What is a Social Media Expert?

Just about every creative industry has experts.  Advertising, marketing and public relations all have experts.  Peter Shankman recently questioned whether anyone should be considered a social media “expert” in his post I Will Never Hire a Social Media Expert.

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines an expert as “having, involving, or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience.”  So perhaps someone can, in good conscience call themselves a “social media expert.”

I think there is a bigger question — is social media enough for companies to reach their target audience?  I understand the benefits of social media and what it can do for a campaign, but social media is just an element used in marketing or public relations plans, and can’t successfully stand alone.

Not all companies or industries lend themselves to social media.  Just because “everyone else is doing it” doesn’t make it right for you.  I advise my clients to include social media only if it makes sense — business sense.

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