Separating Experienced Consultants from the Experts

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” — Socrates

The truth of the matter is that SEO, Social Media marketing and other internet marketing practices are a little hard to nail down. The best practice of last week is not the best practice of tomorrow.

SEO is a Moving Target

I refuse to say I’m an expert in any of these fields.  In fact, I will go so far as to say that I’m not an expert. I know enough to know that I don’t know enough. I’m continually learning and adjusting and testing and tweaking and revising.  I’ve learned SEO in large part by trial and error, and I’ve been able to produce results.

Finally, there are some tests out there and educational practices (like Google University), but there still aren’t many standards that can differentiate one SEO consultant from another except their results.  Show me your numbers!

Social Media Experts? Really?

Social Media marketing “experts” are popping up all over the place now, too.  What makes up an individual’s social media “expertise”?

For the most part, I’m unimpressed by folks who claim to be experts in Social Media.

For one thing, there’s no one right way to tackle the 3,000 lb elephant that is social marketing.  What works for some industries may or may not work for others. What works for some individual personalities may or may not work for others.

Someone who is successful at Social Media marketing for a company will have a few common characteristics:

  • An incredible grasp of the company culture
  • At least a passing understanding of corporate PR practices
  • A clear understanding of the culture of each social medium entered
  • Passion for the product
  • Strong customer service skills
  • A consistent, clear voice that can represent the company

Notice here that I didn’t say “intern”, I didn’t say “Gen Y”, and I didn’t say “marketer”. A social media contact for your company has to serve as a PR person, a customer service person, and company cheerleader every day. Do they have to be a marketing whiz? No. They have to care about your customers and your product.