Owner of #HumanHabits, Social/Digital Media Marketing Firm in Pittsburgh, PA.
I am tired of hearing people say they are Social Media experts. Unless you are Mark Zuckerberg, Chris Dewolf, Jack Dorsey or the handful of others that set the stage and created the market I don’t believe you can be called an expert. In fact, according to Malcolm Gladwell you can’t be an expert without having given 10,000 hours.
On the other hand, perhaps anyone who engages a social media channel is an expert because of its very nature. I try, daily, to explain to people how Social Media is not like the medical profession. You don’t put in the hours and become a certified practicing social media marketer. As an exercise, I googled Social Media experts and a slew of companies popped up touting that very title. It infuriated me.
The reality of Social Media success is directly tied to content production, an understanding of the Social Media channels and creativity. These are not hard things to accomplish with the exception of creativity. Let’s think of a Social Media campaign that worked; defriend your Facebook friends for a Burger King Whopper… brilliant, right? Well it was creative and it got people talking and people moving but did it sell Whoppers? No, defriending your friends for a Whopper did not sell Whoppers… the content created to surround the aftermath of the social experiment did. Huh? After running the campaign it was traditional media’s coverage and the viral distribution of the recap that took people by storm and branded the Whopper as worth losing a friend. Porter+Bogusky didn’t pretend to be some expert geeks in Social Media, they were a firm with a concept and a way to execute the content. Let this sink in…… are you good now? Simply put, if someone tells you they are experts at tweeting, developing Facebook pages or blogging than I would argue in 4 short weeks you could accomplish the same. If someone tells you they are content creators with extensive work in distributing the content through Social Media channels than I would say, “cool that has real value for someone”.
Companies need to be talking with content creators to execute creative campaigns on Social Media channels that earn specific actions. Just because Social Media is buzz worthy doesn’t mean you have to go to the company that says they are experts. What you will need is a content partner to either, create compelling content that is sharable, or document the neat social experiment you are putting out. I can not stress it enough, BEWARE THE SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERTS, they just don’t exist.
Please feel free to challenge me or to chime in. I DIGG it when I STUMBLE UPON new social media channels in a flickr that let me Facebook, Tweet, and YouTube my content. I also enjoy when someone sees my content and says I saw or REDDIT and said holy BEBO that is worth WORDPRESSing.