Is Your “Expert” Really an Expert?

I’m sure we’ve all been to a session, received an enticing e-mail, or read a blog post from a so-called “social media expert”.  Someone who restates the facts and leaves the audience more confused and unsure about social media than before they began.

Witnessing this first hand, really put the social media expert conversation into perspective. It showed how many people active in social media don’t necessarily know how to translate it to something valuable to businesses. It is important to be aware if you are looking to hire a social media expert; you should know the difference between someone who understands how to incorporate social tools to influence, rather than someone who knows how to get a lot of attention (aka. followers/fans).

Here are 5 things to beware of when selecting an “expert”,

Run if:

  1. The social strategy they recommend primarily consists of starting a Twitter profile and a Facebook fan page.
  2. Social Media success measurement is based upon building up lots of followers and fans.
  3. They don’t incorporate the basics: communications, marketing, advertising, business development, and customer service.
  4. They never mention all of the free resources to help build & monitor your online presence (like Google alerts, HARO, etc.).
  5. They want to hide all of their social media “secrets” from you, instead of teaching you how and why they do what they do.

So what do you look for? Someone who is a doer, not just a talker. Choose someone with a presence (although, as I said before, a big mouth with a lot of followers isn’t everything). You also need someone who knows how to measure their work, and no, website traffic isn’t the only way. And ultimately someone who places a large emphasis on an integrated marketing approach. Social media success rarely happens on its own. Great campaigns require a team effort from your website, emailing marketing, advertising, PR, industry influencers and more. Traditional media has to support your social plan for effective results.

So, do your research before choosing your expert and invest your money properly in training for yourself and your employees, as well as ongoing consulting.

Coming Up Next: Pucker Up, Your Audience Wants a KISS!

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