9 Signs Your Social Media Expert Is A Fraud
A good social media marketing professional is equal parts PR specialist, social networker, community manager, SEO and link building expert, content creator, brand evangelist, blogger, online strategist, creative director, agency account exec, internet technologist, and caffeine addict.
A pretty unique set of skills for one person. Not surprisingly, it’s difficult finding someone who possesses all these capabilities. I’ve been neck-deep into planning the launch of an e-commerce website recently, and social media is a major segment of the site’s marketing strategy. Unfortunately, the search for someone who can both execute a well planned social engagement campaign and strategically manage social media in-house has been a challenge.
Having now examined the merits of countless self-proclaimed social media “experts”, I’ve noticed some common warning signs that a social media marketer may not be everything they claim.
- They don’t practice what they preach. Just because someone reads Mashable and SocialMediaToday doesn’t make them an expert. Social media is like swimming, one has to jump in to learn how not to drown. A true social media expert should be constantly posting on Twitter, checking LinkedIn, using Facebook, and managing their blog.
- Their “brand” doesn’t come up in search. Every social media professional should be mindful of their personal brand. A good litmus test is if one of their social media pages can be found at the top of the Google SERP (search engine results page) when you do a search for that person’s name.
- They have poor writing skills. If someone wants to charge money (or be hired) for their social media expertise, they better have professional quality writing. I’ve seen too many samples of copy offered by job candidates and consultants that wouldn’t receive a passing grade from a 9th grade English teacher.
- They haven’t written a press release. Press releases and articles are an important part of generating online traffic; your expert should have plenty of well written and correctly formatted examples. A hastily thrown together blog post is not the same as a well-crafted, quote-filled news article.
- They don’t have several thousand followers on either Twitter or Facebook. A real social media professional doesn’t just talk social networking, they live social networking. If they aren’t being followed, they’re nobody in social media.
- They don’t have agency experience. Many of the best social media practitioners I have found have worked in an agency environment at one time in their career. Agency-trained people know how to write a creative brief, develop a marketing plan, work with enterprise-level tools, and track metrics such as campaign ROI, engagement, reach, frequency, CTR and conversion. “Madmen 2010″ will be about a 25 year-old updating his/her Facebook page.
- They never worked for a client other than themselves. Building one’s own affiliate website to 50,000 unique visitors a month is certainly notable, but doing it for some one else is completely different. I want someone who can be passionate about something they don’t really feel passion about.
- They don’t have their own side project. Every person truly involved with social media is working multiple projects at once. This is the new frontier for the current generation; so to paraphrase and repurpose Horace Greeley, “Go tweet, young marketer”.
- They call themselves a “Social Media Expert”. This field is evolving too fast for anyone to be an expert, a true social media practitioner is still just a student.
© 2010 MoneyandRisk.com all rights reserved