Expert or Guru?
These days it seems there are scores of social media “experts”, “gurus”, “consultants”, “strategists” and almost any other word that describes someone who supposedly knows all there is to know about the topic. I get quite upset when I’m referred to as an expert or guru, because I am still, and will always be learning.
Many web designers, SEO specialists and internet marketers are reinventing themselves as social media experts because social media ties in with their other areas of expertise, but can they really keep all these balls in the air? Let’s look at a few Wikipedia definitions: GURU – a Sanskrit term for “teacher” or “master”, especially in Indian religions. In America, the meaning of “guru” can be used to cover anyone who acquires followers, especially by exploiting their naiveté, due to the inflationary use of the term in new religious movements. (Yikes – a definite no-no!) EXPERT – An expert is a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience, or occupation and in a particular area of study. (OK, but social media is still pretty new – how extensive is extensive??) CONSULTANT – A consultant (from Latin: consultare “to discuss”) is a professional who provides professional or expert advice. (Yes, that’s a bit more like it) STRATEGIST – a person skilled in strategy (hmmm – quite – click the link to see the definition of strategy!) If you were looking for someone to help you with social media for your business, would you be impressed by the above handles?
If not, what should you look for?
How will you know who to add to your shortlist of social media ……….(insert word of choice here)?
- Check their social media profiles. Are they updated on a regular basis and is there plenty of interaction with followers? Actual numbers of followers aren’t as important as good engagement and interaction. But if someone claims to give advice on Facebook management, but hasn’t updated their own page in months, it’s not terribly convincing……
- What sort of things are they posting? At least 80% of the content should be useful information (blog articles, hints & tips etc) and/or interaction with followers. Be suspicious of anyone who never engages and only posts self-promotional updates.
- Have a look at their followers – do they include a good proportion of businesses in the same niche, as well as varied types of local businesses? This is an indication of good content being shared by someone who is well respected locally.
- On Twitter, are they on a good number of lists? Again this shows that the person is well thought of.
- Check the website – is it up to date, is there a blog? Are there clear links to social media profiles and ways to share content easily?
- Now it’s your turn – start a conversation with whoever you consider to be “walking the walk”. Ask for a free consultation – essential in order to find out whether social media will work for you.
- Be suspicious if you’re recommended to use multiple social networks straight away – this is very unlikely to be necessary for more than a tiny minority of businesses. A good social media adviser will work closely with you to determine the most suitable network(s) for your business, and also show you how to integrate social media with your current marketing as well as your online and offline activities.
Have you had to search for help or advice with social media? How did you go about choosing the right person for the job? Share your experiences in the comments!
Need help using social media for your business? Take the first step! Contact me on 01777 249075 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org