(Gotta love Christopher Walken)
This might sound like a bit of a rant (because at some level it is) but just stay with me on this.
Just because you know how to use social media tools does not make you a social media consultant. So, just because you know how to find people on twitter or create a facebook fanpage doesn’t mean you have any business consulting in the area of social media. If this were the case then everyone on the planet would be consulting for one thing or another. I left a comment on Olivier Blanchards blog talking about this and I’ll say it again here. I may know how to use a laptop but I don’t call myself a “computer consultant”, I can use a shovel and lay down bricks but I don’t call myself a “construction worker”. Just because you know how to use a tool (or tools) doesn’t mean you’re qualified for beans.
A social media consultant should not just know how to use the tools out there but should understand (among other things):
- how a business works
- how to integrate social media tools into an organization
- how to do customer research
- how to identify social media objectives, strategies, tactics, and metrics
- the challenges and obstacles that organizations are faced with when it comes to social media
- the difference between ROI and impact
Some sort of business degree should be a pre-requisite for social media consultants and as I mentioned to Olivier, I’m going to be very hesitant in taking any social media consultant seriously that doesn’t have a business background.
It’s getting frustrating to see so called “consultants” offer services when they have absolutely no business doing so, if you want to show businesses how to tweet or create a facebook account that’s fine, but don’t say that you’re a consultant unless you really understand all of the above…make sense?