As I mentioned in my last post, so called ’social media experts’ are crawling out of the woodwork. I have certainly noticed a proliferation of individuals and agencies who’ve positioned themselves as such, and have met with many ’social media experts’ in the course of doing business.
I have also supported many agencies in developing social media skills internally and delivering social media expertise to their clients.
With thousands swarming to social media, how do you tell who’s really a ’social media expert’ from one who’s not?
In BusinessWeek’s Debunking Six Social Media Myths, author B.L. Ochman reviewed Robert Scoble’s (a real social media pioneer and very very nice guy) Twitter followers using Tweepsearch and found:
- 4,273 Internet marketers
- 1,652 social media marketers
- 513 social media consultants
- 272 social media strategists
- 180 social media experts
- 8 social media gurus
- 58 Internet marketing gurus
Ochman asked: “How many of them have actually created a successful campaign for clients using social media tools? I bet you’d be hard-pressed to find half a dozen with real track records.”
I’ll bet you would fine a few more than half a dozen… but believe me when I tell you:
Comparatively few of us have had real social media experience - the kind that thickens your skin, gives you real-world perspective and toughens your resolve….
As you’re contemplating getting help in the social media realm, ask your ’social media expert’ for proof of their social media expertise.
Here are a few questions I’d throw out there:
- Tell me about your experience when something went wrong for you or a client in the social media realm
- What did you do about it?
- What did you learn from it?
- How have you seen social media marketing change over the past few years?
- What is your methodology for social media readiness?
As you look at social media options, look hard at your internal and external resources. And do not trust an expert who can’t back up their claim with real-world experience. We’re too early in this game, and there are too many mistakes yet to be made.
Most brands still need real sherpas to help us all up the social media climb.