I know I am going to take a lot of heat for this post. Where exactly are all these so-called social media experts coming from? It seems that nowadays anyone with a Facebook or Twitter account can claim to be a social media strategist. I am afraid it takes much more than that. There is a big difference between understanding a subject and being an expert on it. For example, following the PGA tour on TV and playing golf on weekends does not make me a golf expert. A social media expert must be able to:
1. Develop and execute content and delivery strategies that align to the client’s overall marketing and sales goals. Simply posting videos to YouTube does not count.
2. Integrate social media with offline as well as other digital vehicles such as email, search, and display so they support and enhance each other
3. Have an in-depth understanding of the underlying technologies behind social platforms. Why? So you can make recommendations on how to integrate these platforms–either through third-party applications such as Salesforce, Gist or Cliqset; the client’s website CMS; or a customized applications built (i.e. using Adobe Air) specifically to fit the client’s needs
4. Provide social media usage guidelines that go beyond the marketing department. It only takes one misguided posting by a client’s employee to undo a year’s worth of social marketing
5. Collect and mine social media data to identify trends and opportunities the client should promptly embrace. This must be go beyond providing meaningless metrics such as “sentiment” or “mentions.” Social media analytics should include mining data to determine the client’s Social Graph and identifying influencers that should be targeted.
In my opinion, you cannot be a social media “expert” if you cannot master ALL of the above. What do you think?