Should Businesses Be Wary of Social Media “Experts”?
I recently read a really rather interesting article regarding the industry of social media. The author of the piece argued that there are no actual social media experts out there because the industry is a young one that continues to develop and so its employees are still learning how to fully harness its potential. The author also stated that anyone claiming to have “over ten years in the industry” is very likely to be lying through their teeth.
The article fuelled much response from its readers, many of which denied the accusation that there are no social media experts out there. It is important to note that the majority of these paradox opinions came from web marketing experts and other industry types who would claim experts do exist within the field because someone out there has to be (or at least claim to be) the top dog - that’s how competition works.
But is the author of the critique correct? Are there really no social media experts out there?
I would argue that social media experts do exist. Someone who knows much compared to another individual who knows little is the comparative expert. This does not mean that the “expert” knows everything however. Usually, anyone claiming to be an expert at anything is constantly learning and trying to build upon their techniques – this is how they can continue to remain at the top of their game.
The problem comes when people give themselves the tag of “expert” without actually knowing their stuff as thoroughly as they should. The general understanding of social media today comprises of websites such as Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Reddit etc but knowing your way around these platforms alone does not make one a specialist in the field. Anyone claiming to be a “social media expert” should be willing to be measured on their results – as the author pointed out; the whole endeavour of social media campaigns becomes pointless should this not convert into additional profit for the client at some point.
So should businesses be wary of social media “experts”? The answer is yes, businesses should be wary of anyone self appropriating this moniker with no evidence to back up such a claim. So this person can secure you over a thousand new followers on your business’s new Twitter account but what promises can they make in regard to how this will translate into actual customers? Always ask to see evidence of the results achieved via the work that your “expert” has previously undertaken and you may just stumble upon someone who can use the medium effectively to produce tangible results for your company.
Kat Cole has undertaken numerous social media campaigns during her time as a promoter for Quick Offices (who specialise in offices to rent throughout London). Despite this and the fact that Kat likes to use social networking platforms in her spare time, she would in no way claim that she is a social media expert!