In his latest article Peter Shankman very passionately describes why he hates social media experts. My guess is that he has had a very bad run of interactions with social media gurus and consultants. Unfortunately, so have I. I have often found myself in conversations with “experts” who spend their time telling what pages they have setup rather than how much value their clients derive out of social media.
To be honest, Peter’s frustrations are the same as mine. We just sit on opposite ends of the table. He has to deal with the “experts” who never realise return and I spend my time making sure we deliver on the expected return from my clients.
Peter suggests that social media is about generating revenue, being relevant and brevity. I could not agree more. When I started DigitLab I set out to build a social media company on three pillars – strategy, implementation and research. The reason was simple to me. Clients needed strong strategy coupled with experienced people to implement. These experienced people are copywiters, administrators, designers, developers, creative directors and PR specialists. In fact, I am the only “social media expert” in the team and I could never do my job as well without the skills in our team.
The big win for us is the research. Anyone can implement any campaign. Not everyone has the know-how, skills, knowledge and analytical mindset to look at the statistics your campaign produces and use them to understand the customer more. Once you have this understanding – only then – can you generate revenue, be relevant, serve your client and realise a social media return that far out-weighs your current social media endevours.
I guess I am saying that I agree with Peter. I just wish the majority of my peers would focus less on the platform and more on the customer. Then maybe Peter would not have to go around setting social media “experts” on fire