Separating out the real experts

Brenda Powell · July 30, 2009 · Short URL:

Is your social networking expert really an expert? The top ways to tell...

 As a social networking expert, I am very aware of what is happening in the social networking industry. There has recently been an influx of people declaring themselves social networking experts all over the place. We have actually even heard of situations where firms have hired a teen or someone just out of an internship to become their resident social networking expert simply because they have a Facebook profile. There is no certification, degree, or accreditation to set apart the real industry leaders from those just jumping on the social networking bandwagon.

It is no doubt that anything involving social networking is a hot topic. We get that. Here at SNG, we do our best to provide our clients with the best of the best in social networking marketing tips and ideas, and we do our research to keep ahead of the game. Not to mention, we really don’t want to see people getting scammed out there by these so-called “experts” and that’s why we have created this helpful guide to help you find the right person to manage your social networking needs.

The SNG Guide to Separating the Real Experts from the Fake “Experts”
  1. There is nothing about them anywhere online from more than a year ago. (Google is a great way to find this out)
  2. They “discovered” social networking in the last year or so
  3. They seem uncomfortable using words like Twitter, Tweet, Viral Marketing, or anything internet related.
  4. All of their “social networking experts” come from traditional media agencies. Or worse yet, just finished an internship.
  5. Everything they learned about social networking they learned by reading blog posts and/or by having a personal profile on Facebook.
  6. They never bring up User Experience or ways to get the users interacting.
  7. They never discuss campaigns and how they can be effective in driving traffic to your website.
  8. They cannot demonstrate to you how to use the tools or how they will work for you.
  9. They tell you to create a Facebook application and then tell someone you referred to them to do the same thing.
  10. Their background and resume has not relevant experience that has to do with social networking. And no, having a Facebook Page does not cut it.
  11. They just graduated from high school.
  12. They just added social networking marketing as an additional service.
  13. They only have 100 friends on Facebook, and 10 Followers on Twitter. This means that their networks reflect that they are not connected. How are they going to help you get connected?
  14. When you Google them, it’s difficult to find them. If they don’t show up on the first page of Google, how are they going to get you up there?
  15. They never tell you about the great free ways to monitor your online presence, such as Google Analytics, Google Alerts and Mr. Tweet. Maybe they are afraid you can do it yourself?
  16. They don’t have a blog. Or worse yet, don’t maintain it.
  17. Every case study they can present involves only big budget projects.
  18. They never talk strategy or branding.
  19. When they do talk strategy there is never any discussion about: branding, customer service, corporate communications, marketing, or advertising programs.
  20. They envision Social Networking as a way to replace customer service.
  21. They charge a pay-per-post fee. This is a very bad, bad idea. Get away quickly.
  22. You are more confused when you get done working with them then you were when you started.
  23. Their list of services does not include training or management.
  24. They don’t suggest any of the wonderful free or cheap services out there for managing and automating your social networking such as or
  25. They call themselves an expert. However, nobody else does.
  26. They have no recommendations or reviews. Anywhere. (Google is your friend!!)
  27. They do it part time.
  28. They host workshops about expanding your social presence and promote it by sending you emails every week about it.
  29. They twitter the same thing over and over, directly promoting themselves. Touting words such as "Make money while you sleep!" or "Make money fast online"
  30. They have no knowledge of online social etiquette.

Of course you should always do your research before hiring someone to take on such an important project for you.

**Remember: Google is your friend. We know this is not the end of the list. So we’d like you to share with us. What are your tips for identifying these so-called social networking “experts”?

(Image source:

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes