Facebook professionals, social media gurus, twitter wonders and online marketing experts. There is no shortage of snake-oil salesmen travelling the digital landscape, preying on the scared and uninformed. Understandably, businesses are sceptical about choosing Facebook experts, twitter legends and other social media gurus to manage their online affairs. And so they should be. Too often these so called professionals are nothing more than fresh-out-of-college, arrogant, maladjusted students. They know slightly more than their victims, and use ridiculous buzzwords to convince potential clients that they’re vital to a campaign.The truth of the matter is that to become an online marketing expert, one needs to be a marketing expert. Hiring a “Facebook professional” to market your brand, simply because they understand Facebook, is the equivalent of hiring a printer to market your brand simply because they understand press.

 So how does one separate the wheat from the chaff, or the twitterati from the trolls so to speak? How should you choose your online marketing professional? There are thousands of ambiguous lists and Memeburn articles which will tell you, no doubt in 5 steps, how to do this. However there is no such thing as a Facebook professional or a social media guru. These new platforms are organic; they grow and change with the users. Marketing on them requires the same creativity and market knowledge that advertising has used for the past century. A Facebook professional cannot provide the creativity and strategic knowledge that a well-rounded campaign requires. Regardless of how well they understand the online world.

…there is no such thing as a Facebook professional or a social media guru…

Don’t make the fatal error of choosing your online marketing experts based purely on their digital credentials, they will not produce the type of campaign which will help you move product or grow your brand. Instead they will produce one-sided strategies, which are disconnected from your over arching brand message. Choose an agency with strong creative ideas and a well-rounded strategic approach to their work. This will organically create strong online marketing solutions and social media shares.

Forget your Facebook professionals and toss out the twitter trained. The only way to truly stand out from the online noise is with strong, well thought out creative ideas that are just as strong offline as they are on.