This poll analysis was written by Jeremy Victor, president of Make Good Media and editor-in-chief of B2Bbloggers.com. For more of his writing, visit B2Bbloggers.com and follow him on Twitter and Google+.
SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social media practices and issues.
This week we asked: Have you ever hired an outside social media expert to help with your business’ social presence?
- No: 54.55%
- Yes: 45.45%
Numerous articles over the past couple years have been written on the subject of social media experts. On one side is the “There is no such thing as a social media expert” camp, most famously supported by Peter Shankman. And on the other are those gallantly defending the profession, such as Rand Fishkin and Rick Webb.
Both sides have merit and from my point of view, you can successfully take either path, as long as you recognize what really is at stake. Everything about how we act, communicate and behave is in a constant state of change. And with each passing day, social technologies are becoming increasingly accepted as a societal norm and reaching every facet and situation in our lives.
Consider as evidence the fact that we now turn to Twitter in a time of crisis. Within less than an hour of the initial March 2011 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan, 1,200 tweets a minute were being sent to Tokyo about the emergency seeking assistance. Or that social technologies are assisting in political uprisings in Egypt, Libya and Syria, giving people a voice beyond the walls of their sovereign entities and the power to unite within them. And in our very own country (a long) four years ago, the Internet and Facebook assisted in the election of our president. In the words of Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, “Were it not for the Internet, Barack Obama would not be president. Were it not for the Internet, Barack Obama would not have been the nominee.”
So does your business need a social media expert? Well, just ask yourself, has your business evolved to keep up with the technological changes we now face? If not, then it doesn’t really matter what title you give to the person you call when you ask for help. All that matters is whether they have the requisite skills, experience and knowledge to help you win the battle for attention in the world in which we live today.