Social Media Expertise Should Never Be Free


Social media today is more than just friends getting together with friends online. It is a redistribution of wealth through the spreading of information. Social media expertise which facilitates this is at the very core of capitalism. The only problem is that most social media experts have been giving away their expertise for free and now that has become the expectation.

It starts simple enough. First I get asked to have some coffee. Then we’ll have some small talk. It won’t be long until the questions about social media begin. I’ve even received emails from friends I haven’t seen nor spoken to in years asking for advice.

We take the “social” component of social media very seriously today. I propose we begin focusing on the “media” component a little more.

Social Media Expertise Is a Skill Which Must Be Developed

Let’s be honest: social media hasn’t been around for very long. If you really stretch out the definition of social media, then some might point to the AOL chat rooms of the mid-1990s as the beginning of social media, but that’s not really accurate. In just a few years, there have been a few people who have dedicated their time to studying this phenomenon to know how it ticks. It becomes their passion.

When we are passionate about something, we love to talk about it. I give out a lot of advice myself that can be executed elsewhere, often without meaning to do so. The bottom line is this: social media experts are practitioners, advisors, consultants… and professionals.

I will not go into details about my expertise, except that I have been in the industry for over 15 years and have been involved in launching and growing some of the largest accounts in the business. I am also a hands-on strategist with an on-going online presence.

The time of a social media expert is valuable. It is worth more than the price of a cup of coffee. $5 for gourmet coffee, that is.

Here’s the Industry’s Double Standard

If you called up the average lawyer to talk about a legal problem, would they offer their advice for free?

Or what if you had a medical emergency and instead of going to the hospital, you expected to go to the doctor’s home to receive treatment?

How many teachers will come to a home after school to tutor a child who is falling behind in class?

Maybe you don’t need a college degree to become a social media expert, but that doesn’t mean the expertise isn’t valuable. There are numerous financial and brand recognition gains that can be built up over time thanks to social media expertise that no other type of media can provide. You can build leads for just dollars per prospect on social media – what other platform can say the same thing?

Integrating social media into any business opportunity is important. Creative ideas, defined objectives, and strategic concepts are all part of the package that comes with social media expertise. Some organizations may feel like this is expertise that is only worth a cup of coffee, but now more than ever, one truth still remains: you get what you pay for right now.

Getting a tidbit of advice for a cup of coffee is great. Getting the full package of social media expertise will forever change a business. That’s why it is worth the investment. If you’d like to book some time to meet with me, feel free to visit my website, send me an email to Karima (at) RedDotDigital (dot) net or follow me on Twitter.

Karima-Catherine is the co-founder of Red Dot Digital, a digital agency that strives to deliver top-notch solutions to various clients.  Red Dot Digital drives real, meaningful, quantifiable business outcomes for companies. Karima-Catherine is also the co-moderator of #MMchat, a Twitter weekly forum which focuses on business, marketing and social media.  

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