Monday, June 14, 2010

Social Media…Expert?

I answered a discussion on LinkedIn today, and it got me thinking… I think this is something I want to blog about. The ever growing list of social media experts out there. I know that last one is not a complete sentence.

Everywhere I look, I see Social Media Expert labeled as someone’s profession. Call me out wrong, but how can anyone be an expert on this subject? Social media is constantly changing and growing. It’s changing every day. Every day we learn something new from it. Since we are all learning, how can anyone be an expert? I, myself, have branched out to form my own social media marketing agency, but I could never call myself an expert. I have listened to all the webinars, attended all the seminars and several conferences, even studied to become certified, but I do not consider myself an expert by any means. I feel that would be a total misconception and I think most people would call me out on it as well. I think my potential customers might even be leery of the term.

I also notice tons of current marketing agencies out there adding social media to their mix. Do they know how to leverage social media? I do not know and cannot say. But I have this gut feeling that many are throwing it into the mix because it is rapidly becoming more popular and they feel they need to offer it. Do they have any training or experience with it? It’s right there on the home page: “Now offering social media”. This gets me thinking even more. Does the customer want a marketing agency that recently added social media to its many other services or do they want someone who specializes in just social media? That’s another ongoing question that has been in the back of my mind for some time.

While I’m on the subject, another thing I have noted is the increasing job postings for a social media manager. Now, on the job postings, companies are requiring the new social media manager to have a Bachelor’s Degree. Why? I can say with great probability that the majority of marketers out there did not receive lessons in social media while they were obtaining their degrees. It’s only been around for the last few years. Maybe a recent grad… That really makes no sense to me. Do the companies who are hiring the social media manager even know what they are looking for?

Questions… Questions…

Maybe someone can enlighten me.

1 comment:

  1. A good way to check someone's affinity with online networking is to Google them and see where they turn up. Check out their social media footprint. If they have 300 followers on Twitter and no engagement happening on their Twitstream, they don't get it. If they have nothing on their Twitstream but ads for themselves, or quotes and nothing else, they don't get it. If they have 58,000 followers and 500 tweets they don't get it. Look for people who have added people organically, and selectively and engage with their twitternetwork.

    No a degree won't give you any access to knowledge of social media. Check the things above that is the only thing that will tell you if someone understands online community. "Digital native" is the description of the person most likely to be useful in a social manager role. The footprint online tells the story. No footprint... no clue.