What is a Social Media Consultant?
On our #RayBunch show of the season, we decided to have a look at a subject very near and dear to our hearts, “Social Media Consultant”.
Starting with the definition of what a social media consultant is, We moved on to why it causes so much confusion among marketers and clients.
We’ve discussion social media many times on the show and even slashed away at “gurus” a bit, but we never took a close look at what exactly is a Social Media Consultant.
One of the more controversial moments in the show was when Scott Scowcroft suggested that the vast majority of consultants chose to be consultants because they didn’t have anything else to do.
He was referring to the huge job losses during the financial crisis that forced many to make their own work – as he did.. This was his experience.
What is a social media consultant?
According to B.L. Ochman who checked FollowerWonk before the show, there were 4,772 Twitter bios containing the words, “social media consultant.”
Considering there’s only 140 characters available, it’s clear these people take that title seriously.
And if you call yourself a social media consultant you’re doing it for SEO because that’s what clients are looking for.
When people call themselves social media consultants, it begs the question, what do they know about business, about marketing, about journalism that are all part of the mix?
Do you need to be multiskilled to be a social media consultant?
Jessica Dewell says that it depends on how you define “consultant”.
A consultant is someone a company hires to help solve a known problem.
A strategist, however, is someone who steps in to help a company solve unidentified problems.
Because the business is unclear about what is wrong, it doesn’t know the right questions to ask.
Social media is part of the entire marketing mix.
Someone who focuses solely on social media will often neglect to consider other marketing components that impact the business.
Anyone can be a “social media consultant” so it’s the wild west when it comes to finding one with the right qualifications.
Our guest Stan Bush (sitting in for Randy Bowden) gave the example of a gentleman he met who discovered Periscope.
“He’s got about 17 followers and now wants to become a Social Media Consultant.”
People believe that if you can use social media, you can be a consultant.
It’s like people who are bilingual believing they have the skills necessary to be a translator.
What is the difference between a Social Media Consultant and a Social Media Manager?
According to Jess, a consultant is someone who steps in to identify and design a list of tasks that needs to be done to solve a problem.
Some of the tasks a Social Media Consultant would execute would be:
– Search Engine Optimization
– Content Creation
– Creating Strategy
– Setting Monthly & Quarterly Goals
– Creating an Editorial Calendar
– Aligning Sales & Marketing
– Measuring ROI
A Social Media Manager would then take care of:
– Scheduling, Sharing & Publishing Content
– Managing Customer Service
– Social Platforms Monitoring
– Listening and Engaging in Conversations
– Keeping on top of new technology and updates
– Maintaining Editorial Calendar and Promoting Blogs
– Analyzing Data, Monitoring KPI’s
A strategist defines a problem, a consultant finds the solutions and managers monitor and executes day-to-day tasks.
There is a lot of confusion on the company side about what these roles are.
Because of that, many companies go to “Wal-Mart ” agencies who promises to take care of all their digital marketing, social media included.
Using these one-stop agencies confuses companies as they lump all digital marketing together and end up outsourcing everything.
Does It All Come Down to “Keywords?”
Because every marketer that sets up and manages a Facebook Page is a Social Media Consultant in the eyes of most businesses, marketers feel obliged to list themselves that way to be found in search .
But is online search everything?
According to Jess, “People rely too much on the internet.”
“You have to mix online and real life networking. Go out into the community and make yourself known.
People will search for you and not just “what you do.” That makes your name the best keyword.
The RayLunchBunch TakeOut Ep. 83
At the end of each #RayBunch show, we leave you with our Takeout – we share links to resources that offer the opportunity to dig deeper into our topic.
Ray: Social Media Consultants, Experts & Gurus – Oh My!
Scott: Take-Out #1: Should you become a marketing consultant? Quiz
Take-Out #2: Are Your Ready to be a Consultant?
B.L.: All Media is Social
What’s your definition of a Social Media Consultant?
Thanks for dropping by. I'm the Director of Digital Marketing for Image-24.com.
My background in business includes non-profit (performing arts), restaurants and Promotions.
Having moved on from my own strategic consulting company, I now write about what interests me. So in this blog, you may read about my thoughts on marketing, health issues and business culture.
You can follow me on Twitter @rayhiltz or @image24Call