It’s all about the STRATEGY

True “experts” like Robert Scoble and Chris Brogan have argued that the term “social media expert” is, for most people, a moot title– a point I agree with. In an industry that’s constantly changing, it’s impossible to be an expert in a field that has no predefined boundaries. (Perhaps the only exceptions are Scoble and Brogan, who have proven themselves champions in multiple battles, though the war has hardly been fought). 

With that being said, it comes as no surprise that an article published on cnet today discusses just that: the title, and role, of the social media “expert.” The article, which covers the high ticket price many social media-ites demand(ed) points out many of the flaws many companies are seeing in their current social media “strategy.”

In the article, Caroline McCarthy discusses the fact that like many industries that see rapid growth, the social media industry also saw a lot of bad strategy:

Another marketer related that she once met with a media property in the health sector to discuss how it could have a presence on social-networking sites. The potential client was skeptical, since its marketing team had previously met with a social-media consultant who suggested the best strategy would be to create a Facebook app that let members give their friends virtual venereal diseases. The client, it seems, was left a bit horrified.

In instances like this, I wish reporters revealed their sources. The article goes on to discuss examples social media failures and successes, stating:

“I think things do need to fail because that’s how we learn,” Fitton said. And not only will many of these marketing campaigns fail, but so will a big chunk of the opportunistic consultants who’ve seized the chance to mint themselves into experts. For those who have established a solid reputation, a shakeup isn’t necessarily bad.

In an industry where many practitioners learn by doing, it’s great to see that not all marketers, publishers, and reporters are looking for examples of ROI. Instead, they’re looking for social media enthusiasts who have a strategy, a story, a focus, and in many cases, proof of failure

It’s easy to become bamboozled by all of the new services, gadgets and technologies available– and it’s fantastic if you’re able to implement them all into your business model. But with that implementation should come some sort of strategy. Think of it this way: most of us don’t get into a car and drive for the sake of driving– usually, we drive with a destination in mind (and for those of you who drive just to drive, my guess is you’re driving to get away from something, which is sort of a destination, but hey, I’m not here to psychoanalyze) why would you approach business or communication in any other way?


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