David Amarno just tweeted this:
people heading up social media initiatives with almost zero online footprint is the new jumbo shrimp
I think I’m missing a cultural reference when it comes to the jumbo shrimp, but I’m guessing he’s referring to people getting involved with social media activities despite never actually using the tools. It was something I found when looking for a job, a large number of people in the ‘digital’ space with absolutely no online presence at all (that could be found).
The question is, does an ‘expert’ or at least someone heading up a social media initiaitive have to practice what they preach. When you’re employing someone in any area, do you look for third party evidence they actually know what they are talking about or do you just take them at face value, that they can talk about the subject but they don’t have to demonstrate it in action. Most job interviews are just that – a good conversation.
With social media, any such external evidence is obvious, you should be able to find the person’s activity across a number of networks. If there’s nothing there, questions could be asked about their ability to work in that space. However, it could be possible they have only ever worked in the space for employees or clients, their whole presence is in someone else’s name and never their own.
There’s also a personal choice for how you are using the tools. I’m present in many a social media place, but I don’t necessarily use the tools in the same way I’d advise a client. I don’t necessarily want to push my personal brand, but that does not mean I can’t advise on how to do so. Others may be active but use different personas that may not connect back to any professional profille
Getting back to Armano’s statement, I absolutely believe that someone working on social media needs to be active in the space, but it’s not always going to be easy for an external view to understand how and where they are active.
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