Social Media ‘Experts’: Response To Peter Shankman’s ‘Business Insider’ Post
By now you’ve read Peter Shankman’s Business Insider post, “Why I Will Never, Ever Hire A ‘Social Media Expert.'” He makes some interesting points, but I don’t agree with everything he brought up. Like Shankman, I am suspicious of anyone who calls themselves a “social media expert” (based on what?), but unlike him and some of my colleagues, I don’t think that it’s a waste of money to hire a consultant — if what they bring is folded into a strong PR/marketing strategy.
Yes, social media should be a holistic extension of your marketing department. But social media doesn’t live in a silo in a specific section of your company’s building. So many factors feed the content that makes up your marketing/social media strategy, across different departments. If your employees don’t “get” social, then you need to HELP THEM TO GET IT. Sometimes this requires outside help.
Tech blogger/social media consultant Corvida Raven (right) during the Intel Insider III Summit in 2010
My friend Corvida, who is in her early 20’s, consults for brands and is also Community Catalyst at TED. Last year, she shared solutions with Intel re: effectively engaging and educating consumers about upgrading their technology using social media.
Intel sees the value in partnering with social media leaders. Corvida does NOT consider herself a social media expert but is qualified to consult on strategy. Corvida does her thing as a tech star blogger/speaker (she’ll be at MLOVE in Berlin next month), meanwhile she is also a helpful cog in Intel’s R&D/marketing machine, providing valuable insights that support the Intel brand.
I don’t like to use the word “never” unless absolutely necessary. I think it’s shortsighted to completely write off the added value (in terms of brand engagement and achieving business goals) of QUALIFIED social media consultants. (more…)