic to solve the problem. We need to continue to bring more of the business focus into the social media space overall and we are starting to see that happen.

  4. Great post and very challenging to all us “experts.” I see social media more as online networking than anything else. The same principles apply as meeting people face to face, sharing ideas, developing relationships and becoming friends. The best B2C brands on Facebook engage consumers in a way that feels one on one to them. LinkedIn is a great forum to share ideas, best practices and connect with like minded businesspeople. Twitter is a world of real time discussion in countless categories and a wellspring of ideas and information as well as a great connector of people – one at a time. YouTube, StumbleUpon, blogs… There are so many platforms today and to me they all keep us linked and grow our networks, leading ultimately to profitable relationships so long as we stick with the 3 A’s I’ve been speaking on: you must be Active, Attractive and Alert. I’ll ad a fourth for this comment: Accessible. Cheers!

  5. Well said, Hank. And good links to back up the point. Even people like Chris Brogan and Brian Solis have described themselves as “students” of social media, because we’re all still learning. Social media is just one more marketing tool.

  6. Your perspective is always appreciated – particularly by those of us who have worked for ad agency and/or client positions. For 99% of brands, hiring a social media expert is like a construction company hiring an employee only to do Phillips screws. Social media is just one source of traffic to your website or impressions for your brand. I admin about 8 Facebook pages and review dozens of Goggle Analytics and rarely see Facebook represent more than 5-10% of traffic and Twitter is usually a point or two at best. A fair amount of the traffic from Facebook is coming from paid advertising on Facebook – not just the fan base. For smaller brands and those with limited geographic focus, Facebook is an excellent option for building and maintaining awareness.

    None of the Facebook pages I admin has more than 20,000 fans so the time investment is rally more than an hour or two per week. If we were to be having dozens or hundreds of fans commenting a day, the labor intensity would increase and I look forward to the day when these brands need that level of support.

    So next time you talk with a social media expert, have them talk about the page views and time on your website by social media driven visitors. What is going to provide more value to your brand – following thousands of people on Twitter who aren’t engaged with your brand or having thousands of visitors on your website that look at 6 pages and spend three minutes? Social media is very much part of the media landscape today, but like everything you read on the internet, it must be evaluated and taken in the proper perspective.

    • Sheila Gregory

      I like your advice because it is result-oriented. I am sure there are many who create a presence in cyberspace all over various forums thinking that getting the job done simply means saturating the media. Being from DM, I like tangible and measurable data. What is the point unless you can demonstrate the pathways leading from one site to another? Then going further, are there measures that this traffic translates into some action taken by visitors to the site.

  7. A social media expert needs to demonstrate how he used the tools to his own benefit, and can do the same for the prospect.

    The danger is that the ‘expert’ may be skilled in the use of only one or two tools. That’s as bad as a carpenter who only knows how to use a hammer.

  8. Doris

    Great post! I beleive that social media is becoming another “tool” of the integrated marketing, not a marketing strategy itself. I prefer to be a consumer expert and use different tools to reach my audience than to become a “tool expert”.

  9. Bob

    Personally, I find the label “social media expert” a cause for alarm. What does this mean, who decides, and how can someone really understand this free for all? I try not to be labeled as anything other than a curious marketing mind in a rapidly changing digital universe…or the wild wild west relived, take your pick.

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