Tag Archives: consultant

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Question: There are so many pseudo social media experts out there, each with his or her "solution," that it’s become overwhelming to identify the real McCoys. What criteria do you suggest people use? - Jim Taggart, LeadershipWorldConnect

Answer: Thank you for asking a very important question, and for trusting me to answer it for you. I am asked this same question at least once a week.  Unfortunately, the real social media experts are buried under all the hype of the fake experts because the real ones don’t have time to go calling themselves experts so they can pitch you on why you should have 100K Twitter followers, and why you should hire them to do the job. The true authorities in any industry are not hard-selling 24/7. They are too busy strategizing, sharing, learning, educating, creating, experimenting, executing, testing, growing, and helping others thrive.

It is difficult for me to answer this question without being too controversial or self-promotional.  However, my intent is to always educate and create awareness. Thus, the answer is not only based on my opinion, but also years of business experience and thousands of hours of research and execution to back it up.

So, how do you weed out the pundits from the fakes?

First, let’s define expert.  Here is how Wikipedia defines the word:

“An expert is someone widely recognized as a reliable source of technique or skill whose faculty for judging or deciding rightly, justly, or wisely is accorded authority and status by their peers or the public in a specific well-distinguished domain.”

Having extensive knowledge about a topic beyond the average person makes you an expert.  Your skills training and credentials make you an expert.  Your years of experience and education make you an expert.  However, given the above definition, the word expert should not be a self-proclaimed title. This title should be earned and given by peers after a person has logged tens of thousands of hours, and the results should speak for themselves.

Hence, your social media expert is NOT:

  • Someone who shows you how to use the latest feature on Facebook
  • An individual who tells you to just create pages on the major social networks
  • Your web designer or programmer
  • Your previous mortgage broker who has moved on to social media because it is the next hot industry
  • Your virtual assistant
  • Someone who is simply online
  • Someone who has five different types of businesses going at once to see which one makes the fastest buck

Am I an expert in social media because I live and breathe the Web every day? It’s possible. However, I wouldn't use that term.  I am a student of my work. I am constantly learning, experimenting, and educating.  My expertise and knowledge are put to the test every time I have a new challenge, a client, or a new project. If I can't prove that I have some expertise when the situation calls, it doesn't matter what I call or describe myself. ...continue reading

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No one wants an amateur to run their social media campaign, but with everyone and their dog claiming to be an expert these days, how can you tell who is legit?

Here are 7 signs that your social media consultant is who he or she says they are.sms229

1. They are active on social networking sites. No one can be an expert if they aren’t actually using social media, so perform a little check and see where your consultant is active. Chances are they will be on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, at the very least. However, remember that social media is not about social networking sites only.

2. They have good reviews. Check out other clients and find out what they have to say about the service. Did they feel the consultant got good results? Were they pleased with the service? Testimonials from happy customers can tell you a lot.

3. They explain their latest projects. If they can’t describe it to you or give you an example of how they used social media to draw attention to their client, you should probably look elsewhere.

4. They share their expertise elsewhere. Anyone can set up a blog and start writing posts on social media, but a true expert will not just be on their own blog. They will have guest posts, podcast interviews and even text interviews on other people’s sites and blogs. This is a very good sign that your expert really is an expert, when others trust them to share information.

5. They maintain an active blog. It’s important that anyone you are looking to hire is actually keeping up with their blog and putting out quality content on a regular basis. This is very easy to check but doesn’t mean they need to be posting several times a day, about twice a week is more than enough.

6. They talk about more than just Facebook and Twitter. A good social media expert should be able to guide you through many social media categories (i.e., crowdsourcing, podcasting, blogging, livecasting, etc.) without a problem. If they are stuck on just a few tools and sites, you may have an issue.  You need to look for someone who has a comprehensive understanding of social media, and knows how each piece of the puzzle fits together.

7. Their strategies include a range of categories. An expert in social media will want to know what your goals are for social media and then work with you to create a strategy to accomplish those goals. This could include market research, marketing, advertising and customer service, just to name a few.

Not everyone online is an expert in social media. Just because they have a blog and a Twitter account with thousands of followers, it doesn’t mean someone should be considered a guru. Be careful when finding a consultant and check to make sure that they really are living the life of an expert and have the experience to back them up.

You will be able to find people who have approximately five years experience with social media.  However, it will be a while for anyone to be considered a “True” expert since we are all learning from each other.  I learn from my clients as much as they learn from me!

How do you define a social media expert?

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