The 5 Critical, Current Responsibilities of a Social Media Expert
The 5 Critical, Current Responsibilities of a Social Media Expert
by

Jason got an excellent response (and rightly so) to last week’s post on the ROI of Social Media.  Both the post itself, and the comments, provided a lot of insight into appropriate valuation of social media services.  

In particular, I was captured by Dan Thornton’s comment, which mentioned three different perspectives: the social perspective, the old school perspective, and the transitional perspective.  

I love reading the perspective of the thought leaders who are trying to establish standards and practices for the future of the social media space.  I think it’s also important to remember that we’re not quite there yet.

When I attended ad:tech Chicago this summer, I took exception to Clay Shirky’s statement that it’s no longer a matter of who gets it and who doesn’t get it, but rather what elements of social media are a fit for which companies, communications purposes, and contexts.  The problem with that statement is, it is a matter of who gets it for you, if your clients are among the many companies who still don’t get social media, but want you to provide recommendations.  

If your clients aren’t all enlightened organizations who have fully embraced the social web, but you are, in fact, doing social media work for them, then you’re effectively in that “transitional” perspective.  

So let’s talk about the current, from-the-trenches issues.  What are the critical areas that you, as a practicing social media strategist, need to ensure are being addressed for your clients?  Chime in on the comments with anything you feel I’ve left out. 

1. Client Education:  As a social media strategist, you need to make sure that your clients understanding of social media is at least clear enough that they know what kind of value and benefits they can expect from your work.  That value and benefit may not be quantified (or quantifiable, for that matter).  But in short, make sure they at least know what they’re getting out of social media, not necessarily how much of it they’ll get.

2. Brand Monitoring:  Even clients who aren’t too keen on dialogue and community building understand the profilactic value of listening to the social web and watching for brewing brand firestorms.  Whether it’s spelled out explicitly in your client agreements or not, you do not want to be blindsided by a negative story that blows up in the blogosphere involving your client.  Have some brand reference alerts in place, even if you can’t shell out for paid monitoring tools.

3.  Legal Issues Awareness:  Relax.  I’m not saying you need to go back to college and pick up a law degree in your nonexistent free time.  As recently as June of this year, a survey from the USC Marshall School of Business indicated that a key reason top executives are resistant to social media is corporate liability concerns.  Your clients likely have questions about the legal implications of social media activity. As their expert in the field, you need to be prepared to answer the most basic, common questions about what is and isn’t allowed.  Bone up on the basics of copyright and usage law as it relates to the web, and know who to call on the more complex issues.  I also highly recommend that you read Sarah Bird’s posts on SEOmoz (she manages to make legal proceedings fun and informative).

4. The Backbone to Say No.  We’re still in the wild, wild west of the social web.  The flip side of dealing with clients who are scared to death to enter the conversation are the ones who have suddenly gotten drunk on the social media Kool-Aid, and want to try “exciting” new tactics that are risky, inappropriate for their brand or marketing goals, or just plain wrong.  As their advisor on the social web, you need to be willing to reign in that enthusiasm when necessary.

5. Respect the Pass-Off Zone.  I almost called this “Play Well with Others,” and that might have been a better way to phrase it.  Social media is a discipline that has implications for marketing, public relations, sales, customer service, and human resources, at a minimum.  You need to understand the grey areas where others’ responsibilities bleed into your arena, and be willing to be a resource to the people working within those other disciplines, not a pain in the hindparts.  Work with their online media buyers when doing blogger outreach.  If your community building efforts can give a leg up or boost to their hiring efforts, reach out to Human Resources.  Make sure their traditional P.R. folks know about you, and can contact you.  Know who to contact when your monitoring reveals a Customer Service or product quality issue.

So what do you think?  As social media experts, what are most important, must-have competencies and responsibilities you need to cover?  Do technical skills belong in there, or even an understanding of the technologies involved, or does that matter?  

I’d love to hear what you all think.

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  • I also am fond of #4.

    Amber made an excellent point. It's does happen that marketing/PR/social media company wants big brand name company as their client, so they agree to whatever they say. The way to stand out and gain traction isn't to agree with everything someone is saying but to disagree and give a better answer.

    I would guess that results usually in a better campaign and successful ones more often than not.

  • I also am fond of #4.

    Amber made an excellent point. It's does happen that marketing/PR/social media company wants big brand name company as their client, so they agree to whatever they say. The way to stand out and gain traction isn't to agree with everything someone is saying but to disagree and give a better answer.

    I would guess that results usually in a better campaign and successful ones more often than not.

  • I also am fond of #4.

    Amber made an excellent point. It's does happen that marketing/PR/social media company wants big brand name company as their client, so they agree to whatever they say. The way to stand out and gain traction isn't to agree with everything someone is saying but to disagree and give a better answer.

    I would guess that results usually in a better campaign and successful ones more often than not.

  • I also am fond of #4.

    Amber made an excellent point. It's does happen that marketing/PR/social media company wants big brand name company as their client, so they agree to whatever they say. The way to stand out and gain traction isn't to agree with everything someone is saying but to disagree and give a better answer.

    I would guess that results usually in a better campaign and successful ones more often than not.

  • I also am fond of #4.

    Amber made an excellent point. It's does happen that marketing/PR/social media company wants big brand name company as their client, so they agree to whatever they say. The way to stand out and gain traction isn't to agree with everything someone is saying but to disagree and give a better answer.

    I would guess that results usually in a better campaign and successful ones more often than not.

  • I have been pushed as a company to focus squarely on brand monitoring and also saying no to clients who are wasted on the “social media Koolaid” It is extremely important to be able to say no to clients who may not benefit from a social media marketing strategy. Good post Kat!

  • I have been pushed as a company to focus squarely on brand monitoring and also saying no to clients who are wasted on the “social media Koolaid” It is extremely important to be able to say no to clients who may not benefit from a social media marketing strategy. Good post Kat!

  • I have been pushed as a company to focus squarely on brand monitoring and also saying no to clients who are wasted on the “social media Koolaid” It is extremely important to be able to say no to clients who may not benefit from a social media marketing strategy. Good post Kat!

  • I have been pushed as a company to focus squarely on brand monitoring and also saying no to clients who are wasted on the “social media Koolaid” It is extremely important to be able to say no to clients who may not benefit from a social media marketing strategy. Good post Kat!

  • I have been pushed as a company to focus squarely on brand monitoring and also saying no to clients who are wasted on the “social media Koolaid” It is extremely important to be able to say no to clients who may not benefit from a social media marketing strategy. Good post Kat!

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  • While intiating client education, it is important to set the perspective with the client. There are times when social media tend to dive into details straight rather than formulating a strategy in line with the marketeer's objectives. This helps the marketeer understand and appreciate the work that will go in. Also it will help when the client is evaluating his ROI on SMM.
    Post working out the strategy, roll out the execution calender so that the deliverabbles are set at each level

  • While intiating client education, it is important to set the perspective with the client. There are times when social media tend to dive into details straight rather than formulating a strategy in line with the marketeer's objectives. This helps the marketeer understand and appreciate the work that will go in. Also it will help when the client is evaluating his ROI on SMM.
    Post working out the strategy, roll out the execution calender so that the deliverabbles are set at each level

  • While intiating client education, it is important to set the perspective with the client. There are times when social media tend to dive into details straight rather than formulating a strategy in line with the marketeer's objectives. This helps the marketeer understand and appreciate the work that will go in. Also it will help when the client is evaluating his ROI on SMM.
    Post working out the strategy, roll out the execution calender so that the deliverabbles are set at each level

  • While intiating client education, it is important to set the perspective with the client. There are times when social media tend to dive into details straight rather than formulating a strategy in line with the marketeer's objectives. This helps the marketeer understand and appreciate the work that will go in. Also it will help when the client is evaluating his ROI on SMM.
    Post working out the strategy, roll out the execution calender so that the deliverabbles are set at each level

  • While intiating client education, it is important to set the perspective with the client. There are times when social media tend to dive into details straight rather than formulating a strategy in line with the marketeer's objectives. This helps the marketeer understand and appreciate the work that will go in. Also it will help when the client is evaluating his ROI on SMM.
    Post working out the strategy, roll out the execution calender so that the deliverabbles are set at each level

  • I'd agree with most of this, but with respect to (2), Social Media is not all about marketing.

    (1) yes. We need to educate, but that is our job as consultants to bring new methods and expertise to our clients' tables. (3) of course, and (4) is a large part of our business: The Social Media Business Case – is this right for me? (5) is necessary since no one can be all things to everyone, and we are successful at partnering because it just makes sense.

    But, what about Social Media applicability to other parts of the organization? HR, service delivery, product management, etc.? Not to mention, the non-profit sector?

    As social media strategists, we should be able to provide that applicability, which helps alleviate an organization's pain, no matter where it is. Not just marketing. As “nicky” points out, we need to understand organizational strategies. Of course this begins by understanding objectives.

    What are they trying to achieve? That is the key.

    john

  • I'd agree with most of this, but with respect to (2), Social Media is not all about marketing.

    (1) yes. We need to educate, but that is our job as consultants to bring new methods and expertise to our clients' tables. (3) of course, and (4) is a large part of our business: The Social Media Business Case – is this right for me? (5) is necessary since no one can be all things to everyone, and we are successful at partnering because it just makes sense.

    But, what about Social Media applicability to other parts of the organization? HR, service delivery, product management, etc.? Not to mention, the non-profit sector?

    As social media strategists, we should be able to provide that applicability, which helps alleviate an organization's pain, no matter where it is. Not just marketing. As “nicky” points out, we need to understand organizational strategies. Of course this begins by understanding objectives.

    What are they trying to achieve? That is the key.

    john

  • I'd agree with most of this, but with respect to (2), Social Media is not all about marketing.

    (1) yes. We need to educate, but that is our job as consultants to bring new methods and expertise to our clients' tables. (3) of course, and (4) is a large part of our business: The Social Media Business Case – is this right for me? (5) is necessary since no one can be all things to everyone, and we are successful at partnering because it just makes sense.

    But, what about Social Media applicability to other parts of the organization? HR, service delivery, product management, etc.? Not to mention, the non-profit sector?

    As social media strategists, we should be able to provide that applicability, which helps alleviate an organization's pain, no matter where it is. Not just marketing. As “nicky” points out, we need to understand organizational strategies. Of course this begins by understanding objectives.

    What are they trying to achieve? That is the key.

    john

  • I'd agree with most of this, but with respect to (2), Social Media is not all about marketing.

    (1) yes. We need to educate, but that is our job as consultants to bring new methods and expertise to our clients' tables. (3) of course, and (4) is a large part of our business: The Social Media Business Case – is this right for me? (5) is necessary since no one can be all things to everyone, and we are successful at partnering because it just makes sense.

    But, what about Social Media applicability to other parts of the organization? HR, service delivery, product management, etc.? Not to mention, the non-profit sector?

    As social media strategists, we should be able to provide that applicability, which helps alleviate an organization's pain, no matter where it is. Not just marketing. As “nicky” points out, we need to understand organizational strategies. Of course this begins by understanding objectives.

    What are they trying to achieve? That is the key.

    john

  • I'd agree with most of this, but with respect to (2), Social Media is not all about marketing.

    (1) yes. We need to educate, but that is our job as consultants to bring new methods and expertise to our clients' tables. (3) of course, and (4) is a large part of our business: The Social Media Business Case – is this right for me? (5) is necessary since no one can be all things to everyone, and we are successful at partnering because it just makes sense.

    But, what about Social Media applicability to other parts of the organization? HR, service delivery, product management, etc.? Not to mention, the non-profit sector?

    As social media strategists, we should be able to provide that applicability, which helps alleviate an organization's pain, no matter where it is. Not just marketing. As “nicky” points out, we need to understand organizational strategies. Of course this begins by understanding objectives.

    What are they trying to achieve? That is the key.

    john

  • The classical explanation of why not to take too much notice of experts is that the title means: ex=has-been and spurt=drip under pressure.

    More seriously, I hope, I like “strategist” which is why I describe myself thusly. As John Carson says, the game is moving fast and there are no longer (if there ever were) any real “experts”. We will do our clients better service when we acknowledge that we are all learners. Hopefully they will accept that we are further along than they are!

  • The classical explanation of why not to take too much notice of experts is that the title means: ex=has-been and spurt=drip under pressure.

    More seriously, I hope, I like “strategist” which is why I describe myself thusly. As John Carson says, the game is moving fast and there are no longer (if there ever were) any real “experts”. We will do our clients better service when we acknowledge that we are all learners. Hopefully they will accept that we are further along than they are!

  • The classical explanation of why not to take too much notice of experts is that the title means: ex=has-been and spurt=drip under pressure.

    More seriously, I hope, I like “strategist” which is why I describe myself thusly. As John Carson says, the game is moving fast and there are no longer (if there ever were) any real “experts”. We will do our clients better service when we acknowledge that we are all learners. Hopefully they will accept that we are further along than they are!

  • The classical explanation of why not to take too much notice of experts is that the title means: ex=has-been and spurt=drip under pressure.

    More seriously, I hope, I like “strategist” which is why I describe myself thusly. As John Carson says, the game is moving fast and there are no longer (if there ever were) any real “experts”. We will do our clients better service when we acknowledge that we are all learners. Hopefully they will accept that we are further along than they are!

  • KatFrench

    Absolutely! Helping a client develop their own corporate social media policy is actually a project that decreases and directly addresses their fears about it. And they're often surprised at the results they see just from corporate culture changes that empower their own people to be social media evangelists.

  • KatFrench

    Absolutely! Helping a client develop their own corporate social media policy is actually a project that decreases and directly addresses their fears about it. And they're often surprised at the results they see just from corporate culture changes that empower their own people to be social media evangelists.

  • KatFrench

    Absolutely! Helping a client develop their own corporate social media policy is actually a project that decreases and directly addresses their fears about it. And they're often surprised at the results they see just from corporate culture changes that empower their own people to be social media evangelists.

  • KatFrench

    That's a great suggestion–using their suggestion as a springboard for something more appropriate. Which, as you've mentioned, comes back to not only understanding business strategy, but also having a holistic understanding of online/digital/interactive marketing as a whole. Otherwise, it can be easy to fall victim to the whole “throw everything against the wall and see what sticks” mentality, as opposed to being methodical (and effective).

    For example, lots of clients who have been hearing about social media most associate it with “viral” campaigns, and think that it's most applicable to building web traffic volume fast. While that certainly can happen, there's no such thing as a “sure thing” viral hit.

    From a more holistic viewpoint, I'd never suggest a short term social media campaign instead of paid search to increase traffic–although in combination with it, it could be a good gambit. In general, social media is better for improving engagement than traffic volume.

    Jason's ROI post addressed the question of “how much revenue increase can we expect?” in the sense that most of the time, you can't directly connect social media to sales numbers. The beauty of a more holistic approach is that it frees social media to do what it's best at doing (building engagement and affinity), while complementing and enhancing the other efforts that have a more direct effect on revenues, like SEO and digital advertising.

  • KatFrench

    That's a great suggestion–using their suggestion as a springboard for something more appropriate. Which, as you've mentioned, comes back to not only understanding business strategy, but also having a holistic understanding of online/digital/interactive marketing as a whole. Otherwise, it can be easy to fall victim to the whole “throw everything against the wall and see what sticks” mentality, as opposed to being methodical (and effective).

    For example, lots of clients who have been hearing about social media most associate it with “viral” campaigns, and think that it's most applicable to building web traffic volume fast. While that certainly can happen, there's no such thing as a “sure thing” viral hit.

    From a more holistic viewpoint, I'd never suggest a short term social media campaign instead of paid search to increase traffic–although in combination with it, it could be a good gambit. In general, social media is better for improving engagement than traffic volume.

    Jason's ROI post addressed the question of “how much revenue increase can we expect?” in the sense that most of the time, you can't directly connect social media to sales numbers. The beauty of a more holistic approach is that it frees social media to do what it's best at doing (building engagement and affinity), while complementing and enhancing the other efforts that have a more direct effect on revenues, like SEO and digital advertising.

  • KatFrench

    That's a great suggestion–using their suggestion as a springboard for something more appropriate. Which, as you've mentioned, comes back to not only understanding business strategy, but also having a holistic understanding of online/digital/interactive marketing as a whole. Otherwise, it can be easy to fall victim to the whole “throw everything against the wall and see what sticks” mentality, as opposed to being methodical (and effective).

    For example, lots of clients who have been hearing about social media most associate it with “viral” campaigns, and think that it's most applicable to building web traffic volume fast. While that certainly can happen, there's no such thing as a “sure thing” viral hit.

    From a more holistic viewpoint, I'd never suggest a short term social media campaign instead of paid search to increase traffic–although in combination with it, it could be a good gambit. In general, social media is better for improving engagement than traffic volume.

    Jason's ROI post addressed the question of “how much revenue increase can we expect?” in the sense that most of the time, you can't directly connect social media to sales numbers. The beauty of a more holistic approach is that it frees social media to do what it's best at doing (building engagement and affinity), while complementing and enhancing the other efforts that have a more direct effect on revenues, like SEO and digital advertising.

  • Perhaps it is a given, but when you talk about education in #1, it's important that the outreach be not limited to the client but extend beyond into their families, colleagues, partners, vendors, and any other person or organization it comes in contact with.

    We are at the beginning of this new mentality and companies need to learn that this is a knowledge SHARING world of business, and they can't keep holed up any expertise of their own or knowledge you pass them.

  • Perhaps it is a given, but when you talk about education in #1, it's important that the outreach be not limited to the client but extend beyond into their families, colleagues, partners, vendors, and any other person or organization it comes in contact with.

    We are at the beginning of this new mentality and companies need to learn that this is a knowledge SHARING world of business, and they can't keep holed up any expertise of their own or knowledge you pass them.

  • Perhaps it is a given, but when you talk about education in #1, it's important that the outreach be not limited to the client but extend beyond into their families, colleagues, partners, vendors, and any other person or organization it comes in contact with.

    We are at the beginning of this new mentality and companies need to learn that this is a knowledge SHARING world of business, and they can't keep holed up any expertise of their own or knowledge you pass them.

  • Perhaps it is a given, but when you talk about education in #1, it's important that the outreach be not limited to the client but extend beyond into their families, colleagues, partners, vendors, and any other person or organization it comes in contact with.

    We are at the beginning of this new mentality and companies need to learn that this is a knowledge SHARING world of business, and they can't keep holed up any expertise of their own or knowledge you pass them.

    • KatFrench

      Absolutely! Helping a client develop their own corporate social media policy is actually a project that decreases and directly addresses their fears about it. And they're often surprised at the results they see just from corporate culture changes that empower their own people to be social media evangelists.

  • One way I would positively turn around #4 is, rather than saying “no” and leaving, suggest an alternative approach or concept that would work. A pilot for example, or a “quick win” to get their feet wet and prime them (with appropriate steps) for the things they want to do. Also, if you can get the key risk stakeholders and influencers on your side they can help sell the “perhaps not this yet, however let's consider something similar…and it may get you even better results than you imagine.” And then give some examples.

    In terms of other things to consider, I wrote a similar post on this here
    http://nickyjameson.com/2008/09/29/marketers-to

    For me the top thing is strategy. And strategy. And did I say strategy? The Social Media practitioner must be able to understand the business strategy, the business drivers, the business pressures and the key objectives. The marketing strategy and the Sales strategy. And the Social Media strategy. It's a tall order, but if you don't have this information you have a gap.

    Many practiontioners still find it hard to make the case for social media and end up talking about the tools. From experience businesses want to know how Social Media can help them deliver on their strategic objectives and meet profit targets. My latest post -Wanted The Business Case for Social Media speaks to just this. It happened very recently.

    While we are talking about what Social Media practitioners I really feel that there is a need to equip SMPs with the strategic business savvy they need to make their role more valuable to their clients. Much of Social Media is exciting but still unproven and this makes it hard to answer some of the questions – like – “how much revenue increase can we expect if we do this?And how long will it take?”

  • One way I would positively turn around #4 is, rather than saying “no” and leaving, suggest an alternative approach or concept that would work. A pilot for example, or a “quick win” to get their feet wet and prime them (with appropriate steps) for the things they want to do. Also, if you can get the key risk stakeholders and influencers on your side they can help sell the “perhaps not this yet, however let's consider something similar…and it may get you even better results than you imagine.” And then give some examples.

    In terms of other things to consider, I wrote a similar post on this here
    http://nickyjameson.com/2008/09/29/marketers-to

    For me the top thing is strategy. And strategy. And did I say strategy? The Social Media practitioner must be able to understand the business strategy, the business drivers, the business pressures and the key objectives. The marketing strategy and the Sales strategy. And the Social Media strategy. It's a tall order, but if you don't have this information you have a gap.

    Many practiontioners still find it hard to make the case for social media and end up talking about the tools. From experience businesses want to know how Social Media can help them deliver on their strategic objectives and meet profit targets. My latest post -Wanted The Business Case for Social Media speaks to just this. It happened very recently.

    While we are talking about what Social Media practitioners I really feel that there is a need to equip SMPs with the strategic business savvy they need to make their role more valuable to their clients. Much of Social Media is exciting but still unproven and this makes it hard to answer some of the questions – like – “how much revenue increase can we expect if we do this?And how long will it take?”

  • One way I would positively turn around #4 is, rather than saying “no” and leaving, suggest an alternative approach or concept that would work. A pilot for example, or a “quick win” to get their feet wet and prime them (with appropriate steps) for the things they want to do. Also, if you can get the key risk stakeholders and influencers on your side they can help sell the “perhaps not this yet, however let's consider something similar…and it may get you even better results than you imagine.” And then give some examples.

    In terms of other things to consider, I wrote a similar post on this here
    http://nickyjameson.com/2008/09/29/marketers-to

    For me the top thing is strategy. And strategy. And did I say strategy? The Social Media practitioner must be able to understand the business strategy, the business drivers, the business pressures and the key objectives. The marketing strategy and the Sales strategy. And the Social Media strategy. It's a tall order, but if you don't have this information you have a gap.

    Many practiontioners still find it hard to make the case for social media and end up talking about the tools. From experience businesses want to know how Social Media can help them deliver on their strategic objectives and meet profit targets. My latest post -Wanted The Business Case for Social Media speaks to just this. It happened very recently.

    While we are talking about what Social Media practitioners I really feel that there is a need to equip SMPs with the strategic business savvy they need to make their role more valuable to their clients. Much of Social Media is exciting but still unproven and this makes it hard to answer some of the questions – like – “how much revenue increase can we expect if we do this?And how long will it take?”

  • One way I would positively turn around #4 is, rather than saying “no” and leaving, suggest an alternative approach or concept that would work. A pilot for example, or a “quick win” to get their feet wet and prime them (with appropriate steps) for the things they want to do. Also, if you can get the key risk stakeholders and influencers on your side they can help sell the “perhaps not this yet, however let's consider something similar…and it may get you even better results than you imagine.” And then give some examples.

    In terms of other things to consider, I wrote a similar post on this here
    http://nickyjameson.com/2008/09/29/marketers-to

    For me the top thing is strategy. And strategy. And did I say strategy? The Social Media practitioner must be able to understand the business strategy, the business drivers, the business pressures and the key objectives. The marketing strategy and the Sales strategy. And the Social Media strategy. It's a tall order, but if you don't have this information you have a gap.

    Many practiontioners still find it hard to make the case for social media and end up talking about the tools. From experience businesses want to know how Social Media can help them deliver on their strategic objectives and meet profit targets. My latest post -Wanted The Business Case for Social Media speaks to just this. It happened very recently.

    While we are talking about what Social Media practitioners I really feel that there is a need to equip SMPs with the strategic business savvy they need to make their role more valuable to their clients. Much of Social Media is exciting but still unproven and this makes it hard to answer some of the questions – like – “how much revenue increase can we expect if we do this?And how long will it take?”

    • KatFrench

      That's a great suggestion–using their suggestion as a springboard for something more appropriate. Which, as you've mentioned, comes back to not only understanding business strategy, but also having a holistic understanding of online/digital/interactive marketing as a whole. Otherwise, it can be easy to fall victim to the whole “throw everything against the wall and see what sticks” mentality, as opposed to being methodical (and effective).

      For example, lots of clients who have been hearing about social media most associate it with “viral” campaigns, and think that it's most applicable to building web traffic volume fast. While that certainly can happen, there's no such thing as a “sure thing” viral hit.

      From a more holistic viewpoint, I'd never suggest a short term social media campaign instead of paid search to increase traffic–although in combination with it, it could be a good gambit. In general, social media is better for improving engagement than traffic volume.

      Jason's ROI post addressed the question of “how much revenue increase can we expect?” in the sense that most of the time, you can't directly connect social media to sales numbers. The beauty of a more holistic approach is that it frees social media to do what it's best at doing (building engagement and affinity), while complementing and enhancing the other efforts that have a more direct effect on revenues, like SEO and digital advertising.

  • KatFrench

    Bobby,

    That's pretty consistent with what I'm hearing from other practitioners; that clients are sort of spread out along a spectrum. In fact, often a spectrum of acceptance exists internally across the decision-makers within each client company.

    And #1 is my FAVORITE part. :) I'm actually not that anxious for everyone to become naturally conversant in this stuff… I'd lose my favorite part of the work! Is that terrible?

  • KatFrench

    Bobby,

    That's pretty consistent with what I'm hearing from other practitioners; that clients are sort of spread out along a spectrum. In fact, often a spectrum of acceptance exists internally across the decision-makers within each client company.

    And #1 is my FAVORITE part. :) I'm actually not that anxious for everyone to become naturally conversant in this stuff… I'd lose my favorite part of the work! Is that terrible?

  • KatFrench

    Bobby,

    That's pretty consistent with what I'm hearing from other practitioners; that clients are sort of spread out along a spectrum. In fact, often a spectrum of acceptance exists internally across the decision-makers within each client company.

    And #1 is my FAVORITE part. :) I'm actually not that anxious for everyone to become naturally conversant in this stuff… I'd lose my favorite part of the work! Is that terrible?

  • KatFrench

    From a philosophical standpoint, I agree that the word “expert” is a hot button. I prefer “strategist” myself (and I've used it in the post).

    However, from a search engine standpoint, I want to make sure that people can find the content–and “expert” seems to be the most popular term.

  • KatFrench

    From a philosophical standpoint, I agree that the word “expert” is a hot button. I prefer “strategist” myself (and I've used it in the post).

    However, from a search engine standpoint, I want to make sure that people can find the content–and “expert” seems to be the most popular term.

  • KatFrench

    From a philosophical standpoint, I agree that the word “expert” is a hot button. I prefer “strategist” myself (and I've used it in the post).

    However, from a search engine standpoint, I want to make sure that people can find the content–and “expert” seems to be the most popular term.

  • Kat, interesting post! I work for a public relations firm in Raleigh, NC and we are definitely in different phases with different clients. One client will have us do anything and everything in social media and we end up having to use #4 a lot. Other, more conservative clients, are still very much in the transitional stage where we have to tug and pull to get them to agree to anything. They currently get a lot of #1 from us.

  • Kat, interesting post! I work for a public relations firm in Raleigh, NC and we are definitely in different phases with different clients. One client will have us do anything and everything in social media and we end up having to use #4 a lot. Other, more conservative clients, are still very much in the transitional stage where we have to tug and pull to get them to agree to anything. They currently get a lot of #1 from us.

  • Kat, interesting post! I work for a public relations firm in Raleigh, NC and we are definitely in different phases with different clients. One client will have us do anything and everything in social media and we end up having to use #4 a lot. Other, more conservative clients, are still very much in the transitional stage where we have to tug and pull to get them to agree to anything. They currently get a lot of #1 from us.

  • Kat, interesting post! I work for a public relations firm in Raleigh, NC and we are definitely in different phases with different clients. One client will have us do anything and everything in social media and we end up having to use #4 a lot. Other, more conservative clients, are still very much in the transitional stage where we have to tug and pull to get them to agree to anything. They currently get a lot of #1 from us.

    • KatFrench

      Bobby,

      That's pretty consistent with what I'm hearing from other practitioners; that clients are sort of spread out along a spectrum. In fact, often a spectrum of acceptance exists internally across the decision-makers within each client company.

      And #1 is my FAVORITE part. :) I'm actually not that anxious for everyone to become naturally conversant in this stuff… I'd lose my favorite part of the work! Is that terrible?

  • Nice post, but I would advise against using the word “expert” so much. The scene changes so fast = no one knows it all at any one time.

    Maybe advocate, specialist, advisor, consultant are more realistic terms?

    JC.

  • Nice post, but I would advise against using the word “expert” so much. The scene changes so fast = no one knows it all at any one time.

    Maybe advocate, specialist, advisor, consultant are more realistic terms?

    JC.

  • Nice post, but I would advise against using the word “expert” so much. The scene changes so fast = no one knows it all at any one time.

    Maybe advocate, specialist, advisor, consultant are more realistic terms?

    JC.

  • Nice post, but I would advise against using the word “expert” so much. The scene changes so fast = no one knows it all at any one time.

    Maybe advocate, specialist, advisor, consultant are more realistic terms?

    JC.

    • KatFrench

      From a philosophical standpoint, I agree that the word “expert” is a hot button. I prefer “strategist” myself (and I've used it in the post).

      However, from a search engine standpoint, I want to make sure that people can find the content–and “expert” seems to be the most popular term.

      • The classical explanation of why not to take too much notice of experts is that the title means: ex=has-been and spurt=drip under pressure.

        More seriously, I hope, I like “strategist” which is why I describe myself thusly. As John Carson says, the game is moving fast and there are no longer (if there ever were) any real “experts”. We will do our clients better service when we acknowledge that we are all learners. Hopefully they will accept that we are further along than they are!

  • KatFrench

    Thanks, Amber. I think that #4 is probably the hardest for me personally. Especially when most of the time, you have to work so hard to get buy-in on social media participation. And I think that you've hit on a critical piece of it, too. Explaining WHY it's a bad idea. You're still bringing value to the table.

    Of course, they may just go to another vendor who's willing to take the money and run, but at least they can't say you didn't warn them.

  • KatFrench

    Thanks, Amber. I think that #4 is probably the hardest for me personally. Especially when most of the time, you have to work so hard to get buy-in on social media participation. And I think that you've hit on a critical piece of it, too. Explaining WHY it's a bad idea. You're still bringing value to the table.

    Of course, they may just go to another vendor who's willing to take the money and run, but at least they can't say you didn't warn them.

  • KatFrench

    Thanks, Amber. I think that #4 is probably the hardest for me personally. Especially when most of the time, you have to work so hard to get buy-in on social media participation. And I think that you've hit on a critical piece of it, too. Explaining WHY it's a bad idea. You're still bringing value to the table.

    Of course, they may just go to another vendor who's willing to take the money and run, but at least they can't say you didn't warn them.

  • Kat, Excellent points. I'm particularly fond of #4. It's sometimes tempting for “consultants” to be yes men, running around and jumping all over every idea because they see dollar signs. (Sorry, guys, there are those people out there). But sometimes the healthiest thing you can do for a client is to say no, and explain why a particular tactic isn't right for them. In fact, turning down an entire gig in the name of making sure you're doing right by the company is truly adding value, especially if it prevents them from wasting time and money and setting themselves up for disappointment.

    Thanks for keeping us grounded.

  • Kat, Excellent points. I'm particularly fond of #4. It's sometimes tempting for “consultants” to be yes men, running around and jumping all over every idea because they see dollar signs. (Sorry, guys, there are those people out there). But sometimes the healthiest thing you can do for a client is to say no, and explain why a particular tactic isn't right for them. In fact, turning down an entire gig in the name of making sure you're doing right by the company is truly adding value, especially if it prevents them from wasting time and money and setting themselves up for disappointment.

    Thanks for keeping us grounded.

  • Kat, Excellent points. I'm particularly fond of #4. It's sometimes tempting for “consultants” to be yes men, running around and jumping all over every idea because they see dollar signs. (Sorry, guys, there are those people out there). But sometimes the healthiest thing you can do for a client is to say no, and explain why a particular tactic isn't right for them. In fact, turning down an entire gig in the name of making sure you're doing right by the company is truly adding value, especially if it prevents them from wasting time and money and setting themselves up for disappointment.

    Thanks for keeping us grounded.

  • Kat, Excellent points. I'm particularly fond of #4. It's sometimes tempting for “consultants” to be yes men, running around and jumping all over every idea because they see dollar signs. (Sorry, guys, there are those people out there). But sometimes the healthiest thing you can do for a client is to say no, and explain why a particular tactic isn't right for them. In fact, turning down an entire gig in the name of making sure you're doing right by the company is truly adding value, especially if it prevents them from wasting time and money and setting themselves up for disappointment.

    Thanks for keeping us grounded.

    • KatFrench

      Thanks, Amber. I think that #4 is probably the hardest for me personally. Especially when most of the time, you have to work so hard to get buy-in on social media participation. And I think that you've hit on a critical piece of it, too. Explaining WHY it's a bad idea. You're still bringing value to the table.

      Of course, they may just go to another vendor who's willing to take the money and run, but at least they can't say you didn't warn them.

  • Excellent post for every group of internet user. Really you are global SM Teacher. Thanks

  • Excellent post for every group of internet user. Really you are global SM Teacher. Thanks

  • Excellent post for every group of internet user. Really you are global SM Teacher. Thanks

  • Excellent post for every group of internet user. Really you are global SM Teacher. Thanks