Via Problogger on Twitter, came across a post on why the title ‘social media expert’ may not be the route you want to take.
This passage struck me as being spot on:
No one has figured out social media ROI yet. A lot of so-called experts say “I got 300 retweets, 100 new Twitter followers, 60 fans on Facebook, 36 blog comments,” but what does that really mean? It means nothing actually, unless you can convert that into sales or stockholder value. If you can’t measure, you can’t improve and you can’t deliver on your promise of value. How would you ever be able to measure the impact of a tweet from an influencer on your marketing program?
I think this is an important concept, and many in the social media world struggle with it. Twitter itself doesn’t yet have a way to profit off it’s growth. I’ve seen a lot of ‘experts’ on the internet come and go, and being a social media guru strikes me as yet another person getting rich by telling people how to get rich on the internet by telling people how to get rich on the internet.
Which, as you might guess, doesn’t work all that well any more.
I’m all for businesses and individuals using social media to build their brands and connect with customers, consumers, vendors, etc. I think it’s going to become a necessity for many, certainly those who build businesses off their personal brands (small businesses, doctors, realtors, accountants, folks like that.) But the core of your business has to remain your business, not your means of communication. Having lots of followers on Twitter or lots of people reading your blog isn’t a competitive advantage; the competitive advantage is the thing about you or your company that draws all the followers (and hopefully turns all the attention into some sales).
Brand yourself as an expert in your field!