If You Call Yourself A Social Media Expert…Have A Facebook Page!

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I apologize in advance for my tirade, but an email landed in my inbox recently that just got me going! The email invited me to a panel discussion about how to use social media to get my business “seen”. I was curious. Marketing Cafe has, in all due modesty, some expertise in this area. But the landscape is ever-changing and there’s always some new pearl of wisdom to be gleaned. What might I learn in a couple of hours at this panel discussion

So I read the invitation and went to the websites – and social media channels, of course – to learn more about the panel of 3 experts.

If you call yourself a social media expert…

…you should be a shining example of an integrated social media strategy.

Without getting into the gory details I found that the “experts” themselves didn’t seem to have any real social media strategy. In one glaring example the link from her website took me to her Twitter account – with all 7 tweets having been posted between Dec. 2010 and 2009! And she didn’t have a Facebook Page at all. Another had a pretty confusing-looking site that only linked to his Twitter account, though he did have a Facebook page and LinkedIn account both of which were active. The third did seem to have her act together. I could easily get from her very professional-looking website to her Twitter and Facebook pages, both of which were active with relevant information.

So why am I so upset?

I get upset when people proclaim themselves experts when they’re not. I get upset when people jump on the bandwagon and take good money from hard-working people and they know no more than the people hiring them! I get upset because it casts a shadow over those of us who want to provide a genuine value to our clients and are actually walking the walk.

So what can you do to avoid the hangers-on?

Here are some great resources when you are looking to get some help developing and implementing a social media strategy.

Checklist of 25 Reasons Not to Hire a Social Media Consultant, by Kyle Lacy of Brandswag

Kyle’s #1 is spot on. If someone’s not using the tools themselves, how the heck are they going to teach you – or do it for you? Though I don’t entirely agree with #16, “They advise you to start a Facebook page as the first step.” I think people can develop a successful page without managing a personal profile. But again, it will depend on the client and the strategy.

52 Questions To Ask When Hiring A Social Media Company, by Lisa Barone of Outspoken Media

I love Lisa’s Social Media Measurement Question #1 “What social media marketing channels do you have the most expertise in?” We don’t all have the same passion or expertise across all channels; like most things, we each have a preference and tend to favor that medium. For example, mine happens to be Facebook. I find it easier to engage in Facebook than on Twitter where it’s more difficult to follow the flow of a conversation. So I tend to do more in Facebook. But I recognize it!

Ok. I’m better now. And hopefully, you’ll be better off too knowing how to avoid throwing away money on a social media “pro” who is learning on your dime.

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