Posts Tagged 'social media experts'

A Look Back: What to Look for in Your Next Social Media Director Hire

new guy

About four years ago I wrote a post/checklist on what you should require when you hire your next social media rockstar. Recently I was asked to build a roles/responsibilities description for a client who had a similar ask and thus I thought my old post might help me in building out that description. So let’s relook at the post and see how it compares to 2015 with comments, updates and observations in red.

1. Do you understand how social media fits into the overall marketing plans and goals of any organization regardless of industry? In 2015, I’d say now more than ever social is part of the fabric of every org. It’s either an integral part of every marketing plan or it does have some role.

2. Could you build a sound business strategy for a client around social media? Let’s hope so! Gone are the days where all clients or brands should or would accept someone who knows how to tweet, post to Facebook and take Instagram pics. That’s a given. But can you go deep on strategy? Do you know how to measure? And no not just vanity metrics.

3. Will you be accountable for the quality of all social media plans/strategies/services delivered to clients as well as their overall client satisfaction? You do know that we measure everything and everything can be measured? This is probably the biggest difference. In 2015 we can measure so much more in social than we did back in 2011.

4. Could you establish social media programs that actually drive revenue? Nothing, I got nothing. Self explanatory. Either you can or you can’t. 

5. Can you drive social media work for clients? Including strategy development, tactical expertise and execution, and measurement of all their social programs? Soup to Nuts and then some. Not only do we want you to drive the work, we want you to think ahead as well. Think Mobile and Social. What works now? Will it work next week, next month, next year?

6. Can you develop a methodology that includes resources, team structure, core processes, and best practices that can be  scalable across the board with media and marketing teams? What’s different in 2015? Managing social needs a team. In some cases, a very large team and a diverse team with general and yet specific skill sets.

7. Could you identify and define social media opportunities for clients as they align with their overall digital marketing goals and strategies? Can you replicate success? Do you understand that one size does not fit all in social?

8. Could you collaborate across all departments and disciplines to identify and implement social training needs? There’s “doing” social and being social but do you understand and can you articulate the nuances of social? Particularly as it corresponds to different platforms? This is a biggie as it can determine success.

9. Could you identify and act on opportunities to attract, market, and recruit top social media talent? I can tell you that what’s attractive to new talent is being able to craft and create social media programs and strategies that push the envelope of what’s possible. Want a hint? Think Periscope and Merrkat and Blab. 

10. Can you manage the recruitment, hiring, retention, and professional development of a social media team? Do you know what to look for? What you’re looking for are people that have worked on projects and campaigns from beginning, middle and end. They know what to measure and they know what success looks like. And, they can think on their own.

11. Can you determine the correct roles, responsibilities, and expertise needed on your team to scale and grow a social media practice? If you’re our director, you better be able to. By the time you’ve reached this point, you should be able to “do” every aspect of social and yes that includes creating topic profiles in Radian 6. :) So we need to assume that yes indeed you can determine correct roles and expertise.

12. Do you know how to monitor trends in any industry and collaborate with upper management to ensure preparation for potential changes within a market segment? and then position the company or division for success as an industry leader? This is the backbone of or one of the pillars of social. You have to know how to monitor what’s being said, where it’s being said and who is saying it and then…How to act on it. If you don’t? Next in line please…

13. Could you work with global practice leads and other social media managers to develop, document, and share social media strategies and successes? Can’t we all just get along? Social media is the best place to collaborate on best practices of what works and what doesn’t. We get new toys and platforms coming at us all the time. This is the fun stuff.

14. Can you facilitate collaboration, knowledge sharing, and encourage participation for social media across teams and offices? This is a tuffy Your ability to create handles, profiles and platforms is one thing, but then to mandate participation at least within your org, whether it’s internal or external, will always be a struggle. Why? Because not everyone is social and not everyone wants to be social, even if it’s on behalf of the company. Sometimes you can lead a horse to water…

15. Can you act or be the central resource for information related to social media? Would you want to be? I would hope so, on both accounts. I mean it is your profession and you are applying for the director position…Should I even ask if you can? Never mind. Shame on me for hiring you if you can’t.

16. Could you be a credible spokesperson of social media at industry events? This isn’t a deal killer. If you could that would be awesome, but if not, no worries.

17. Could you increase and raise the awareness of your organization’s credentials on social media both internally and externally? I would like this person to be active on the behalf of the company but we have others who can push that agenda. However, it is a bonus, whether it’s internal or external if participation is coming from you. So if I were you I’d answer yes to this, regardless. :)

18. Could you advise client teams and other internal executives on the execution of social media programs and new business opportunities? No changes here in 4 years, this is a resounding yes, you better be able to.

19. Can you determine the right solutions for technology and measurement of social media?  Including evaluation of current resources as well as social media vendors and develop partnerships with those vendors? This one is huge. What it requires is that you are on top of what is out there right now. What works, what doesn’t, what sucks and what can definitely elevate who we are and we do in the social space.  Technology and tool wise, you need to know what’s out there. Bottom line.

20. Can you collaborate closely across all departments and teams within an organization to provide complete solutions for clients? Depends on your role but in general, I would say you can count on probably being pulled into more meetings with more groups in which your expertise is required, than you initially thought. You’re the expert. 

21. Can you contribute to new business development by representing social media strategies and services? Could you sell social media to a client? If you got hired for your position, I’d say the answer is yes.    

22.  Do you have the ability to build relationships with senior executives within key client accounts? Is schmoozing part of your DNA? Here’s what you need to know, you’re always going to be selling social media to someone within your org. There will always be someone who is skeptical. Get used to it and don’t take it personal. Win early and they’ll come find you wanting to know how they can leverage it. 

Am I missing any more key requirements that you can think of? Let me know in the comments section. Let’s build the ultimate requirements doc. :)

Searching for social media experts


Lets say I’m a business owner and I want to get into this social media thing and I want to hire someone to handle my social media marketing. I don’t know anything about anything so I’m going to go straight to Google to find one.

If you do a search on “social media experts”, the first organic result in Google is for a post by Chris Brogan If I saw Chris’s site, I’m not sure he would be the best fit for me since I might not know any better. I might not know Chris Brogan from Mary Brogan, so I’m going to keep searching.

Interestingly enough the only ppc result for that search term is for Pandemic Labs, but their site is dark and too techy and makes me think Nintendo or Xbox, so I’m out. I’m frustrated already.

The second organic result is for giovanni gallucci, who I am familiar with, and ironically enough of the top 10 search results, this is or his site is the only one actually touting himself and his services as a social media expert. Why is this ironic?  Because of the other results, the majority of them are blog posts essentially slamming people who call themselves social media experts.

What am I saying? I’m saying, if I do a search for a social media expert, I may not be able to find one. Funny isn’t it, given the amount of blog posts about people claiming to be a social media expert?

I better change my tactic. How about social media companies?

The results are a little different but no less confusing. Your top 10 results are the following:

  1. CrunchBase company profile on Social
  2. An blog post from Jeremiah Owyang from 2006
  3. A post from David Meerman Scott’s blog on Social media company entrepreneur official garb.
  4. A post by Lee Odden from Top Rang Blog on How Big Companies Use Social Media @ BlogWell
  5. An article from Inc titled, Inc. 500 Companies Fast Adopters of Social Media
  6. A blog post titled, Valuing social media companies and Facebook apps
  7. The management team results from Pluck
  8. Tech Links piece titled, Social Media Companies See Increased Demand for Internet Marketing Services
  9. This next one is actually not too bad, though as a n00b, it might all just fly right over my head. 12 social media companies that kick ass
  10. This last result is actually a pretty good one too though again, not for the noob, it’s by Peter Kim-It’s a list of social media marketing examples

So at this point I’m striking out, big time. I’m going to try one more thing, maybe two. One is, lets do a search on social media marketing companies and the other is lets do a search on social media consultants. Waddya say?

First 2 organic results for social media marketing companies? Izea and, the 2nd result is scary. It might be the streaming talking head in the right hand corner; but companies like this may hinder more than they help. Though, they do rank #2 for the term “social media companies”, the used car sales approach doesn’t fly with me, and shouldn’t with you.

Further down the page, we finally get to some results that may benefit me. one note though that the PPC results on this page are a little more condusive to the search term we’re using at the moment, but lets continue.

In the #6 spot we have a post by marketing pilgrim titled Social Media Marketing Beginner’s Guide Which I would most definitely read. Why? Before I go and hire and expert, here is a chance to know what I’m looking for and know what I’m talking about..

In the #7 spot, I like this article simply because it’s arming me with some more solid info, that in the long run will help me, even if I’m not the one doing any of the work. It’s titled, How to Leverage Web 2.0 & Social Media Sites to Market Your Brand & Control Your Message has over 30 sites for you to check out on social media marketing tactics.

In the #8 spot  we have 11 Marketing, which I, the business owner, might click through some and check out, it sort of talks the talk at least. In spots 9 and 10, we have blog posts from Mashable and Peter Kim and thats it.

So the results were spotty at best and if we adhere to “people only search the first page” theory, we’re done; and we have maybe 3-4 “leads” to pursue. Interesting.

Onto our last search and then some conclusions.

Wow… the results for “social media consultants” are 9 blog post results dissing anyone who calls themselves a social media consultant, and one search result for Dan Zarrella who actually is a social media consultant!

The conclusion? If you are in the social media space, then what you hear (and read apparently) are a lot of people complaining about other people calling themselves social media experts and consultants. The truth is, they(the experts and consultants that is) must be just telling themselves and anyone else who is willing to listen. Fact is,  not too many are actually doing a very good job at marketing themselves and their companies and what they do, to the masses. Or maybe they just don’t understand the importance od SEO?

Either way-by the looks of the search results, if you are looking for a social media expert, social media consultant, or social media company, or  social media marketing company, good luck weeding through all the people that are pissed about the people who are claiming to be one of those.  Sour grapes? Perhaps, but what it looks like is that not only does the cobbler not make shoes for his own children but his competition spends more time watching him, than they do doing their own job!

Social media pie charts for 2008

Sometimes I feel like social media is like the following pie chart.

Where the majority of people are talking about it (blue), some are actually doing some pretty cool things in the space (red) and others wannabe in the space and think they are in the space (green) and very very few are actually experts (tan). What do you think? .

Searching for social media experts

I just read an article in Adweek about Ford hiring Scott Monty in its quest to grapple with and implement the monolith that is… trumpets please… social media. While reading the piece I couldn’t help but wonder outloud just how social media experts became social media experts in  a space so relatively fresh in our collective marketing, media and PR consciousness. Not that Scott is not one, but this thought came to me after reading that Ford ran 50 candidates through the gauntlet before choosing Scott. 

Which begs my first of many questions: Though they chose a good person, who made the final decision, and what was it based upon? Who were the other 50 and why were they not chosen? I know that there is always a bit of subjectiveness to this process but I think, given the “newness” of the space, that it had to be absolutely fascinating to see how the whole thing went down. I do have to give some credit to Ford for stepping up, now more than ever, and especially given the state of the economy and the auto industry in particular. Somebody, somewhere, within that organization had the foresight to get to a decision maker and say, “we need to grab onto the beanstalk that is social media.

Some other questions I had and I’m sure other likeminded organizations are probabaly grappling with are:

Do we, they become expert like from writing it so much that we begin to understand how it works? Do experts, or are experts people who have implemented  a or some social media campaigns of any scale, successfully or unsuccessfully? What is the criteria? Are they IT people? marketing experts?  PR experts? What determines the experts title as the “expert”. Who determines it? Their peers? The  nascent industry itself?

I do think that longevity in the space that is and has been marketing, PR and even IT/internet/marketing, certainly is a determining factor. Why? Well think about it, when we all got into the business of what we do, what we did then is certainly not what we do now. Our jobs, titles and positions have all evolved. They have morphed into what the public and our bosses have demanded, expected and required us to learn, on the fly. And currently for some of us, that is all things social media related.

With that being said, when I write about the top 30 social media evangelists, I write from a position of referring to these people time and time again about social media topics that are hot. I mention them because they have their fingers on the collective pulse of their clients, their usage of bleeding edge technology to leverage brands, and their willingness to share their experiences. I call them experts, because their names and their blogs come up in conversations, they are constantly pushing out valuable information, and they are essentially practicing what they are preaching. And I find myself going back to “them” because clients and what I do and we do on a day to day basis, requires that I learn fast and implement faster.

Funny thing though, even the experts are wondering who the real experts are!

And if you really want to know the truth. Social media has to be a “practice what you preach model”. Why? You can’t be successfull in the space by being quiet and stealthy. it’s all about the sharing and exchanging of information without pretense. That’s right, the conversation. 

But to be successfull in the space, it is eventually going to boil down to those who do and those who did and not those who have heard and those who say.

All I do know is that the expert does not or should not call himself the expert. I can’t place the quote but:

Anyone who has to tell you that they are “the man”, ain’t “the man…”

17 social media influencers and thought shapers

 Butch Cassidy: “I couldn’t do that. Could you do that? Why can they do it? Who are those guys?”

I promised that I would follow up the top 30 social media experts post I did with a few more people who’s work I admire, who’s thinking is forward, and who’s ideas of what culture and technology should be, are wide open.  You have no idea how many bookmarks and sites I have saved that I try to read and digest and actually think about. No wonder my eyes are always bleeding on the way home from work? Easy..I’m kidding..

It’s these types of people that will provide the basis of how we will view our interactions in a technological environment as we go forward. If you are unfamiliar with some of these people, that’s ok. Pretty soon you won’t be. Of these 17, feel free to offer up your peers for review. We currently have a listing of 51 social media experts, luminaries and standouts! I’d love to add more and I know they’re out there. Beware though, if you email or tweet that you’re an expert, then you’re not.

Todd Defren

Neil Patel

Lee Odden

Richard Binhammer

John Cass

Maggie Fox

David Alston

Chris Heuer

Sam Lawrence

Mike Manuel

Steve Lubetkin

Dave Parmet

Pete Blackshaw

Kris Smith

Kami Watson Huyse

Joseph Thornley

Clay Shirkey

Stowe Boyd

I would suggest setting aside some time to really go through the list, as there is quite a bit to digest here, but it’s all good and so so very relevant today!

11 things that Social Media is not

I was ready to tell Geoff Livingston what social media wasn’t and then I had an acid flashback and I started ranting about something else completely unrelated. he was still waiting as of this post. Well. it’s not the first time, I left someone hanging or wandered off track. I’ll be lucky if I can keep this on point.

Thanks in part to Scoble we know that Social Media is not:

  • Newspapers.
  • Magazines.
  • Television.
  • Radio.
  • Books.
  • CDs.
  • DVDs.
  • A box of photos.
  • Physical, paper mail and catalogs.
  • Yellow Pages.

But we all spend so much time explaining to each other and anyone willing to listen, what social media is, perhaps if we turn it around and tell people what it is not, then maybe that will help define it better. If anything, it will be a fun excersise in twisting everyone’s interpretation of what it is. So here are 11 more.

1-Social media is not about the above mentioned entities now being able to talk with us. It’s not about mass media. It’s more about the audience finding it’s voice.  Hell, those guys, the old school, they are some of the most resistant adopters of anything that remotely resembles social media. They are stuck in their one to many, cul-de-sac marketing ways.

Brainstorm: Cul-de-sac marketing-The marketing efforts go in the same way as they come out with exhaust fumes in their vapor trail, and within that trail are the buyers of their  marketing elixir. Their schtick.

2-Social media is not up to them, it is up to you and your voice

3-Social media depends on but is not predicated on many to many, and 4-is not one to one, but it can be. But it certainly is better than one to one and wait. It’s one to one, realtime. 5-Social media is not closed to anyone. It’s blind to race, creed and color, social status etc. All it cares about is your ability to communicate. The rest, the particulars, have a way of sorting themselves out.  6-Social media is not calm, sedate, unresponsive, or static. It disprupts. It’s in your face. 7-Social media is not passive. 8-Social media is not laryngitis. 9-Social media is not just for kids. It’s for Gen X, Gen Y, Gen C, and the Boomers. 10-Social media is not mainstream, yet. And finally, thanks Brian Solis 11-Social media is not the final frontier of marketing

Please feel free to add to the list of what social media is not. I could only come up with 11 thus far. Hook me up.


4 More Social Media Luminaries

First I wanted to thank some of the gracious people who got back to me in regards to my post about 30 social media experts, evangelists and pundits. It was a fun list to compile and did not really expect to hear from some, and am surprised I did not hear from others. So much for the conversation? too busy? traveling? 3 day weekend? Nevertheless I want to thank Chris Brogan, B.L Ochman, Valeria Maltoni, Phil Gomes and Toby Bloomberg, Their responses to this post were more than gracious and reinforces why I read their blogs on a regular basis.

Sure, I know I should be bashing twitter right now, but Chris is all over it like a cheap suit, and there’s nothing I can think of thats going to change it except to say that Twitter is effin up in a big way. Maybe IT IS time to go over to Friend Feed? Actually I have, I just don’t use it as much…yet.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, One of our Top 30, who rocks the effin house, has graciously provided me with 4 more peeps/peers that we can add to the list. Here they are, and I must admit, they were great additions to this list.

Geoff Livingston
Rajesh Lalwani
Jeneane Sessum
Paul Chaney

I’m still open to add to this list as it might be a pretty cool list to maybe work up to 50. or maybe this is it? Maybe the conversation only consists of 34? You tell me.





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Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.


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