It would appear that everyone is a social media expert or guru these days. But how many of them have actually created a successful campaign using social media tools? And weren’t a lot of them marketing themselves as SEO experts just a few years ago?
A successful social media campaign integrates social media into the many elements of marketing, including advertising, public relations, promotion, events and direct response. Opinion, theory and a few years writing a blog, gathering followers or optimizing website traffic are no match for this level of experience.
The best social media marketers have a ten or more year, proven track record in marketing and a thorough knowledge of how to blend interactivity, blogs, forums, user-generated content, SEO, contests, etc. into the marketing mix. That means your friend/secretary/intern with a few thousand followers/fans/friends on Twitter/Livejournal/Facebook probably shouldn’t be in charge of social media for your company unless they have spent years in the marketing trenches. Otherwise they simply have no clue about all the ramifications their communications may have on your company’s wellbeing in the real world marketplace. After all, what is your company’s reputation worth?
So if a social media “expert” knocks on your door and he hasn’t first spent many years heading a marketing team or public relations group, or he doesn’t represent a reputable firm that has, he’s not a social media expert. He’s just a guy hoping you haven’t read this post.