The most compelling reason to hire outside help in planning and implementing a social media strategy

on Jan 05 in business, social media, Twitter posted by

Being away from my work and offline for the past two weeks gave me the chance to reflect on where I’m at and where I’m going. 

The biggest event for me last year was setting up shop as a social media “consultant.” I’ve been lucky to have some great clients out of the gate so that’s good. 

Coming back to the fray, I realize there is much hype out there. Many people are claiming social media expertise, that they are a guru or ninja. A post on Mashable noted that there are more than 15,000 Twitter users claiming to be social media experts. I’m taking this opportunity to clarify my own position.

Social media is an emerging technology and as such, “expertise” is subjective and any claims to such must be taken with a pinch of salt. It’s like in 1903 just after the Wright brothers’ first flight, saying you’re an expert in aviation (as I commented on a recent post by Michael Brito).

For myself, my website at Harris Social Media suggests prospective clients examine closely whether they need outside help at all and, if so, what to look for when choosing a social media consultant. 

The bottom line is that promises of increased sales, reduced costs, higher engagement from social media are claims of potential, not of fact. And a company can do much internally — setting up a Facebook page, Twitter feed and so on, with no cost aside from employee time.

But this approach misses the point. An organization establishing a presence in social media is presenting itself to the outside. Therefore an outsider can provide a unique perspective simply not available from inside employees. This is, to my mind, the most compelling reason to hire outside help in planning and implementing a social media strategy.

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