My Answers for the 7 Questions to Ask a Social Media Expert

A post with a title like that definitely needs to come with a disclaimer so here you go:

Josh is not a social media expert, consultant, or maven. Josh is a social media/network participant, promoter, and fan.

I saw this post, “8 Questions You should Ask Your ‘Social Media Expert'” and I liked the thought process is sparked. I’m a big fan of posts that call people out for two reasons: 1) schadenfreude and 2) because, if I can answer a couple of them, I feel good. In an effort to make my professional life as transparent as possible, here is my $0.50 on the subject.

It should be said, if it wasn’t implied, that the questions below come verbatim from the link above. I omitted the 8th one because it was silly and I’m dead serious. That was a joke.

Can you give me an example of social media work you’ve completed for a client recently?

For the time being, the social media “work” I’m doing are just suggestions via email, phone, or in person. This is, incidentally, why I usually “consult” over lunch or coffee with colleagues, friends, or family.

With clients, my BREAKTHROUGH VICTORIES are as follows:

  • I convinced one client to get on LinkedIn to help her artist representation company. She’s slowly but surely getting up to speed.
  • I’ve seen another client start to get active on Facebook to connect with potential fans.
  • I got my marriage counselor client to start blogging (indirectly) to gain attention for his book.

So, in short, I’ll help you understand it and give you a few ideas for the low, low price of an iced tea and an open mind.

How do you go about pitching bloggers?

I’ve never had to pitch a blogger before but I’m sure the time will come (in fact, I have a few in mind). I would/will do the following:

  • I’ll try to connect with them via a “non-committal” method (Twitter, blog comment, forum). Since my pitch will be genuine, natural interaction will as well.
  • I’ll approach them quickly and respectfully. An email will not be at midnight on a Thursday and I’ll make sure my grammar and spelling are up to par.
  • I’ll try, at most, twice without a reply (including direct contact through Twitter, etc) before I consider the possibility dead.
  • If I get a response, I’ll make sure my pitch is clear, concise, and has an easy “way forward” (i.e. I’ll make it easy for them to help me).

Gears are turning…

How do you monitor what people are saying about you?

I Google myself (still sounds dirty to me) and my business, of course. I also check up on Twitter search now and then. I haven’t signed up for alerts yet because it just feels egotistical.

For clients looking to monitor their brand, Google Alerts and Twitter Search are essential, of course. Trying the different search engines with various combinations of keywords is important (with spaces and without, misspelled, with “.com” or “.net”).

Where can I find you online?

I maintain a pretty solid web presence, half for networking and half because I really like to do it.

  • You can find me blogging weekly here at
  • You can find me on LinkedIn posting in groups and writing recommendations
  • You can find me on retweeting good tips and posting my own
  • My friends and family can find me on Facebook commenting on pictures and posting links (I don’t really use it for business networking)
  • You can find me on Flickr… sorta. I don’t take a lot of photos but I some up now and then
  • You can find me at talking about design and car nerd stuff
  • You can find me on StumbleUpon, liking links from time to time

I think that about covers it!

Can you (ghost) write my blog for me?

Well, no, but thanks for the compliment. Here’s what I will do for you:

How do you measure results?

In the end, the only true measure is your ROI (whatever you’ve decided the return to be). If your goal was to sell more shirts and you’re selling more shirts by the time we’re done, that’s the result. If your goal was to connect with more people and you’ve got 500 followers on Twitter and have met up with a few groups of people, mission accomplished (in the true sense).

Concrete results, for me, come from:

  • Analytic data from a website showing a positive conversion path (basically people on your website doing what you want them to do) combined with an actual increase in [insert goal here].
  • Increased opens, click-throughs, and forwards from an email campaign combined with an actual increase in [again, insert goal here].
  • Increased number of incoming links, positive mentions online, positive responses, comments, and replies.

How would you define social media?

Social media is social interaction surrounding submitted media. Vauge, no? The terms themselves are so vague that their definition, together could be anything. When clients/friends/family asks me what this “social media” thing is, I tell them…

  • It’s a collection of websites that make finding the best of the best on the internet much easier then it’s ever been.
  • It’s an extension of pop culture that lets people interact and have a say on what is happening.
  • It’s a place to find like-minded people and garner attention for things that merit, in your mind, more attention.
  • It’s the perfect place to start if you have no idea where you want to go
  • It’s a time sink

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