April 14, 2009

New Chart: Majority of Marketers Believe No Experience is Needed to be a Social Media Expert

SUMMARY: Two-thirds of marketers who work for organizations that have not used any form of social media marketing or PR consider themselves “very knowledgeable” or “somewhat knowledgeable” about this emerging strategy. Their overconfidence in unproven ability can doom social media initiatives to failure.
How Knowledgeable Are Marketers With No Social Media Experience?

View Chart Online
Click here to see larger, printable version of this chart

You may have spent a lifetime watching hours of television on a daily basis and being exposed to an infinite number of commercials in the process but, based on that, would you consider yourself knowledgeable about producing a TV commercial? Of course you wouldn’t.

So why would two-thirds of marketers who work for “organizations that have not used any form of social media marketing or PR”, consider themselves knowledgeable on the subject? Does creating a profile on Facebook, tweeting on Twitter, or reading and commenting on blogs qualify you to be the social media marketing expert in your company?

Clearly, there is a disconnect between personal exposure and professional ability that is unique to social media. And this disconnect is one of the most critical dangers to the successful adoption of social media as a marketing strategy.

This was confirmed in MarketingSherpa’s Social Media Marketing and PR study where we found that the “lack of knowledgeable staff” was the most significant barrier to social media adoption. When making the initial jump into social media, many organizations start by delegating responsibility to the first staff person they find with a profile on Facebook or LinkedIn since very few people have any level of practical experience in this new strategy. The result is usually a marketing program pre-destined to failure.

A better approach to adopting this strategy is to seek the advice of an agency or consultant specializing in social media if no one within your organization has proven experience. These experts understand what works and what doesn’t in social media. They can help you plan an effective strategy, train your internal resources and supplement your staff with the specialized skills needed to execute social media programs successfully. When it comes to social media marketing, an investment in expertise will insure a rapid return.

Useful links related to this article

Not a Subscriber to Sherpa's Chart of the Week? Click Here to Get a New Chart Delivered to Your Inbox Every Tuesday!

More Research Data from Sherpa:

2009 Social Media & PR Benchmark Guide

Improve Your Marketing

Join our thousands of weekly case study readers.

Enter your email below to receive MarketingSherpa news, updates, and promotions:

Note: Already a subscriber? Want to add a subscription?
Click Here to Manage Subscriptions