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162 Responses to Social Media Experts – How to spot the fake ones

  1. Great blog as always Lilach and one of the important topics to write about too as so many people are attracted to buy the latest training programme and become a Social Media Expert in just a few hours then go all out and sell their services to businesses when in reality they have absolutely no business acumen or marketing expertise to offer and in reality know very little about helping a business but quite a lot about pressing buttons.

    Carol
    Better known as the How2 Girl
    Twitter:

  2. Zoe Cairns says:

    Great article! Thankyou Lilach.
    Very true as well Carol – its essential that social media trainers are active on social media themselves and are walking the walk and talking the talk!! I totally agree! They give us a bad name!
    This is a brilliant article explaining that! Having three years social proof that this really can work in someones business, sometimes its hard to explain to a company that we are there to help when they have already worked with someone in Social Media that just went on a weeks course and learnt the stuff then going out calling themselves an social media expert!!

    To Your Successes
    Zoe x

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Zoe:)

      One of the questions I often ask is how can I get the results you get from social media? The fact is it’s taken me years to get to where I am, it doesn’t happen overnight and I think that’s part of the problem! With the ability of being able to buy pretty much anything online people want fast results but we both know that’s not the real world:)
      Twitter:

  3. Great write up Lilach I see so many people attend a SM course then 10 mins later they are expects!!! Other stuff I have seen from so called experts … well I think to myself “really your an expert” give me a break I must be a Doctor with an IQ of a billion!!! Thanks Lilach for this :)

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Simone:) Yep so true – and ironically there are now even courses on how to be a social media “expert”… so you go along for the day and then voila! You’re an expert and can start making loads of money from it!!
      Twitter:

  4. The fakes use social media to broadcast their communications one way. They are constantly telling everyone that their brand is the best and why people should buy it.
    Kevin K Lau recently posted..Your Social Marketing Networks Update!My Profile

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Kevin, agreed:) I’m often amazed by people contacting me (completely out of the blue without any prior contact) telling me what they can achieve for me. Not only is this spamming in my opinion but they clearly haven’t even bothered to look at my profile….!
      Twitter:

    • The converse is also true. Real social media experts may not actual identify themselves as social media experts.

  5. Lilach – For me real experts (like yourself) jump out of the page . If readers follow these excellent tips the true experts will jump out at them too. One of the great things about social media is that you are laid totally bare. Someone can try to fake it they want to but they will soon be exposed if your guidelines are followed.

    Part of the problem I think is the “instant society” we live in today. Too many people think they can start out as an expert versus having to work their way up to it… I find your honesty refreshing e.g. where you say “It’s taken me years to get to where I am, it doesn’t happen overnight…” I think so many people become disolutioned in this game “because” they are sold unrealistic expectations. If only more people could be more honest..
    David Downer recently posted..New Facebook Controversy! Marketing Genius or a Step Too Far Once More?My Profile

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks David, appreciate your comment:)

      I agree, it’s a lot easier to spot the fakes now particularly as everything is out there. But it’s also a lot easier to “copy” as well which is what inspired me to write the post in the first place – I guess I’m getting frustrated at seeing people copying me… but then I should be flattered I guess:)

      You’re right, we live in a instant society where everyone wants fast results when the reality is it doesn’t exist, for anyone.
      Twitter:

  6. Roy Law says:

    Nice one, Lilach!

    Here’s another quick test for a professed expert – were they ever a life coach?

  7. Isn’t that the truth!

    “Social Media Experts” are a dime a dozen, particularly now that there are false teachers out there telling them they can be experts in a few hours. There are too many different aspects to social media to truly be an expert in all of them – it is nearly a full time job keeping up with social media trends.

    Wonderful article! and a wonderful comment by David Downer that the “real experts (like yourself!)jump out of the page.”
    Susan Critelli recently posted..5 Ways to Make Your Website “Simply” FabulousMy Profile

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Susan, appreciate your comment:)

      I agree – there are more and more false teachers which only perpetuates the problem – in fact I think it’s getting to the point where the money is now in teaching people how to become a social media expert….!
      Twitter:

  8. Great post Lilach and you point out so well the difference between having masses of followers and whether or not you interact with them. It’s just the same with your email list, it’s not how big it is but how much you interact with it. Take care.
    Twitter:

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks David:) Absolutely right, it’s not about the amount of followers, what’s important is the engagement and how responsive they are to you. You have to build a relationship with them like you do your list, otherwise ultimately they aren’t going to buy from you anyway – so what is the point?

      I’ve said it before business is about profit not vanity:)
      Twitter:

  9. Phil (xwidep) Hackett says:

    I developed one of the most successful viral marketing campaigns in 2009 and won nnumerous awards for my success (the campaign cost less than £10k to create and delivered over 24milion hits in the first year and over 50million to date but I would still never claim to be a social media expert because there are so many charlatans : (
    Phil (xwidep) Hackett recently posted..Sesquipedalian ProverbMy Profile

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Phil:) And a huge contraguations on your fantastic achievement:) Something I’m sure you must be very proud of and rightly so:)

      I think it’s fair to say you’re an expert in what you do :)
      Twitter:

  10. Autumn Lee says:

    I agree wholeheartedly regarding using social media to enhance your current marketing strategies. Social media is definitely helpful when trying to expand your network.

    Also, interaction is a very important part of social networking; well said! I see too many people trying to emulate their television idols by acting like they are above their followers and failing to respond to them. Of course, there is the occasional tweet that does not warrant a response, but I think it is always a great idea to interact with your followers whenever possible. There is no room to be shy when it comes to social networking!

    Wonderful post!
    Autumn Lee recently posted..Why You Are Not Getting Facebook SubscribersMy Profile

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Autumn:) (love your name btw)

      I agree, you can’t hide in the world of social media and if you’re shy – you need to overcome this:)

      I try and respond to everyone on all my social media channels, it takes a lot of time but if people take the time to comment/send me a tweet/engage with me on Facebook then I think it’s only common courtesy to respond. Plus isn’t that what social media is all about? Networking and building relationships?
      Twitter:

  11. Thanks for this post Lilach and nice to read the comments! I would like to emphasize your last indicator and also point to David Downer’s comment on being “honest” because that is what it comes down to. I would appreciate hearing everyone’s thinking on this. “Fakes often adopt an over-optimistic position without any careful consideration of the specific company’s circumstances. You should be wary of people claiming social media is the only strategy – It’s not – it should always be complemented by other elements of marketing.”.

    A real social media expert dares to say NO to a client because they KNOW that it would not be the right choice at times. Social Media is about authenticity, and real social experts would have strong ethics in addition to knowledge. There is a clear difference between a so called “expert” and someone who is capable of advising a company on how to become successful. The latter would require years of professional experience so you understand how a complex business is run with all the ingredients including people, strategy, goals, branding, marketing, investments, budgeting, profit, loss. To this extent I would say that a real expert is open for cooperation with others to solve business issues. Consulting a business goes far beyond teaching one how to create a Facebook page or tweet or how to run a campaign and knowing all the tricks and trends.

    Coming back to your earlier point, social media is only successful if it is integrated in the total marketing mix, which could include traditional media and mobile and online. A real expert would acknowledge this and not try to single-handedly save a business. Instead, she/he would seek support to fill in the gaps (if any) before presenting the client with “10 Tips On How To Create A Successful Social Media Strategy”.

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Sirous, appreciate your comment:)

      I have said no to many clients in the past as I have felt social media isn’t right for them for whatever reason or that they would get better results from something else. If a person/business has a limited budget you need to look at all the various marketing elements and work out which one will give them the best results.
      Twitter:

  12. Hi Lilach,
    Great post and lots of very interesting comments too! I agree wholeheartedly that this should be part of a marketing mix and I also agree with Phil that the term is being devalued. I have to admit to being a little narked about this myself and wrote a similar post back in April – http://socialmediaillumination.co.uk/how-to-choose-a-social-media-strategist/ – we both obviously have the same atitude to this even though we have discussed it in different ways and covered different points!
    Maybe in the next couple of years we’ll see universities offering Social Media Marketing courses, I believe some have brought in modules already and it seems a popular topic for students to do their dissertations on! If they do I hope they’re graduates are taught that they need to learn from experience too!
    Twitter:

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Gemma:)

      I was actually inspired to write it as I’m getting fed up of people not only copying my “stuff” but also more and more people jumping on the band wagon of claiming to be a social media expert!

      I can definitely see universities in the future running social media marketing courses but I’m a great believer that it’s not about just learning and researching but actually carrying out the work that makes you more of an “expert”.

      I’m pleased I’m not the only one who is finding it frustrating:)
      Twitter:

  13. internetasset says:

    Even “clowns” have to do something to feed their kids I suppose. I think there is an inherent creepy elitism, arrogance and marginalization that is generally symbiotic with people claiming to be “experts” themselves. Moreover, I really feel strongly that WE as self-proclaimed “experts”, should make every effort to avoid silencing those that are not considered to be “experts”. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “It has always been a mystery to me how men can feel themselves honoured by the humiliation of their fellow beings. “

  14. I agree to every point, Lilach. You covered the issue very nicely. I am trying to understand social media marketing and it’s been couple of months. But in no case, I found many “experts”. Everybody may claim to be one but only few truly are. One cannot hand over the business to social media clowns who don’t have a clear understanding of your business and goals.. Thumbs up for a good post :)

  15. Morgan says:

    Superb advice! I was just about to write an article about this, but, I think I’ll just link your article instead, since it pretty much covered everything I was going to talk about. :)

    I don’t even like the term ‘expert’, because, in fact, I’m not. I’m a specialist, because social media and the internet in general are constantly changing, thus I’m constantly learning and adapting along with it. So I can’t possibly call myself an expert, because it’s ever changing.

    It’s frustrating sometimes to see these fake social media specialists. There are several in my area. I NEVER see them on their social networks, I NEVER see them updating their blog, I NEVER see them engage because they’re always promoting themselves, etc. It’s just heartbreaking.

    But it’s articles like these that make people more aware. :) Thank you for this!
    Morgan recently posted..Patience Is Key To a Great Social Media StrategyMy Profile

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Morgan, appreciate your comment. I too understand your frustrations, which inspired me to write the post in the first place!

      I say I specialise in social media as that’s my core practice but I am also constantly learning and researching. You have to as social media is evolving very quickly:)
      Twitter:

  16. DrDeadline says:

    In the “old days” we had a phrase, “Fake it ’til you make it.” ‘the mantra of those who had to learn it on the job. Most people made it, some didn’t. Today, it seems, many are willing to fake it forever. It does spoil the environment doesn’t it. Cheers!

  17. Suttida says:

    Agreed. This is a great post! I think that social media is still so new and is changing so much that it is unlikely I will meet an individual let alone an agency that has “mastered” the strategies behind social media. To an extent, it can be frustrating because being in the field, I do want to connect with people who provide ideas and assert thought leadership beyond the components that have already crossed my mind. Now, I’m no true “expert” AND I don’t know if anyone can really categorize themselves as one in the social media realm. Being an “expert” to me means that you know how to truly measure your social efforts and you truly are the ‘know it all’ running campaigns that are generating a million + dollars in profit.

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Suttida:) I agree to some extent however I don’t think you can truly “know it all” by running million + dollars in profit.

      Social media isn’t just about currency, it’s also about traffic, managing reputation and brand online, which in turn can equate to profit but doesn’t necessarily generate an income of that magnitude.
      Twitter:

  18. I personally always get a smile out of social media experts with less than 20 followers who are asking for retweets and likes. :)

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks @KidsBeeHappy I actually had a “discussion” with a “social media expert” who was asking me to review their new tool on Twitter. They approached me from nowhere and said how fantastic it was. My response was if it’s so fantastic why do you hardly have any followers or hardly follow anyone. Their response (shockingly) was that they didn’t want to clog their feed up with people’s tweets!!!

      Need I say more?!!
      Twitter:

  19. Lately I’ve wondered what makes one a social media expert? I’ve seen numerous divas, mavens, directors, gurus. Is it that they have been doing what the’ve been doing for 5 years, full-time {http://www.squidoo.com/10000-hour-rule} or is it a result of happy clients? Shed some light! :) Great connecting to you!
    Alison Stripling recently posted..Triggering Passion in your BrandMy Profile

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Alison:) For me it’s a combination of factors – experience, knowledge, good relationships with their social media connections and practising what they preach:)
      Twitter:

  20. Dee Hudson says:

    Lilach, Thank you for highlighting this matter of Social Media Experts! For many years I have tried to instil into peoples mind that they need to be known across as many platforms of social media sites as possible. This acts Three fold, it establishes yourself or your brand at each and every juncture, It also gives you as a user a better understanding of each platform. and how they can be interlinked with the use of RSS to give maximum coverage, this will also help with Google SEO. Once this has been mastered you will be able to call your self an expert.
    Dee Hudson recently posted..TestMy Profile
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    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Dee:) Whilst I agree that it’s good for people to have a presence and be active on as many social media platforms as possible we need to be realistic too. Social media can and is often very time consuming. I think it’s far better for businesses to be active and get results from one channel before moving on to another one. This is why I see so many people who say they don’t get results from social media. They are spreading themselves too thinly, they may have profiles on all the different networks but they don’t have time to engage on each of them and therefore not one of them is performing well for them.

      But a “social media expert” should be on all the different channels, they need to be seen and heard and leading the way:)
      Twitter:

  21. Lilach,
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge. As I’m navigating the world of internet marketing I’m discovering these “experts”, and by your Venn diagram, I am an “expert” too!:)(scary thought:)) I’m thinking that the social media/network market is the” newest thing” and we will see the numbers drop in time to then give way to that next “newest thing.” Meanwhile we can just stick to our good senses and proceed from there… connect, invest, and share…
    ~Becca
    Becca at eat4joy recently posted..Talking TurkeyMy Profile

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Becca:) I think you’re right about social media in that we need to listen to our senses. Afterall social media is a way of networking at the end of the day and it’s when people forget this simple rule and just spam on there that spoils it.

      Whether the numbers will drop remains to be seen… new social media networks are coming on board every day but to compete with the giants of Facebook is a huge challenge. Google + is battling it and out now has 40 million members (something I certainly wouldn’t laugh at) but next to Facebook’s 800 million it looks minuscule. Will they catch them up I wonder….
      Twitter:

  22. Brad Rach says:

    Great post Lilach! Made me chuckle at a few points :)

  23. Lilach,

    This is the first post I have ever read from you..Glad I stopped by! I wrote a similar article on my blog a couple months back but I must say, this is much more in line with what I was thinking. Thanks for the great information, I’ll be sure to check often to read your thoughts,

    Cheers,
    Greg
    Greg Gulling recently posted..New Social Media TipsMy Profile

  24. Great article and very critical case. I agree no one is an expert all in all. We have all learned and learned until now. The fakes will learn to be experts too, but not by other fakes.

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Ahmed:) Although I disagree with you – the fakes won’t ever learn to be experts. You can’t be an expert in something you don’t do, regardless of whether you copy the information.
      Twitter:

  25. Kostas says:

    There are always good and bad professionals in all fields and social media is not an exception but it’s really easy to find out who is really a social media expert and who is not…
    Kostas recently posted..5 Social Media Pitfalls Stopping Bloggers From Achieving SuccessMy Profile

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Kostas:) You’re quite right, there is good and bad everywhere. I guess I get frustrated with everyone calling themselves an expert (as well as “stealing my stuff”) when they clearly aren’t…
      Twitter:

  26. Don says:

    Well said Lilach, there is a huge difference between engaging and broadcasting.

  27. Jayne Kopp says:

    HI Lilach, couldn’t agree more to be honest. There’s an expert on every corner in just about every segment of the industry.

    As you say, Social Media has many avenue’s and there are so many different ways to use it. You can’t possibly be the best at every aspect.

    As someone said above, it’s like my industry of coaching. So many people don’t even have a client base but because they read a book they are now the best there is!

    Its frustrating for people who do have a track record… but the sharper ones can see through.

    I for one am far from being a Social Media expert and improving these skills is definitely at the top of the list for 2012. I am sure I’ll learn a lot from you.

    thanks

    Jayne
    Jayne Kopp recently posted..2011 Review | Did you achieve your Goals & Finish Strong?My Profile
    Twitter:

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Jayne, appreciate your comment:) Yes I think it’s fair to say there are now more and more “experts” within the social media and coaching niche’s. Its becoming very saturated lol

      I would like to think that people are sharp enough to see past this but sadly there are many that aren’t and get sucked in by very good sales hype:(
      Twitter:

  28. Claire says:

    Really liked this post, Lilach. I really agree with David Downer’s comment above – about the ‘real experts’ like you being obvious. Also agree with Morgan’s comment about using different terms such as specialist etc. I think your comment about ‘fakes claiming SM is essential to every business’ is so true – I often speak to business owners who have been told this, but, after getting to the essence of their business, I suggest it’s probably not true for them – and they’re always surprised that someone offering services in Social Media would say that! :)
    I work in Social Media but never claim to be an expert – I working hard to build up knowledge and skills and have been doing for a little while, but recognise there is always much more to learn – both about changes and new issues, as well as refining strategies and techniques and just continuing to build relationships.
    Really enjoy your blog. thank you.

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Claire, appreciate your comment:) That’s what is so great about blogging and having people take the time to comment, everyone adds so much to it and I’m truly grateful for everyone who does comment on my blog.

      One of the things that I’ve also often turned down clients for is the content side. Without content it’s very difficult to run a successful social media campaign. You can’t just sell and I had a debate with someone recently about just sending tweets out to other websites instead of creating your own content. All that’s doing is driving traffic to someone else’s site. Instead it’s better to create the news and drive traffic to your own site. Of course it’s good to share some news etc. on other sites but your social media campaign isn’t going to be successful if no one is visiting your own website or if all you are doing is selling (spamming!)
      Twitter:

  29. Pingback: The Saturday Summary – 12/17/2011 — The Crossing of Marketing and IT

  30. A lot of truth in this :)
    No-one should ever claim to be an “expert” or a “guru” in any field – one can always learn new things and indeed we should never stop learning!
    I admit to having taken a video training course in “social media management”, but I’d already been active on the social networks for several years and had been active online for even more years before that (from the mid-1990s)
    Since starting my business 6 months ago it has become very obvious to me that social media is just one tool in the marketing arsenal and businesses should never rely on it in isolation, which is why I’m doing a lot to promote other forms of marketing, both traditional and digital, when I talk to potential clients.
    I’m thankful to find that I am not a fake :)
    Twitter:

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Naomi:) Yes we are all learning and continue to do so. Social Media evolves incredibly quickly, and it takes a lot of time and effort to research and stay up-to-date with the latest trends.
      Twitter:

  31. I really appreciate your posts, very sharp and useful. Thanks.
    I’ve got a question for you about what you say here: “right channels for their niche? Social media experts move beyond the obvious and are well-attuned to where their niche hangs out”.
    How can these Social Media be fond? Can you tell me more or this is part of your professional services? Thanks for your suggestions
    Paolo

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Paolo:) There are so many different social media networks and social media isn’t “one rule fits all”. For example, today I mentored a client and we worked on a strategy that was predominantly using LinkedIn as that channel will work much better for him. It’s about finding the right social media network where you can reach your target audience too.
      Twitter:

  32. Thanks Lilack for your always profound and useful posts.
    I’ve got a question for you, if you can answer: you mentionned niches social media. can you tell us more about? How can they be spotted? Can you name someone? How can we find the best media for our job and business?
    Thanks
    Paolo
    Paolo Pugni recently posted..Telling stories to win customers – Il cantastorie che vende di piùMy Profile

  33. Anyone who calls themself and expert at anything, is not an expert. This is an interesting topic and they actually created a documentary on it.
    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-trouble-with-experts/

    With that said I’m going to call you out Lilack. You have the expert tag all over your marketing messages but I see you doing things very different from a lot of the well respected Social Media gurus I follow.

    They interact with their followers and engage in the conversation. I don’t see you doing this at all. Sure you do it on your blog but considering you are an expert on the subject, shouldn’t you be engaging on Twitter?

    They don’t constantly push their messages out on these platforms. Everyone I have read says to interact, engage and build emotional connections with followers. Then promote your content 1 in every 10 tweets. Your Twitter stream is a pure example of old school push marketing.

    Lastly they talk about not using auto tweeting techniques and sending tweets out yourself. Unless you don’t sleep, how can you be Tweeting non stop?

    You can choose not to publish this comment but I’d love to hear your answers.

    Here’s one of the Social Media gurus I follow and what he has to say about so called experts.
    http://techcrunch.com/2011/05/13/gary-vaynerchuk-social-media-clowns-tctv/
    Jordan J. Caron recently posted..Online Dating and AdvertisingMy Profile

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Jordan for your comment:)

      I use the tag “expert” as I make a living a social media specialist, managing people’s social media as well as speaking on social media and putting together social media strategies for companies. It’s used purely for SEO purposes.

      In terms of Twitter and automation, I do use automatic tools as well as engaging on Twitter. Each day I spend several hours replying to every person who mentions me and chatting to many of my thousands of followers. I disagree that you cannot use automatic platforms (but do not use this method for every one of my clients, it works well for some businesses and isn’t necessary for others). I receive 100′s of compliments every day thanking me for my content on Twitter and helping them. I also offer a lot of free services and work with many charities helping them create awareness and getting more followers and traffic to their websites. Not to mention retweeting many people.

      I actually think social media is about finding a happy balance. I have a global audience and need to reach them when I’m sleeping – what better way than to leverage the scheduled tweeting services?

      Whilst scheduled tweeting is great for me, I don’t rely on this only and as I’ve said above spend a huge amount of my time engaging with all of my followers.

      Everyone has an opinion on whether you should send out scheduled tweets or not. The way I work works very well for me and I’ve learnt one thing in business – you can’t please everyone but if 97% of my audience love what I do then I shall continue.

      I appreciate you stopping by my blog and your comment, but on this occasion I guess we’re have to agree to disagree:)
      Twitter:

      • I do appreciate your reply and explanations. Although I don’t agree with them.

        In the end it’s all about sales and if you can produce more sales for your client through Social Media, you’ve done what they’ve wanted.

  34. Easther says:

    Hi Carol,

    Great post Lilach. totally agree..social media is changing alot. You need to constantly learning and adapting along with it. So you can’t possibly call myself an expert, because it’s ever changing. its like the technology. I graduated as Bachelor computer and taking Computer Technology as my major, Because technology is changing, updating etc..I need to keep myself updated with the technology.
    Great article Lilach. Thanks for sharing
    Twitter:

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Easther:) Yes, technology is changing so quickly it’s time consuming keep up-to-date with it all. But I guess that’s the fun part and it keeps us on our toes:)

      I love learning and find it interesting whenever Facebook or Twitter make changes, the uproar that inevitably follows is always interesting….
      Twitter:

  35. Tosin says:

    Hi Lilach,

    Love the article. There are fakes all around and your article aptly describes the key indicators.

    It’s so true that fake experts have lots of connections but lack quality. You know, they are always interested in amassing fans, and followers and some even go ahead to pay for them. They add no value to them and only bring them on for social proof.

    Thanks for exposing them, Lilach :)
    Tosin
    Twitter:

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Tosin, appreciate your comment:) Don’t get me started on those that buy fans and followers. It’s scary that there are now websites like fiverr that sell things like this, not to mention fake reviews and testimonials…
      Twitter:

  36. Hi Lilach,
    I’ve attended one of Gary’s presentations and heard him make that same comment. And I tend to agree with Jordan’s initial comment (above) that calling yourself an “expert” is the first clue that you’re not. It’s one of those things you shouldn’t have to say about yourself if it’s really true. Like being “humble.”

    One of the things that makes Gary credible as an expert is his obvious success in building his own business. I’ve heard other social media celebs such as Chris Brogan, Brian Solis, et al, claim they are merely “students” of social media, not “experts,” since the category is changing so rapidly and we are all constantly learning. (I forget exactly who made the “student” statement.)

    I understand using the “expert” tag for SEO purposes, but I think it’s generally a term best left for others to describe you. “Specialist” or “consultant” works much better (IMHO). Thanks for another thought-provoking post!
    Mitch Devine recently posted..You Have 9 Seconds To Fascinate A Client – Spend 1 Hour With Sally Hogshead FirstMy Profile

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Mitch. I also agree and wouldn’t call myself an expert. When speaking I say I specialise in social media. As I said earlier, after doing much keyword research the term social media expert is used when searching for social media management services.

      Although I haven’t attended one of Gary’s presentations he is highly credible in the industry.

      Appreciate your comment:)
      Twitter:

  37. Catarina says:

    Agree with you Lilach. Most so called social media experts are clowns. Like your list of suggestions of what to look for.

    Would like to add that http://www.websitegrader.com is a quick way of finding out. If they are not grade A there and on Alexa, forget it, they don’t know what they are doing.

    Also as much as I dislike Klout, someone specializing in social media actually needs to make sure they score high on Klout and Peerindex.

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Catarina, appreciate your comment:) Websitegrader is a great website so many thanks for adding that tip. It also has a feature where you can compare your competitors sites which is very useful:)
      Twitter:

  38. Stacy says:

    Hi Lilach,

    You’ve done a great job of showing the differences between real and fake social media experts. So many so called experts are just smoke and mirrors. It is very confusing to someone new to the industry. But when you know what to look for – the exact things that you’ve outlined! – then it’s pretty easy to spot the fakes.

    Take care,
    Stacy
    Stacy recently posted..Why I Will Only Use Your Search Engine if You Pay MeMy Profile
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    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Stacy, appreciate your comment:) I agree as a newbie there is often a case of information overwhelm and I’ve met a lot of newbies who’ve been taught terrible “tactics” like buying fans etc.
      Twitter:

  39. Love every thing you say. Big point though
    1. person has to be social and like people .
    2. what is, and Understand Spam
    3. not like too much auto
    4. Klout score and twitter grader score to be good
    5.Has to have owned a biz that has used social media

    list could go on ! I am posting this post on my fanpage its all good Thank you x

  40. Val Heisey says:

    Great post Lilach. There are many fakes out there to be aware of. Glad you pointed out what to look for even though many wear their fakeness on their sleeve, others are good at camouflage.
    Val Heisey recently posted..Life is Good with Network MarketingMy Profile
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  41. Pingback: Internet marketing strategies for a small business should include Facebook

  42. It’s a shame that there are so many fakes out there making false claims and giving different industries a bad rap. Often times with today’s automation tools you have to dig deeper past the number of fans or likes that they have.

    Thanks for the tips!
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  43. Pingback: Social Media Experts – How to spot the fake ones

  44. I think these days pretty much anyone is a guru or an expert – words themselves have lost their value due to overuse and we as consumers of products and services have got to get better at discerning real value behind pompous words
    Aleh – Co-Founder of Link-Assistant.Com recently posted..4 Common Guest Blog Outreach Rookie MistakesMy Profile

    • Lilach says:

      Aleh you’re completely right. I’m now receiving (pretty much daily) emails/tweets/comments etc. asking me how to become a social media expert!! In fact one person even asked me if there were any courses they could recommend. I’ve even been asked if I could write an article for them on the best ways to use Twitter as they’re coaching a client on social media…!!!
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  45. Alan Cheng says:

    It’s easy to become an expert.

    Just befriend a lot of people every day on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, continuously tell people that you’re an expert and increase your prices.

    Sad but true — this is how a lot of people become experts! (Fake it till you make it)
    Alan Cheng recently posted..How To Build An Email List From ScratchMy Profile
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  46. As someone who is in the field, I could NOT agree with you more! I get so many negative reactions because of those “bad apples” in our barrel. However, it is what it is, and I project a positive outlook and attitude in everything I do! My work speaks for itself and my clients are always happy.

  47. SO very true! Awesome article, Lilach! We definitely need more credibility in 2012, and it’s coming. ;) Metrics and real relationship management will always be key, not to mention transparency and integrity.

    Happy New Year!

  48. Pingback: Social Media Experts – How to spot the fake ones

  49. As truly the first professional social media expert (I taught the first workshop in “online business networking”, as we called it back then, in 2002 and had clients by January 2003), I’ll say that I generally agree with you. However, there are some of the things that people here have said are outward signs of someone not being a real expert that I take some issue with:

    1. Social media experts have to be consistently active doing their own social media — NOT true. There have been several times in my career when I was SO busy doing work for clients that I didn’t have time to keep up my own stuff. I’ve gone for weeks without posting to Twitter and months without posting to my blog. It doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t know what you’re doing — it may just mean you’re busy. Ever heard the expression “The cobbler’s children have no shoes”?

    2. Social media experts have to be active across a variety of social media, including the main ones — NOT true. My focus for years was B2B, not B2C. MySpace and Facebook were not, generally speaking, good places for me to focus my attention, or my clients’. That’s changed, but as has been said, people may be specialists, in which case there may be good reason for them not to sustain an active presence even in a very popular site.

    3. Social media experts should be active in all the latest sites — NOT true. This is an extension of #2. If your goal is to create real, provable, sustainable value for clients, you need to know what’s working and working well and has some staying power — that doesn’t necessarily mean being an early adopter. Moreover, you don’t have to use something yourself to know it’s useful for your clients. Case in point, my business isn’t visually-oriented — AT ALL. Sure, I could try to do something with Pinterest, Flickr and Instagram, but it wouldn’t really be a fit for me. But with a client whose product IS visually-oriented, I know to recommend them. And I don’t even have a Pinterest or Instagram account.

    4. Social media experts should have a long, impressive client list — NOT true. In fact, some of us have very short client lists because we do such a good job that our clients keep hiring us for a long time. I’ve had one client for 8 years. I had another client for 6.5 years that took about 60% of my time. For a little over a year, I only had 3 clients, because together, they took all my time. Also, a lot of us social media experts don’t do just social media. So why we may get brought in for that, we end up doing a bigger engagement, including overall online marketing strategy, branding, copywriting, etc.

    Now, one of the ways I think you spot a fake social media expert is someone who is overly opinionated about the right vs. the wrong way to do things. “Auto-DMs are bad.” “Auto-anything is bad.” “It’s all about quality, not quantity.” Etc., etc.

    BULLSHIT!

    There are no absolutes. First of all, these things need to be considered on a case-by-case basis. What’s the objective? What resources does the business have available to sustain this activity on an ongoing basis?

    And THEN… TEST IT. Or at least test it yourself, even if you don’t want to use your clients as guinea pigs. Frankly, I have to wonder about a social media “expert” who has never gotten themselves suspended on Twitter or LinkedIn, or had a group shut down on Facebook.

    Case in point… I know most social media “experts” hate auto-DMs. Why? Because 95% of the ones you’ve soon have HORRIBLE copywriting. I refused to listen to the self-appointed Twitter police and tested it. Guess what? ENGAGEMENT with new followers increased by over 100%! And the ONLY people who took any issue with it were social media wonks.

    So while I’d love to be able to boil it down to something as simple as “listen to the social media expert who’s been around the longest”, it’s just not that simple. While a lot of the ideas above might be sensible things to check, they’re really not that reliable. And in particular, you might miss out on some newer people who have discovered or developed something innovative precisely because they haven’t had their thinking bound by the de facto conventions of the social media industry.

    My #1 best advice for who to listen to, and therefore who to hire? Find people who back up their ideas with specific examples — research data, success stories, their own experimentation and personal experience. Anyone can throw a list post together of “The X Top Steps to Success with YetAnotherSocialNetwork”. Can they back it up with real-world examples, whether their own or someone else’s?
    Scott Allen recently posted..Think twice before you speakMy Profile

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Scott:) I think we’re gonna have to disagree to agree with some of these things:) I would never hire anyone who couldn’t demonstrate they could practice what they preached. It’s like going to see a weight counsellor but they’re obese… it doesn’t quite give you confidence does it?!

      However I do agree with your closing comment – anyone you hire make sure they can back up with examples.

      The main reason why I wrote this blog post was out of frustration with people jumping on the band wagon and thinking it’s an easy way to make money. You would not believe the amount of people who approach me and ask them for help to offer social media services and yet haven’t got a clue (not just how to get clients but predominantly how to use social media effectively).
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  50. Amy Henson says:

    Hi, what I have come across a number of times is that companies think of social media as in the domain of the techy/IT teams. Sadly being an IT expert does not always tie with being a good communicator. You need to be intuitive with what you say and what impression it will give – and that stands even when you have just 140 characters! Social media is not just about knowing what the ‘latest thing’ is, it’s about knowing how best to use them. (And equally knowing when a client is better off not using a certain platform – I think a social media expert will not just take your money, they will advise on what is appropriate for a company’s strategy and aims). The principles are exactly the same as in PR, and my communications strategies for clients cover both mediums, including how they will fit together and timings, along with all other platforms. You need to think who the audience is you are trying to reach, what you want to tell them, and how you want to influence their behaviour. Putting a proper strategy in place before you jump feet first in will ensure you are the most effective you can be.
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    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Amy I 100% agree with you. I’ve actually often turned down clients as social media isn’t going to work with for them, particularly if they don’t have the time to even have a blog. Every company is different and has different needs/audience etc. which is why each company should have a different strategy. As much as I love social media and rave about it doesn’t mean that everyone will get the same results nor do they need to do the same as me.
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  52. Rick says:

    I’m with Scot Allen on this one..  Also if we were to write a ranting article each time we came across another overnight web designer offering sites for 50 quid, we’d never get anything done (also, most of their clients call us a year later anyway :-) There is a Market for them, for now… So let them eat cake. Cream rises to the top so just focus on your clients and stop worrying about how many others want to offer the same service. Someone starting up today may end up an extremely credible professional in 10years time so who are we to criticise them?  Many of those writing or sharing these ranting articles have only been in the game for a few years themselves so it’s all a bit amusing really…
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    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Rick, appreciate your comment. It’s worth remembering that there will and always has been different targets for example whilst I would never spend £50 on a website, there is a demand for cheaper niche websites which don’t demand a “quality” website.

      I think you pay for what you get, and at the moment I’m seeing a rise with websites like Fiverr where people do ridiculously cheap things for $5

      You’re right though someone starting up today could become credible professionals in a few years time, we all have to start somewhere:)
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  53. Love this it is so true! I am a little sick of being introduced to people who are making money or rather taking people’s money in social media “management” jobs and who dont use it themselves.
    Ali Handscomb recently posted..Liar, liar!My Profile
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    • Lilach says:

      Thanks Ali. Yes I too get very frustrated with people “claiming” to be social media guru’s and yet aren’t active on social media and just don’t get it at all. They just think it’s an easy way to make money….
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  54. Nader Mah says:

    I absolutely agree with the article, I have the same issue every day by my clients who got many promise from other “experts”. The first thing is “There is no guarantee”. I don’t know how people guarantee the result of social media and search engine optimization.
    Recently McDonald’s had problem by its twitter campaign.
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    • Lilach says:

      Thanks for the comment Nadar and apologies for such a delayed response. I’m glad you agree with the article…although there is no guarantee when it comes to results, if a Social Media Expert genuinely knows what they are doing, then results are more than likely to surface, although as you so mention, are not necessarily guaranteed :)
      Lilach recently posted..The missing ingredients for successMy Profile
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  55. So who has the “perfect” social media manager job description? We know what we DON’T want… how to show what you DO want and be able to get exactly what you need? BMCSoftware is looking for Social Media Manager now… need help!
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  56. FMLM says:

    For me its down to content, fake has poor content, a true social media company has quality of content, content is KING. Written in English. There are too many people offer management of their social media, who do not under the brand or the company they are managing.
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  57. Horray! I am so happy you posted this. Lately I have seen so many talk the talk and not walk the walk. This is a great review for people. I can spot them all the time, but here you have made a great point. Thank you so much for keeping things credible.

    Donna
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  58. Jeff Funk says:

    First things first, I can’t believe I missed this read. Loved it! Personally, anytime and just about every time I see the word “guru” or “expert”attached to someone’s description, I cringe just a little. I suppose one is certainly capable of eclipsing rockstar status and embracing the next stratosphere of expert status. But there just seems to be so many “experts” out there.

    For me, I find folks much more trustworthy if they aren’t shy about admitting “hey I know I’m a rock star with every intention of learning, sharing and discovering what I can to hopefully someday become one of those so called experts.”
    Jeff Funk recently posted..6 Simple Ways On How To Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Create Better VideoMy Profile
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    • Lilach says:

      Thanks ever so much for the comment Jeff, and apologies for the delayed response. I couldn’t agree more with you comment to be honest…people are indeed more trustworthy when they can admit they don’t always get things right. At the end of the day we are always continually learning….we’re never too old. From a personal point of view, the ‘experts’ who are the most trustworthy are the ones who strive to learn more and more in depth information about their area of expertise on a daily basis :)
      Lilach recently posted..The missing ingredients for successMy Profile
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  59. You are so right! As a newcomer I often struggle to prove myself as an expert. But my few Facebook and Twitter followers are quality. I also know that I must focus on providing helpful content that comes from my perspective and not just copied some other “expert” blogger out there. One thing that I’ve found from the quality experts out there is that they will tell you how to DIY for free. That’s one thing that the salesmen types won’t help you do. They will only promise boatloads of cash as soon as you publish your Facebook and Twitter pages. As you and I know, it justdoesn’t work that way. Staying on top of new developments like Google+ and Pinterest is challenging and hopefully there are those out there that will appreciate our efforts to do so. Social media is not just a set it and forget it thing!

    • Lilach says:

      Thanks for the insightful comments Angie, and apologies for the delayed response. I couldn’t agree with you more…you can spot the fakers a mile off. People who say nothing in life is for free are just plain wrong. I write these blogs to advise people about social media and don’t feel the need to charge for sharing the odd tip or hint about the best way of utilising it. Although I do offer social media marketing and management on a paid basis, how am I supposed to show my expertise and knowledge if I cannot illustrate it through my blogs, that I am able to write fresh, up to date, quality content?
      Lilach recently posted..The missing ingredients for successMy Profile
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  60. Jon Baker says:

    Great blog Lilach; I sense some of the frustration that I feel when I meet self proclaimed guru’s who don’t practice what they preach – that I find very frustrating.
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  61. Excellent article, Lilach….as usual.

    I am fairly new to providing social media services to others but have been on social media for several years, growing my presence as an RN providing support to caregivers. I worked very hard at it. Because I was successful in that endeavor, people began to ask me for help with THEIR social media. So here I am.

    But because of these instant social media expert classes, new clients expect miracles — they want 5000 TARGETED fans or followers in 30 and they EXPECT a huge return on investment in that time, as well. It doesn’t work that way……..not when done right.

    It is WHY I have listed on my Twitter bio that I hate the word “guru”.
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    • Lilach says:

      Thanks ever so much for the comment Shelley, and apologies that this response is so delayed. I can completely understand why you hate the word ‘guru’…although it is personal choice whether you wish to call yourself this, it kind of resembles that the person in question is blowing their own trumpet so to speak.
      Lilach recently posted..The missing ingredients for successMy Profile
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  62. Some great insights. Thanks for sharing.

    In my view, there’s actually no such thing as a ‘Social Media Expert’, no matter how good they may be. I feel it was a term created with good intentions and with promise. Unfortunately, most good intentions get trodden on by ‘gold diggers’. (Don’t even start me with the term ‘Guru!’ I feel like choking every time I hear that term!)

    The 24 carat ‘gold’ is in the expertise of marketing. Those who are real experts don’t have to ‘wave their own flags’ – Their customers do it for them. Why? Because they are extraordinary and their customers have no hesitation in recommending them.

    They are also known by name, and name only, because they are remembered and referred consistently.
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    • Lilach says:

      Thanks ever so much for the comment John and apologies for the delayed response. I couldn’t agree more to be honest. Those who genuinely are the ‘real deal’ certainly do not have to wave their own flag, and a lot of their business will be due to word of mouth. If your delivering the goods to a remarkably high standard, which I, on a personal level, always strive to…you’ll be considered as an expert in your own right, without having to boast the fact continually:)
      Lilach recently posted..The missing ingredients for successMy Profile
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  63. Actually I don’t fully agree.
    I’m an expert but I rarely blog myself because I simply don’t have time as I’m too busy bloging for my customers. It’s them you need to ask how successful one is!
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  64. With the ever changing social media landscape, being an “expert” is something that requires diligence in keeping up with current trends and yes, requires much more than just a twitter account and an occasional tweet. What I do find amazing though is that one wrong tweet and your entire social media presence can tumble (many celebrities have found that out). It is a slippery slope and you definitely need sure footing. :) All said, I would change the title to expert in training since we all seem to be a nano second away from yet another social media hot bed, i.e., the sudden rise in Pinterest. And unfortunately there are a lot who claim to be experts and yes, are definitely not. Unfortunately with this industry it is too easy for someone to make that claim and not have the proof to back it up. Your article helps to shed light on some of the problems.
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    • Lilach says:

      Thanks ever so much for the comment Robbie and apologies for the delayed response. I couldn’t agree with you more. The social media landscape, is indeed ever changing…and it takes a lot of diligence and hard work to remain on the ball. It intrigues me also, that one tweet which could be interpreted as offensive,can be blown completely out of proportion. You could say that the fickle society we live in today means that perhaps we don’t have freedom of speech? That we should be more conscious about how we present ourselves? I certainly know that if I have an opinion on a topic whilst I’m not afraid of being controversial, I am aware that some of the things I write about could be interpreted in an unintentional way.
      Lilach recently posted..The missing ingredients for successMy Profile
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  65. Russ Avery says:

    Another great blog post! Yes is my answer – I have definitely noticed a lot of social media “experts” popping up over the net. I think it’s fine to put social media strategist, or advocate, manager, consultant, things like that. But to call yourself an expert in an area that evolves every day (let alone every week / month / year!) is a big claim. My opinion is that you could certainly be a Twitter expert or a Facebook expert, for example, but to call yourself an across-the-board expert is certainly a bit flashy and I think you’d certainly have to question it. The list of key indicators in the post is really interesting to read – you see them all the time! Thanks Lilach,
    Russ
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  66. Thanks for your blog post. I agree with a lot of what you have said, but at the same time I think there is more to it.

    You have made a mention about the amount of time that an ‘expert’ has been involved with social media. An expert needs to be able to identify what has failed for them and what has worked. It is learning from failure which typically leads to success.

    An expert will also be able to address the deeper topics in the planning stages of a social strategy when working with a business.
    1. Align organisational goals and culture
    2. Gain Social Trust
    3. Engage through experiences
    4. Social Network your Business Processes
    5. Design for Reputation and Risk Management
    6. Analyze your data
    Vaughan Rivett recently posted..People like Social Media because people are social – People are social by natureMy Profile
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  67. I’ve always believed that Social Media is an art, and not a science. What works for one person, business, company, may not necessarily work for another….
    Mike Shields recently posted..Pay the Two DollarsMy Profile
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    • Lilach says:

      Thanks ever so much for the comment Mike and apologies for the delay. Absolutely, I couldn’t agree with you more, the way one utilises and manages their social media is down to the persons personal preferences and the whether you intend to utilise this platform on a professional basis or on a consumer level :)
      Lilach recently posted..The missing ingredients for successMy Profile
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  68. Warren says:

    Hi Lilach, the site looks awesome!

    The same can be said for so many other online disciplines lately such as SEO, Internet Marketing, writing, etc. Whenever there is money to be made there will be “experts” popping up with special offers to help you, or grow your following for you. (Risk free of course!) LOL
    Warren recently posted..Social Media MonitoringMy Profile
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    • Lilach says:

      Thanks ever so much for the compliment Warren, it’s much and always appreciated and I can only apologise for the delayed response. Absolutely, when anything involves money, every Tom, Dick and Harry seem to jump on the bandwagon whether they hold any knowledge about advising clients about social media, let alone implementing the advice themselves!
      Lilach recently posted..The missing ingredients for successMy Profile
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  69. Caimin says:

    The fake experts are usually obvious by the way they refer to themselves as experts. It’s fine for someone else to say you’re an expert – welcome, even – but blowing your own trumpet is a bit off.

    Slightly off topic, but lately I’m getting bugged by people calling themselves a “thought leader”. Is that just me?
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  70. Paul Scott says:

    I am in the process of starting up a small business in Ayrshire, Scotland creating new products from recycles materials collected from households, offices and local businesses through industrial symbiosis.
    I have spent most of my life working in various engineering, research and communications sectors and have amassed a fair amount of knowledge and experienceI would never describe myself as an ‘expert’ in any field, after all ‘ex’ is something that has been but is no longer and a ‘spurt’ is a drip under pressure ;-)
    All the best!
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  71. Michelle says:

    Great post. I am just starting my journey into social media and this has definitely given me a lot to think about. :)
    Twitter:

  72. Excellent article, Lilach! So many people claim expert or guru status that they sound more like jokes than anything else. Anyone with a little bit of common sense would know that they will eventually be tested on a practical basis.

    Of all the social networks, I think that Twitter has the biggest amount of “Experts” and “Life Coaches”. When you pay close attention to their streams, you quickly realize that it’s just fluff.

    Thank you for taking the time to write this article!
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  73. Jeff Funk says:

    What a great post. Claims of “experts” will always be my pet peeve. The beauty is that these “experts” can be spotted a mile away. Saving myself time, money and hassle by avoiding these so called “experts.”
    Jeff Funk recently posted..Lessons Learned From A Successful Video Campaign.My Profile
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  74. Dino Hukic says:

    I always try to explain to potential clients a lot of the things you mentioned and I have lost a few like that, but I think that eventually people will see as social media becomes used in every aspect of business. I had a client recently ask me why did her followers drop overnight, after a quick explanation on spam and followers that expect a followback, I think the client understood. Also, when I got control of the client’s twitter account, I noticed that the client was self-promoting and not engaging. I was extremely happy to change that around completely and actually start interacting with users. I think this is a great way to spot face experts and a great way for others who would like to help others with social media, to learn how to be a social media expert. Thank you for the great information!
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  75. Richard says:

    Brilliant Lilach – How did I not spot this article before?
    ‘Experts’ – yep, there’s loads of them, but rarely do they measure up, and that’s why I love your article as it gives tips on how to spot if they’re real or not. Thank you.
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  76. Mel says:

    always a pleasure to read your blogs and this one is still current today!! Nice
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  78. Great write-up, Lilach! Thoroughly reviewing an SEO “expert’s” own personal or company SM channels is a great point. Drilling down through their activity/interaction history on Facebook [not just focusing on likes], Youtube viewership/audience interaction, Twitter follower interaction, etc-etc., is the best way to see what kind of online marketing expertise these people really have. And SEO these days is all about good marketing.

    Unfortunately, many business owners, company CEOs and even marketing directors are still clueless about what is required to manage an effective SEO/SM campaign. And many still don’t know the right questions to ask before jumping in to one.
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    • Lilach says:

      Thanks so much for your comment and apologies for the delay in responding.

      It saddens (and surprises) me that as you say there are many business owners, company CEO’s and marketing directors who are still clueless about SEO/Social Media. You’d think that they would know better or at least invest in people that do!

      I’m hoping that we will start to see a big shift in 2013 with companies prepared to invest in educating themselves or at least as you commented asking the right questions:)
      Lilach recently posted..Instagram: 50 Filters of C**p?My Profile
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  79. Michael says:

    Thanks for posting this Lilach, I really found this to be informative! :)

  80. Jim says:

    Lilach,
    Thank you for this article. As a relatively new user of Twitter and FB, I realize how easy it is to become totally confused by people who claim to be “experts.” Thank you for clarifying the issues.
    Twitter:

  81. Nora says:

    Lilach

    Excellent article. I believer social media is an art and it needs creativity. What works for one company may not work for another. Yes, we have seen the likes of the social media experts too.

  82. Hello LILACH,
    how are you today? this is an awesome post i agree with that “An expert should be an active user of social media” , will update profiles and maintain the website. starting a website is an easy task but maintain it very difficult. i think if we compare between twitter and facebook then i would like to say that twitter is better than facebook.
    thanks for sharing :)
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  83. Even though this post is a couple of years old, it is STILL relevant!

    There are plenty of fakes in the biz today. People should get what they pay for.
    Thank you much for sharing.

    cheers,

    Pete
    Peter Trapasso recently posted..How I Increased My Blog Traffic By Over 700%My Profile
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  84. Finding the real or best social media expert is so difficult because there are many fake social media experts are visiting in the market. Thanks for your favorable suggestion. It is very informative and helpful for me.
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  85. Johan says:

    Like with anything in business. If you employ someone to do work for you it is important to set targets and review these on a regular basis. This way you can quite quickly work out if the person doing the work is a fake or not. This article does however highlight a major issue for many businesses that are looking for experts in the social media field to help them with their online social strategy. Great article.
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  86. yes after I follow these there is a change in my blog better, though not according to my expectations, but I’m sure next time will be as desired. thank you for sharing this important knowledge to us.
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