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Social Media Consultant: 65 Tips to Differentiate the Good from the Bad

Social Media Consultant Wanna Be

Social Media Consultant… what is a social media consultant really?

I am starting to think many people think it means “I have a Twitter account and you can pay me lots of money to be your social media consultant”.

I haven’t been out of the virtual office much lately as I am busy working on client projects. Yet, the 1-2 times a week I actually get out to a biz networking event or meeting of some sort I am amazed at the social media fud. Is it me or is there starting to be more and more?

I am seeing more and more businesses hire so called “social media gurus” who are doing more harm for their company than good. An example is I recently spoke with a local “guru” hired to manage social media for a local biz. I can’t tell you what type of biz but will tell you they have a built in community of over 1500 members and are in the Business to Business (B2B) space. They also sponsor multiple events a week.

Hint: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Foursquare would be excellent platforms for them to monetize.  However, The local “guru” shared with me that he/she decided “LinkedIn is for resume history only” so not really a priority… and I really don’t know enough about Twitter so not really focusing there yet”.

Please tell me how anyone can be hired as a social media anything and not look past their own skills and comfort zone to determine what social platform is right for the business paying their mortgage?

Or how about the social media expert agency who I recently saw on an online TV channel interview that specializes in social media execution. I went to look them up online only to have to spend 10 minutes to find their twitter profile! Was not on the front page of their website!

My advice to hiring companies is to do your research! Just because somebody has a Twitter account, it doesn’t mean they should be determining your social media strategy.  Social Media is NOT free.  Yes the tools are free.  However, it consumes your greatest and most valuable asset which is TIME!

As most of you know who follow me I am not usually one to rant. You’ll only see a post like such from me when it comes from the heart or when something has bugged me long enough.

Please know I am not picking on newbies to social media.  This post is intended to have some fun.  For the below I am referencing the so called “consultant” who has positioned themself as such and knows deep down they are not.  I am NOT criticizing the newbies or consultants  in training!  We all start somewhere and trust me, I learn every single day!

You Are Probably NOT a Social Media Consultant If:

1. You think LinkedIn is only for resume promotion and work history.
2. You think Facebook is only for sharing photos and networking with friends as business is not meant for Facebook.
3.  Having a Facebook Fan Page page qualifies you to consult with companies on social media best practices and strategies.
4. You believe having 1000 Twitter followers makes you a social media guru.
5. You think it is still cool to be called a “social media guru” or “social media rockstar.”
6. You value numbers over quality relationships. The more Twitter followers you get the more customers you will have.
7. You talk the talk somewhat but don’t even have a Twitter link on your home page.
8. You are still using the default Avatar for any one of your social media profiles.
9. You still think Foursquare is a game you play with a red ball.  Geo based social media is just a fad anyway.
10. You think your clients should outsource all of their social media to you without any engagement from them because content and authenticity doesn’t matter anyway.
11. You have a blog but have never really used it.  Content is for the birds… you have followers.
12. You believe one size fits all in social media. It’s  the most cost effective way to deliver social media.
13. You don’t think social media measurement is really important.
14. You advise clients to setup 2 facebook profiles (one for personal and one for biz) even though it is against Facebook policy.
15. You keep your content secret as you don’t see the value of sharing in social media and blogging.
16. You don’t know how or haven’t taken the time to customize at leasts 1-2 of your social media profile background images.
17. You haven’t yet generated any real leads with social media.
18. You do whatever your client tells you to do with social media as the customer is always right.
19. You have never and don’t plan to help your clients write a social media policy.
20. You go straight for the tweets as there is no reason to write a social media plan.
21. You believe “engagement schmagement… build it and they will come!”
22. You would never stay up past midnight Tweeting.  That is what automated Twitter follower tools are for!
23. You tell clients not to worry about separating personal from business information since Facebook is just for personal and LinkedIn is for business resume history anyway.
24. You have a YouTube channel with links to it from your web page. You don’t have any videos loaded but having a page is good enough for now. Video is also a fad.
25.  You charge the same amount for social media strategy as you do social media execution.  It’s all time so should be the same right?
26. You don’t worry about social media listening. You encourage your clients to “jump right in”. You can always make a second impression.
27. You do at least 10 of the above yet still have a biz card with the title “Social Media Guru & Rockstar!”
28.  On most days you wish you could go back to your “Real Job”.

You May Be a Social Media Consultant if:

1. If a potential client doesn’t know what ROI stands for they don’t make it to the next phase.
2. You pull all nighter tweet sessions at least 2-3 times a month.
3. You get the chills with excitement when someone asks you how you measure ROI or if you can help them write a social media policy.
4. You have nightmares about people asking “can I take you to lunch and pick your brain”?
5. If you had $5 for every person who asked to meet you for coffee and “pick your brain” you would be retired.
6. The word rockstar and guru have  been eliminated from your vocabulary as all they get you are “pick your brain” lunches that you pay for.
7. You no longer write long social media proposals delivered for the “pick your brain coffee types”.
8. If you had $2 for every networking contact that said “I really don’t need social media for my business, our website from 1980 and the $1m we spend on direct mail is doing just fine” you would be retired.
9. You get excited to see daylight and leave your house in anything other than your gym clothes.
10. TrafficGeyser, TweetReach, FBML, Hootsuite, Twitter, Ping.fm, TwitterCounter, TwitAnalyzer, TweetDeck,  Grafitti are all names you know and love.
11. What started as a 2 hour “pick your brain” session when you first launched your business how now turned into either a quick twitter, Facebook post or 10 min phone conversation to qualify before you justify getting out of your gym clothes for another “pick your nose” meeting.
12. The numbers are too high to count that you have heard someone ask you “you mean I have to pay for your services? I thought social media was free!?”
13. There is no such thing as a Kodak moment. Instead it’s “hold on, let me twitpic or twitcast that”.
14. You have taught yourself CSS in the last 6 months.
15. You have purchased $200 – $500 worth of themes for WordPress and only kept them your site for an average of 2 wks each.
16. You give of yourself in social media all day and work all night.
17. You have joy when your client’s vision is executed.
18. You have cried with at least a handful of your favorite clients.
19. You have recently fired a client as they don’t bring you joy.
19. You know how to work SEO to drive positive ROI like a crazy bird.
20. You have more than 3 videos that are front page You Tube and Google for keywords.
21. Your LinkedIn profile delivers you leads galore. Go ahead and let those “social media rockstars” who think it’s only for work history think such. LOL!
22. Your kids know what social media is and could spot the Twitter, Facebook and YouTube logos from a mile away.
23. When something cool happens on a family vacation your 6 yr old says. “mom you better tweet about that one!”
24. Your family feels like they know your best Twitter friends even though you have never met them in real life.
25. You can remember eating ramen noodles when you first started your business.
26. You really don’t like to be called a social media consultant. You only have it on your blogsite for SEO purposes.
27. You dream of the twitter bluebird. In fact sometimes you can’t get that dang blue bird out of your head.
28. Your hourly rate has quadrupled since the early days to help avoid the “pick your brain meetings”. You might coup the costs of falling for such by 2020.
29. Your video blogs have went from glitz and glamour to do it whenever I have time…gym clothes or not.
30. You wish every day had at least 8 more hours.
31. Weekends? What are they again?
32. Your spouse begs for a tweet free evening.
33. You can’t wait until the application is released that tweets what you are thinking.
34. You know many of your twitter friends better than your next door neighbor
35. You have officially mastered tweeting from the iPhone on the elliptical while tweeting at 60 wpm and heart rate between 143-168.
36. You sometimes worry about the “what if” clients could really make you millions as you aren’t ready to trade Tweeting for Tahiti full time!
37. Even with all of the above you LOVE what you do and would never go back to corporate or whatever it was you were doing prior. Social media is your game, your name and your way of life for always (or at least until it morphs into the next best thing). Hmmm…better tweet about that one! LOL

So what do you think? Are you a social media consultant, a wanna be or someone that is just lovin’ what ya’ do and making money at the same time? “Titles schmitles” is what I say!

Please add your own! Let’s have some fun w/this peeps!

Join The Conversation

  • May 29 Posted 4 years ago LadyDisdain

    I want to like this post twice... yet know that I can't.

  • Dec 7 Posted 6 years ago GTK Solutions |... (not verified)

    Great post. I just came across this from a link in another blog post on a similar topic. I love both lists and will share them if you don't mind. Thanks.

  • Krysty Petrucci's picture
    Sep 9 Posted 6 years ago Krysty Petrucci

    Just seeing this blog... great post! Since I am a "newbie" myself, I'm glad I stumbled upon this list.

  • Aug 10 Posted 6 years ago Jules (not verified)

    I love the fact all you said is great , it is me in many ways of being a socil consultant. i enjoy meeting new people each day on all sites and im learning from them as well learning from me. Everyday has a new experience and Im glad im not the only one losing beauty sleep on twitter nor anywhere else.As we all say



       tweet ,tweet all



  • Aug 3 Posted 6 years ago Elizabeth T. (not verified)


    Great article!  I take being a professional in my field seriously and I see a lot of "wannabes"  Here's a couple for the lists:

    You're probably not a social media consultant if...

    "you preach the importance of social relationships but don't have a phone number on your web site for customers to call you."  (or worse you don't even have a site!)

    "your full-time job is not in social media"

    You're probably a social media consultant if:

    "your projector blows up in a workshop & you're still able to give your students step-by-step instructions for the next 2 hours on Facebook features all from your visual memory!"  (happened to me)

  • Aug 2 Posted 6 years ago Bridget (not verified)

    As a newbie, I sincerely appreciated reading your lists - BOTH of them! I laughed much of the time too. Thanks for sharing.

  • PamMoore's picture
    Jul 29 Posted 6 years ago PamMoore

    So true Kevin.  I should try that next time I get the "invite"!  Maybe it will work!? 

  • Jul 26 Posted 7 years ago Kevin McIntosh (not verified)

    Can totally relate to the "can I pick your brain over lunch" offers. Funny, I was just thinking about all of those offers yesterday. My next response will be, "Sure, let's go to the most expensive place in Nashville, you buy, and I get whatever I want on the menu."



  • PamMoore's picture
    Jul 26 Posted 7 years ago PamMoore

    Thanks all.  I had fun writing this one.  It began as a "vent" after a networking meeting.  The company I mentioned is near and dear to my heart. I was disappointed to see the person they've entrusted is in reality only implementing random acts of social media. 

    I originally planned on 10-20 tips max.  However, once I got started I couldn't stop.  I laughed the whole time I wrote it and have continued to do such reading the comments and tweets ;) 

    Sabine - I can picture your mortgage guy asking the ROI question. Very funny!   I am amazed how many people have to ask!! 

    La Tonya - yes, as soon as you're ready "hang the shingle out".  However, take the time to learn. You will know when the time is right.  Even after spending 15+ years in corporate marketing  I find the current day social media fascinating.  I am a lifetime learner & sponge for information.  

    Lucio - your addition cracked me up.  Very true and many are doing such. I think we've all been there at some point. ha. 

    Justin - congrats on focusing on quality over quantity.  I'll take slow and steady with a focus on followers that value your content and can also inspire you over fast and a huge spam bot following. I think my 6 & 10 yr old could almost teach a social media class.  Poor kids! ;)   

    So the question of the day is still what do we call ourselves? HA!  Titles schmitles I still say.  Don't really care what it is as long as it's not a Social Media Guru! ha!

    Thanks for your inspirational comments and insight.  

    Have a fab week in Tweeter Town ;) 

  • Jul 24 Posted 7 years ago lucio Ribeiro (not verified)

    How about:

    - You May Be a Social Media Consultant if:-

    You have done a profesional work using Social Media rather than writting blog posts about "How you should do Social Media"?

    Very entertaining post

  • Jul 23 Posted 7 years ago DavidKongkor (not verified)

    Hi Pam,

    This is an awesome article and I like the way you point it out in a 'no holds barred' style. Great stuff and loving it.


  • Jul 22 Posted 7 years ago MikeFeravolo

    Before you attempt to use Social Media to market a product to people that are part of an Internet Community. It would be a good idea to find someone that understands that every community has a different vibe and not all communities have legitimate advertising opportunities  that are going to work for you.

    BTW - I like the list

  • Jul 22 Posted 7 years ago Justin Iiams (not verified)

    Pam, LOVED this!!!!  I admit, I saw myself in a couple of the NOT category, but found myself in most of the IS category.  I LOOOOVE the fact that you mentioned engagement.  I have 2K followers but I have more reach than some with 50K.  And yes, my wife @angieiiams has asked me "honey, can we please not do twitter tonight?" 

  • Jul 22 Posted 7 years ago Sabine McElrath (not verified)

    Kudos on a great post and lists!  I laughed out loud at many items on your list, but the funniest one to me was about a potential client not knowing what ROI is. 

    That exact thing happened to me yesterday at a networking meeting.  As I'm breezing through an explanation of measuring the ROI of social media, the fellow next to me stops me and asks that very question.  I about fell off my chair.  I was shocked to hear that question coming from a mortgage loan officer who I assume should be familiar with the basics of financial language!

    Thanks for a good read and I'll be passing this on to potential clients to help them sift through their options (and pick me hopefully)!


  • Jul 22 Posted 7 years ago DiTesco (not verified)

    I never did consider myself a "Social Media Guru" and probably would never want to be labelled as one. Nonetheless, the 65 differences you point out here will serve as a starting point for me to consider myself someday somewhere within the lines of a "half social media guru", lol. Solid and well deserved RT

  • Jul 21 Posted 7 years ago Aleksandar (not verified)

      Great post Pam, couldn't agree more.. This is still young environment and we can't predict its true future directions so we still couldn't talk about social media gurus

      If you are social media consultant: anyone with the same description in his bio should know you :) You better breath social media !!

  • Jul 21 Posted 7 years ago Jami Dix (not verified)

    Love this, except for the fact that I might fall into both categories.  Learning every day:)

  • Jul 21 Posted 7 years ago Ellen Lebowitz (not verified)

    Hilarious, Pam.  Speaks volumes.

    Thank yo,

    Ellen Lebowitz

  • Jul 21 Posted 7 years ago LaTonya (not verified)

    I love your lists! I think I fit more of list number two. I think that makes me more of a consultant. Now, I just need to get paid for it! I've helped more of my friends for FREE! I think it's time for me to hang out my shingle, and at least make a few dollars. But I'm not sure if I want to be called a "consultant." Because many who are calling themselves consultants, have run that word IN.THE.GROUND!

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