Copy Cats and Wannabes of Web 2.0? The Social Media Expert
It’s mind boggling. MarketingSherpa’s chart of the week indicates that two-thirds of marketers with no social media experience consider themselves somewhat knowledgeable or very knowledgeable about social media strategy.
How Knowledgeable Are Marketers With No Social Media Experience?
Social media is today’s big thing, finding its way onto every other blog, being used by everyone and their dog. I find myself reading about social media constantly. So, forgive me for adding to the cacophony, but this new study makes me wonder…
If I had no firsthand experience in social media marketing, it’s possible that I might still answer yes to the question, provided a couple assumptions. First, I’d have to assume that knowledge does not require experience. And, of course, that’s true. I can have knowledge of an historical phenomenon, the Rain of Fishes, for instance, but that doesn’t mean I’ve experienced it. With me on this?
Second, we can’t see the exact question our surveyed group was asked. As far as I can tell, the question could have been, “How familiar are you with social media?” in which case, being a regular user of Facebook and Twitter qualifies me to answer that I’m a somewhat knowledgeable social media user. If, on the other hand, the question was, “What is your expertise level of social media marketing strategy?” then that’s another can of worms. I’m willing to give the surveyed group the benefit of the doubt, but that would be really boring for the purpose of this analysis, so let’s not.
Assuming that our group of misguided marketers really thinks that because they’re on Facebook they’re a bona fide social media strategist, MarketingProf’s conclusion would follow:
Clearly, there is a disconnect between personal exposure and professional ability that is unique to social media. And this disconnect is one of the most critical dangers to the successful adoption of social media as a marketing strategy.
If unqualified members of the marketing industry indeed are going around claiming the title of social media expert, well, we’re in trouble. The social media guru is the next snake oil salesman and the truly experienced have to defend their services from such threats. But if the recession has brought one good thing, it’s the fact that the true experts will stand high above imposters as intense scrutiny is projected on results and the bottom line.