Caffeinated Marketing

Gettting through all the noise, one cup at a time

I am Not a Social Media Expert July 14, 2009

Filed under: Tip of the Day,Unemployed — jenharris @ 10:10 am
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Actually, I really dislike the word “expert” when people describe me.  I love doing the behind the scenes work & making “stuff” happen.  A pat on the back (or a surprise cup of hot Chai Tea) usually is satisfaction enough for me.  (my husband would argue that being paid would be nice-that whole “time to pay the mortgage” thing pops up every month!)

Since I am (take your pick) 1.  trying to attract new clients for my life as Caffeinated Marketing or 2.  score a sweet gig inside a company where I can help be a change for better, I thought I would put my .02 in on the following article by Sara Evans & Peter Shankman: Is yous social media expert really an expert?  The top 25 ways to find out.
My answers are in orange.

Ways to tell your Social Media “Expert” Might Not Be An “Expert” After All

  1. They call themselves an evangelist, guru or expert, and no one else does.  I do not call myself any of these & I correct those that do.  I know stuff.  Stuff that comes along with doing this “stuff” for almost 4 years now.
  2. They use “expert” or “evangelist” or “guru” or our personal favorite, “influencer” as any of their user names. Nope. You snooze for 10 minutes, you loose.
  3. They “discovered” social media in the last six to 16 months, and there’s nothing online from them in the social media space prior to that. (Remember – Google is your friend.) Start date of discovery: November, 2005 – but always knew there was a better way of marketing: my professors always told me I was way off base for thinking “that way”.
  4. All of a firm or agency’s “social media strategists” come from traditional PR or Marketing agencies. Would love to work for an agency that sells it, yet doesn’t do it them self. hmmm
  5. Everything they learned about social media they learned by reading blog posts (i.e. no application). You can learn a ton about sex from reading Kinsey’s manuals, but I’d still rather be with someone who has some practical experience. I blog, have set up others blogs. Managed & tracked blogs for ROI.
  6. They haven’t done anything of significance using social media (i.e. demonstrating they know how to apply the tools). Again, see point on Kinsey. I am a do-er
  7. They keep shouting about “widgets.” (Or worse, they’re still talking about push marketing.) WHAT?
  8. Their resume doesn’t include anything that has to do with social media (i.e. no results using social media). And no, having a Twitter account doesn’t cut it. Set up Mike Boss’ rogue blog at MPC which had audio pumped into in for impromptu pod-casts via his Blackberry. Gained traction with industry publications that got us off the “black list”.
  9. Their sound bites eerily resemble what you just heard from Chris Brogan andBrian Solis. And quite frankly, following them and a few others (including Sarah) can usually answer 95% of your social media questions to begin with. Four years of voices mushed in my head-and some original thoughts of how to implement.
  10. Their firm has added social media as an additional service (as opposed to integrating it into a comprehensive PR approach). If they say “And we’ll do Facebook and Twitter!” beware. Argh, welcome to Boise.
  11. Any use of the term “MySpace” unless you’re only targeting 14-year-old males, or independent bands. If you are under 17 & an Indi band, you’re allowed to be on MySpace.
  12. Their networks don’t reflect that they are connected. (You should probably research them before hiring them. If their blog hasn’t been updated since 2004 yet they tweet every time they take a slurp of Yogurt, something’s up.) I love yogurt.
  13. When you Google them, it’s difficult to find them. If they don’t show up on the first page of Google, how are they going to get you up there? Yea, my name is kind of common – but “JenHarris09” rocks the Google.  But I am there & present in all forms.
  14. They never talk to you about free ways to monitor your online presence (likeGoogle alerts and Twitter search). Perhaps they’re afraid you can do it yourself?  Buy me a cup of coffee & I will spill my beans guts.  I think this is why the agencies don’t like me, I teach their clients how to be sustainaible!
  15. They don’t maintain an active blog (at least two posts every month). http://CaffeinatedMarketing.com
  16. Any case studies they present only involve very big companies with very big budgets At the 6 week mark at TSheets, we saw the same number of hits to the site (this was our objective-increase site hits), but our conversion rate went up.  60% of the clients were tech, so I focused on Twitter – and saw results.
  17. Their lead social media strategist is “this kid we picked up after his internship ended.” jeepers, people – come on!
  18. When they talk strategy, there is no approach that encompasses a discussion about: communications, marketing, advertising, business development, internal communications and/or customer service. I also think it should flow over to HR as well.
  19. They see “Social Media” as a replacement for customer service, when in fact, only good customer service propels positive social media.  Enhance & work together & we will achieve SM Nirvana….ahhhhh
  20. They want to charge you to get you signed up on social media sites (yuck).  I work with them to get up and running (and then they get to pay me).
  21. There’s a pay structure that includes a pay-per-post model. Run very far away, very fast.  ARGH!!!
  22. The strategy they provide you primarily includes a Twitter profile and a Facebook fan page.  Ummm, goals? Objectives? Measurement?
  23. Measurement to them means building up lots of followers and fans. Quality over quantity.
  24. After you work with them you’re just as confused as when you started.  And that is when I start waiting tables…teaching to someone is different than teaching AT someone.
  25. They’ve never used Help a Reporter Out (added by Sarah, not Peter). To Sarah’s point, they’ve also not suggested any of the wonderful free services out there before they recommend paying.  I love HARO!  Use it every day!
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7 Responses to “I am Not a Social Media Expert”

  1. I’ve always thought that gurus were only good for Yoga! Interesting Q&A article, thanks for sharing!

  2. Great post Jen!

    As a fellow “do-er” I can relate…keep up the good work!

  3. Sarah Evans Says:

    Nicely done, Jen! 🙂

  4. Angie Berman Says:

    BIG! BIG! Thank you for the informative and easily digestible presentation on Twitter and Facebook for my team of regional Etcetera consultants this week. Since many in the room had never heard of Twitter and only 2 of the 25 use Facebook, you had a mission. You inspired! (just like the yoga guru!)

  5. George Says:

    Hi Jen,

    I’ve seen this list circulate a few times and I think it’s pretty good, however, I have a problem with #4. To say that someone cannot effectively participate in — or help others learn to participate in social media — simply because they have a background in PR/marketing for an agency is wrong.

    I know plenty of agency people that excel at social media — both on a personal level and for clients — and I also know plenty of folks who come from the Web 2.0 world (no agency experience) who just don’t get it, and could never build an effective social media program for a business.

    It really depends on the individual.

    Geo.

    • jenharris Says:

      Hey Geo-thanks for the reply!
      I agree. I know plenty of local people here in Boise that are taking their PR background & doing great things with SM…including getting great job offers.
      Where I took it was that there is a local ad agency that landed a HUGE account with the state and in their plan stated they were going to have a SM strategy. This from an agency where their only presence on Twitter was when 2 failing agencies were merging into one…blah.
      I would love to work for a historical traditional ad agency that is READY to take their clients to the next level by INTEGRATING social media into their campaigns – and teaching the longevity of it. My head spins with ideas every day!
      Thanks again!
      -jen

  6. Aimee Says:

    Great post! I just discovered your blog and look fwd to following it. 🙂


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