Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The business of social networking

Someone raised an interesting question today during a Social Media Charlotte lunch event: With so many people jumping into social networking and calling themselves experts, how's a busy CEO to tell if the guy or gal pitching him on a potential social media campaign really knows their stuff?

After all, chances are good the CEO barely knows Facebook from Twitter, and has no idea how to use either to turn a buck.

Lyell Petersen, a longtime Twitterer who helped organize today's lunch at Libretto's Pizza in Ballantyne, offered one quick clue. "If they have the phrase social media expert on their resume," he said, "that goes in the trash right away."

Petersen and Rich Tucker, who handles social networking for, offered several other tips:

  • It's not just about getting you set up on Facebook and Twitter. Ask if the person knows the pitfalls of social networks and can give specific tips on things to avoid. Petersen, for example, noted that companies are investing time, money and resources in big social networking campaigns, but they don't own the database behind that 10,000-fan Facebook page they end up building. "That's a huge risk," he said.
  • Look at what the person's actually doing on social networks. What kind of content are they creating? If they don't leave an impressive digital vapor trail behind, you might want to keep looking.
  • Can they show you real case studies of businesses that have had success doing what they're proposing that you do?
Good tips. CEOs aren't the only ones who should take note.


jenifer daniels - the friendraiser said...

agreed...I remember viewing a YouTube video of a local candidate attempting to land a social media gig where he/she stated "what is social media one knows where this thing is going?" and I thought 'and you wonder why they didn't call you back.

You can absolutely quantify results from social media. I use several platforms that help my employer evaluate their success in the social media space...but is anyone an expert - no. Are they some folks who are on the road to becoming one - yes. With day to day experience and research to back it up, we'll begin to see some folks race ahead of the pack.

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