This blog was inspired by Gary Vaynerchuk, who had the insight (and cojones) to say recently that many social media experts are “clowns” and Nick Harrison at Dashal, who has a similar blog post that is going to be posted when Dashal’s new blog launches shortly.

The fact is that social media is a tactic, not a strategy, and far too many companies- big and small- are hiring technicians.  Social media experts, for the large part, have little business acumen and have no idea how to use the tool within the broader context of business, let alone explain what ROI means.

In fact, if you understand anything about business, you would likely light yourself on fire if someone labeled you a social media expert.

Think of your business strategy (including marketing/customer engagement/customer loyalty/PR/etc/) as building a house.  You should be hiring architects or general contractors, but you sadly are putting all of your strategy in the hands of a carpenter who is really good with a hammer.  You need to start with a comprehensive strategy that includes various tactics or skills.  You may or may not need a tactical expert, but that comes later.

Being an expert on Twitter or YouTube is like being a master of a hammer or a saw.  It can be an important skill, but alone, doesn’t do much for you, when you are the client, in getting your foundation or home built.

Go for the business expert that understands tactics rather than the tactical expert that may not understand your business.