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Expert or not

February 4, 2013

After watching the interviews of Gary Vaynerchuk, Daniel Mezei, and Jason Wellcome and reading the opinion post of Peter Shankman, it seems to me that there are not two clear cut sides to the “social media expert” debate. It seems that one side of the argument is the opinion that social media is not difficult to learn and one shouldn’t pay an employee to do something they can do themselves. The other side believes that social media is important enough that it should be the main focus of an employee. Though I feel that the arguments made by Shankman were colorful and strong, they seem to lack substance. Vaynerchuk never strongly argued for social media, he simply explained how to use it. Growing up in the digital age I am more likely to agree with Vaynerchuk and lean towards the need for a social media expert.

Shankman argues that he will never hire a “Social Media Expert” claiming that their job is an important step on the way to a completed product. That being said, Shankman does not dispute the fact that social media is a facet of marketing and customer service. He gives a list of things that marketing is really about. In my opinion his list makes the need for a social media expert more clear. He claims transparency, relevance, brevity, and clarity are what truly matter in marketing; things that social media, if used the right way, can convey.

While Vaynerchuk mentions at the beginning of his interview that social media can change the world, businesses included; it seems that he is not arguing between social media and other aspects of marketing. Instead, he is giving advice on how to be the best in the social media game. He knows that social media is important, that “social media experts” are necessary for marketing and from there he has given advice on how to become an expert. However,Vaynerchuk doesn’t appear to be looking for a “social media expert” either; at least not a self proclaimed “expert” on a résumé. The advice given in his interviews boils down to the fact that one should be a social media expert, not state that they are a “social media expert”. One should be savvy in all aspects of social media so that when a future employer checks up on your digital footprint he can see that you actually know what you are doing.
In the “social media expert” debate I agree more with the opinions of Vaynerchuk. This is the digital age; and though using social media is as easy as getting bread from a refrigerator as Shankman puts it, social media is becoming more and more important to businesses. Using social media may be simple enough for the masses to understand, but companies should desire representatives who can use the technology to do exactly what they want it to do, to get their name out and to get their peers to desire a product.

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  1. I agree with your post, Haley! I think Shankman failed to realize that so-called social media “experts” are not claiming that social media is all there is to marketing. It’s just one aspect of the bigger picture but also something that could cause your company to lose out on a huge target market.

  2. Nika permalink

    Interesting post and well written. I agree with you at companies should have experts that know how to use social media to their fully advantage, not just your average joe posting content.

  3. I totally agree with you, Haley. I do believe that social media is extremely important in today’s day and age, and that companies need to use that to their advantage. However they do not need to pay someone big bucks just to get out there and advertise. Have someone in office that is trained and knows the in and outs of social media that can get the job done themselves.

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