Who’s legit and who’s fake when it comes to social media? Two contrasting views on the topic come from Olivier Blanchard with his article “Is your social media director qualified?”, and “Attacking the social media lynch mob” by Jay Baer.

Olivier has high standards and trenchant views on who’s qualified to set the social media agenda.  He says there are three types of social media directors:

  1. the first type are “super smart, talented, experienced in a broad range of disciplines, have an established foot print in social media space”, are recognized as thought leaders and are passionate about what they do.
  2. type 2 “isn’t quite as savvy but isn’t lacking in talent, smarts and enthusiasm”.
  3. type  3 is “the bad type…. con artists… shams”. You get the picture.

I’ll let you self-diagnose.  Olivier goes on to provide some tips on how to spot your ideal candidate, including “applicant can tell a personal story involving either Digg, Seesmic or both”.  Scary stuff.  There doesn’t seem to be much room for the amateur enthusiast in this definition.

Jay Baer has a different outlook.  His view is “just because someone takes a more tactical approach to social media, just because they don’t measure ROI the way you do, just because they focus on small business and you don’t, does not mean they are charlatans… And this notion that you can’t be good at social media unless you’ve been doing it for years is utter crap.”

I’m inclined to agree with Mr. Baer.  There are a lot of bright people out there who are just beginning to turn their attention to social media, particularly those working in B2B marketing.  I don’t expect their lack of previous experience is going to prove much of a barrier, given the speed with which they’ve adopted and exploited a host of other technologies to date.

Anyway, I’d like your views on other categorizations of prospective social media directors. I’d particularly like to see some that are funny (humour wasn’t prominent among Olivier’s list of preferred characteristics).

Motarme provides sales prospecting and lead generation services to Business-to-Business (B2B) technology, engineering and services companies.


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