Social Media Experts are a Dime a Dozen, True Social Marketers are a Coveted Few

Social Media Experts are a Dime a Dozen, True Social Marketers are a Coveted Few image 29457 400556117120 705577120 4422075 6654503 n1 150x150I saw a post from an old acquaintance the other day on twitter who was searching for a job. He claimed he was a social media expert looking for a high level marketing position. I shot a reply asking him what skills he had and his background experience.

He responded that he was an expert in Facebook, twitter, linked in, you tube, digg and other social  sites. I proceeded  to follow-up with questioning as to what specific marketing experience he had. He said nothing corporate but again he knew the in’s and out of social media and was proficient at engaging people through these channels. Frankly this worried me, there is a lot more to marketing then just engaging people. It’s only one step.  So I went on a mission. I started interviewing  a lot of  social media marketing firms out there and what their past experiences were DIRECTLY in consumer marketing. 40%, yes a whole  40% claimed that they were social media all stars, but with no other marketing experience behind their belt.

We live in a digital society- knowing the in’s and out of how to use face book and twitter and all those other great sites, doesn’t make you an expert, or a guru…it makes you one out of millions.  My friend’s fifteen year old niece probably knows very well how to engage people on these sites as well. She does it daily too.

So how do you actually find an expert? More so how do you find someone whose work actually causes an impact , result and a furthering of your entire marketing strategy? My firm LuxuryReach and I take this pretty seriously  and while this article may lost me some friends, it’s  in the pursuit of higher standards and greater good.

1)  Ask how they research their clients overall marketing goals and initiatives outside of their social media program. We found a lot of SME’s (Social Media Experts) really didn’t do any research at all. Their plan was to set up and optimize accounts, create posts and comments and interact with customers/clients. This is needed of course, but it’s also  futile in a world where everyone is doing it unless it coincides with other marketing/brand initiatives, overall strategy  and intensive industry knowledge.  Ignore any social experts who don’t perform a full marketing review and analysis for you.

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2) Ask to see Quantitative results from their past three campaigns. It’s easy to start conversations, it requires a skilled marketer to start conversations that lead to interactions which further lead to sales.  Your expert/guru/firm should be able to provide numbers behind their work. Whether it’s increased sales and revenues, increased client retention or decreased costs, they should be able to separate their initatives from other marketing programs their clients are engaging in and provide concrete and verifiable results. Likes, comments, and retweets are important, but not if they never impact your bottom line

3) Ask to see their background experience.  There are social media experts all over the world. There are far less who even know the basic and more importantly  advanced strategies to marketing and communications.  If you broke your wrist, would you see a man who looked at pictures of the human body all day, or a Dr. who went to medical school and treated  broken bones specifically? Both may be experts in the workings of the human body, the Dr., however has the background, experience, and education to take care of your SPECIFIC need. This view should be taken with all specialists, social media included.

So, in closing be wary- Be wary of the service providers who may be able to provide marginal help, but whose overall impact may pale in comparison to the results other can bring to the table.

Author: Zachary Weiner- CEO LuxuryReach Inc, President Media Influence Inc.  Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook.

Discuss This Article

Comments: 5

  • Great piece Zachary. There are so many who claim this title that it is overwhelming to choose one.

  • Last fall during my presentation at a BtoB marketing conference, I asked the audience if anyone knew the median annual earnings of social media experts in America. Much laughter but no answers. Maybe a dime a dozen is correct.

  • Derek says:

    This is a great topic and I’m glad someone like yourself has taken the time to open discussion around it. Speaking from the perspective of a recent graduate who is currently a digital media planner for a major pet food brand, I can say that I’ve had healthy exposure into the social media realm, both as a student and from the client’s side. However, what baffles me, is the shear amount of demand from small companies for these “gurus.” Coming out of school, I have seen countless openings for these positions but have never truly felt qualified for such a responsibility, even though Social Media had already become imbedded into my everyday life.

  • Zachary Weiner says:

    @Brian Thanks! We saw that overwhelming with web development gurus in the past too, next up on deck… mobile/tablet app developers and ITV gurus..;)

    @Derek That’s actually really refreshing to hear and is a smart move too. The sad truth is that the strict “Social Media guru” is actually going to become a dying breed once the hoopla and initial spike of over-enthusiasm finally dies down. The issue is that eventually EVERY company will have social media campaigns- Once that happens social content over-saturation will occur and a lot more intensive strategy will need to be utilized for any market share. Actually stayed tuned on here or my company’s twitter feed for the next article- it addresses that specifically. Twitter @luxuryreach

  • Zachary Weiner says:

    Sorry that meant to say @Karl for the first name mentioned!

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