Great post from Phill Baumann on experts, the value they may bring and Social Media experts in general. My favorite:
For example, Social Media experts are everywhere. When they’re everywhere, they’re nowhere. In other words, they don’t matter.
So if you want to tout your expertise then you better possess a passion for making other people’s lives better, not yours. And you better do what you love in a way that sets you apart from the experts.
I have been pitched by “Social Media Experts” that don’t blog, that dont twitter, that dont videoblog, that don’t stay on top of the more social trends on the web (my least favorite excuse is the one about the shoemakers children).
When I work with clients on these types of projects my main goal is to get them to become the experts. They need to believe this is something different. They need to commit. They need to do the work, make the effort, reach out to the users in real authentic ways. If we are trying to be more real and more authentic, why would we let an agency do it for us?
The Social Media Expert should be a catalyst, an evangelist (sorry @DAHOWLETT !), someone who is looking at the landscape, helping their clients understand what this is about, work together to build the program and advising them over time to tune and tweak and enhance their program and how they communicate. I think there may be something inauthentic about hiring an agency to communicate in a real voice to your users/customers/fans. Part of this thing of ours is about becoming more transparent, removing the “press release barrier”, dropping the the corp speak and taking off some of the armor that companies build to “protect” themselves from their users.
Whats really important?