You Don’t Pay for Social Media Consultants

With the wide focus of the MarTech Blog, I may not get the social amplification that a great blog like Convince and Convert gets (Great post from Jay!)… but I do appreciate the community we’ve built here at the MarTech Blog.

The most recent Zoomerang Poll we added on social media strategies fills me with pride… you folks are sophisticated marketers! You’re actively participating in social media, syndicating content there, paying for tools and promotion… and measuring return on investment. Simply put… awesome! It means that we’re challenged with bringing you advanced marketing content as much as the basics.

One might wonder… if DK New Media is a social media consulting firm, why would you be happy that none of your readers pay for social media consulting? Well… I’m going to say it… you don’t need to. Social media consultants are a dime a dozen and the qualifications appear to be anyone that can piece a 140 character sentence together with a hashtag and an @ symbol.

Companies that are investing in marketing consulting help need to identify consultants with experience working through diverse, cross-media marketing strategies that leverage each medium and maximize their investment and impact. That takes a consultant with much more experience. Sorry if I just insulted a portion of my audience… but unless you know the impact of social on search, mobile, traditional media, email, etc… and how to measure it’s effectiveness with… you’re still in elementary school.

15 Comments

  1. 1

    Hi Doug, I came here following a link from Jay’s blog post. The first thing I notice is that he gives you a straight-up keyword-rich link and your reciprocal link is to his post with your frame around it.

    The second thing I notice is that none of the options in the poll are actually strategies. They’re actions, tactics, and sets of actions. Using free third-party social media tools isn’t a strategy. It’s a way of executing a strategy.

    Likewise, paying a social media consultant isn’t a strategy. You pay a social media consultant to help you develop, deploy, and adjust a strategy.

    The final thing I notice is that you’re spot-on that unless you have metrics that map back to your strategic objectives, you’re still a n00b, and you need the expert guidance of a qualified Internet marketing consultant. Props for saying so.

    • 2

      Daniel,

      I appreciate Jay’s link! Since we talk about so many tools on here, we drown ourselves in outbound links so I’m testing the frame approach to see if it improves our overall SEO results at all. I’ll be sharing that information in a future post.

      RE: Strategies, I don’t necessarily disagree with you but it’s difficult to fully explain a poll within the poll title alone. I’m satisfied knowing that folks understood the purpose behind the poll and didn’t get caught up in the minutia. I had to try to generate ‘steps’ in the poll to see the level of sophistication and interaction the companies were engaged in with their strategy.

      That’s not easily done… but wasting a week in verbiage rather than just throwing a poll to get a feeling out there was the trade. I wanted to get the poll out there. If this were a formal, statistically valid survey, I would have taken a far different strategy.

      I say I don’t ‘necessarily’ disagree because I have companies that have built their strategy through just syndicating content… or just paying a third party. The tool ‘can’ be the strategy.

      Thanks!

      • 3

        Thanks for the thoughtful response! I’ll be back to read more posts, and I’m glad Jay linked to you.

        I readily admit I have a chip on my shoulder when it comes to talk of “social media strategy.” I believe that if what a company is executing isn’t a broad, intentionally designed plan, it’s not a strategy. Instead, it’s just busy work. Sometimes it works, but most of the time it leaves you right where you started, only poor and exhausted. It’s a service to our industry whenever anyone helps organization leaders recognize what strategy really is.

        • 4

          And so you should, Daniel! There are too many folks running around and wreaking havoc with companies… getting them to jump before they have a strategy fully in place. I’ll use a bit more caution in the future with my verbiage. Thanks again! 🙂

  2. 5

    Amen, Doug. Amen. However, I think you are going overboard but I understand that was your point. Measurement is key and the ability to deliver your product on time is even more important.

  3. 6

    I tried to edit my comment but couldn’t for some reason. I believe that it is advantageous to hire someone that has “droves of cross-platform, blah-blah, corporate lingo, direct media experience” but it is more important to hire a person based on results. Just because someone is inexperienced does not mean they can’t deliver a meaningful and results-driven product.

    Everyone starts somewhere.

    • 7

      Not sure I agree, Kyle. If someone doesn’t have the experience, they should take the time to go work somewhere and get it. I see too many companies steered into a mess by folks who lack the experience. As for results… they need to be consistent before I’m going to trust them with my budget. I wouldn’t expect anything less from my clients either. We’re not in training anymore… out here there are jobs and companies dependent on us.

      • 8

        I guess I’m coming from my position more than anything else. When I build training for companies, my lack of corporate experience is not an issue. Now, I would agree that on marketing, development, and consulting you could have an issue. I’m torn on that one. I’ve had a company for 5 years that didn’t have “experience” before we started it.

        I don’t think you need to go “work somewhere” before you can be hired as a consultant or someone who can deliver value. If I am hired to excite an executive team or help mold a strategy for a large nonprofit… if I am delivering value… it shouldn’t matter.

        I have an entire list of experienced people who have failed. I don’t know if experience is the issue… shouldn’t it be your ability to deliver what you sell? Period?

        And believe me, I am coming from the standpoint of selling something and failing… I think we all have.

        • 9

          I don’t think you’re connecting with me on the ‘experience’ part. You weren’t building training for companies on how to effectively build a company… you were building training on effectively utilizing social media, right? And you were educated on developing training, right?

          So… that’s something you DID have experience in… and your training was a success. I’d hire you for that… but I’m not going to hire you to help my business get on a new healthcare program when you have no experience there, right?

          As for failure, I would never work with people if they said they had never failed. I think what I said was that they were “consistent” in their ability to get results. That definitely leaves room for failure. But I’m also not going to hire a consultant that says, “to date, I’ve worked with 8 clients and failed to get results for 4 of them”. 🙂

  4. 10

    ALL Media is connected (no pun intended Zuck). Calling so-called social media consultants a “dime a dozen” doesn’t do it justice. I’m with you a hundred percent and got your back bro.

  5. 11

    “Social media consultants are a dime a dozen and the qualifications appear to be anyone that can piece a 140 character sentence together with a hashtag and an @ symbol.”

    It’s almost a shame that didn’t fit into 140 characters.

    Of course, if you’re a believer in the 10,000 hour rule, it would be difficult for anyone to be an expert in social media; it just hasn’t been around long enough.

    While at the Exact Target conference, Jay Baer remarked that “social media is a job now, but soon it will become a skill. Just like typing or making copies. We used to have people for that, then we realized that it’s more efficient if everyone has the skill.” (Somewhat paraphrased.) Anyway, I think he’s probably right.

  6. 12

    “Social media consultants are a dime a dozen and the qualifications appear to be anyone that can piece a 140 character sentence together with a hashtag and an @ symbol.”

    It’s almost a shame that didn’t fit into 140 characters.

    Of course, if you’re a believer in the 10,000 hour rule, it would be difficult for anyone to be an expert in social media; it just hasn’t been around long enough.

    While at the Exact Target conference, Jay Baer remarked that “social media is a job now, but soon it will become a skill. Just like typing or making copies. We used to have people for that, then we realized that it’s more efficient if everyone has the skill.” (Somewhat paraphrased.) Anyway, I think he’s probably right.

  7. 13

    “Social media consultants are a dime a dozen and the qualifications appear to be anyone that can piece a 140 character sentence together with a hashtag and an @ symbol.”

    It’s almost a shame that didn’t fit into 140 characters.

    Of course, if you’re a believer in the 10,000 hour rule, it would be difficult for anyone to be an expert in social media; it just hasn’t been around long enough.

    While at the Exact Target conference, Jay Baer remarked that “social media is a job now, but soon it will become a skill. Just like typing or making copies. We used to have people for that, then we realized that it’s more efficient if everyone has the skill.” (Somewhat paraphrased.) Anyway, I think he’s probably right.

  8. 14

    “Social media consultants are a dime a dozen and the qualifications appear to be anyone that can piece a 140 character sentence together with a hashtag and an @ symbol.”

    It’s almost a shame that didn’t fit into 140 characters.

    Of course, if you’re a believer in the 10,000 hour rule, it would be difficult for anyone to be an expert in social media; it just hasn’t been around long enough.

    While at the Exact Target conference, Jay Baer remarked that “social media is a job now, but soon it will become a skill. Just like typing or making copies. We used to have people for that, then we realized that it’s more efficient if everyone has the skill.” (Somewhat paraphrased.) Anyway, I think he’s probably right.

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