Sorry this site requires JavaScript to be enabled in your browser. See the following guide on How to enable JavaScript in Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox and Safari. Alternatively you may be blocking JavaScript with an advert-related or developer plugin. Please check your browser plugins.

As social media optimization continues its rise as a bona fide business objective, more and more professionals – marketers, PR folks and even IT pros are claiming expertise and responsibility for it. It seems to me alleged social media experts are popping up from all walks of life and every imaginable discipline. Everyone wants to own it.
Comments7 Comments  

Comments

Avatar
from andymoore 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Something to be whole & solely agreed on.It appears like you have people popping up from streams to find a marketers on the social media just to market their product & publisize it all over, but with the very minimal & least possible knowledge on market conditions & not sure themselves if actually they are on the right path on finding the correct media to reach their set of target audience

Avatar
from mike.tekula 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 2

While I definitely would agree that expertise in SEM does not qualify one for social media optimization I don’t think it’s nearly as extreme as Jason has it.To quote directly: "Search marketers are individuals focused on increasing your website’s visibility in search engine results pages. Those results are dictated by algorithms (mathematics and computer programming). Thus many (but not all) search marketers are a descendent of web programmers and developers." I don’t think any search marketer worth his or her salt is going to accept a definition like that. Of course we have to keep algorithms in mind when optimization a site, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to throw usability and reputation out the window. Good SEMs and SEM firms pay attention to how their work impacts the user experience. Additionally, SEMs are quite often fully aware of the ins and outs of generating publicity through social media - it’s something they engage in on a daily basis for their own publicity. Likening search marketers to ASP.NET developers in this regard is way off base.What makes you a specialist in social media optimization? Nothing other than having done some work in that regard and claiming that title on your blog.Beware the "copier guy" - give him two weeks to kick around in social media, and there you have your social media optimization competition.

Avatar
from JasonFalls 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Mike -- great points all around. Obviously, the comparison game blows things out of proportion. I hope there isn’t a feeling I have anything but the utmost respect for search marketers. There are a number of search marketers out there with various backgrounds, trainings and experiences that offer a great balance. One key point you didn’t cite was that "there are exceptions to every rule." Yet I still firmly believe that the most qualified content providers are those trained to be such. If a search marketer has that background, then I would trust them with social media. Most, however, don’t and should, one would hope, rely on copywriters, PR folks, etc., to provide those elements of a campaign.Thanks for the perspective.

Avatar
from mpilatow 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I had the same feelings as Mike when I read the article. While I think there may be some Search Marketers who are more adept in the technical aspects described in the article I think that many search marketers have evolved and become very adept at social media. To me social media has become a big part of a search marketers arsenal. Some do not have the skill set or experience with social media but more and more do and like Mike said most are involved in some type of social media marketing just to compete in their own industry.

Avatar
from mike.tekula 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Jason,I think my key point is that when the exceptions are numerous enough I don’t know if I’d call it a "rule." I don’t know many search marketers who haven’t been paying a great deal of attention to social media optimization over the last couple of years. It’s obviously a big part of where Internet Marketing is going. Does that qualify them? Not necessarily, but I don’t know of too many self-proclaimed "social media optimizers" who have a certified claim to specialization either. That’s just how they market themselves.I totally agree that copywriters, PR peope, etc should all play a part in any Internet Marketing campaign. What’s the saying, "Jack of all trades, master of none?" I think that can be applied here. Nobody can do everything effectively.I think one issue that causes a lot of confusion and argument is the fact that these terms aren’t clearly defined. Some SEMs would argue that social media is a tool that falls under the umbrella of "search engine marketing." It doesn’t necessarily logically fit there, but take a look over at SEOmoz.org and you’ll see they do a lot of research/blogging on the topic of social media optimization. Obviously, as things go forward we get more specialized folks who focus in on a narrower niche market. That’s the nature of competition. Hence the advent of the "social media optimizer" - a title that, as far as I know, did not exist in early 2006.But we’re in total agreement that verifiable experience is the real indicator of expertise. It may, in fact, be the only indicator when it comes to something so new as social media optimization. Otherwise any schmoe off the street can slap a title on himself, and suddenly he’s an "expert."

Avatar
from JasonFalls 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Well said, Mike. I’m a big SEOMoz fan (and user) myself. And, certainly, "rules" and blanket generalizations don’t do justice to any broad group. But the post is doing what I had hoped ... generated some conversation about it. This will make folks like us, whether we call ourselves social media pros, search marketers or whatever, better.Thanks for the empassioned responses.

Avatar
from mike.tekula 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Certainly - I think the conversation is one worth having, and I’m glad to play a part where I can.  I’d like to think I come across as more rational than "empassioned," though.  In any case, I agree we’re all better off for raising these issues and dealing with them.

Upcoming Conferences

Search Marketing ExpoSearch Engine Land produces SMX, the Search Marketing Expo conference series. SMX events deliver the most comprehensive educational and networking experiences - whether you're just starting in search marketing or you're a seasoned expert.



Join us at an upcoming SMX event: