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Is social media a sham? Are social media marketers bad for your business? Veteran journalist and social media consultant Peter Shankman would have you believe they are. Don’t hire them, he says.

Enter Rand Fishkin, to the rescue.

It’s important to note what the purpose of social media is. Peter Shankman has it almost right. He says it’s to make you money. Well, that’s why you went into business, right?

In actuality, social media marketing is the same as any other marketing. It’s to position your company as the place to go for your particular core business. In other words, to position you as an expert. You hope that makes you money.

Admittedly, many “social media experts” are lousy salesmen. Many of them are ineffective in their approach to marketing through social media. They may understand the tools, but they don’t understand the methods well enough to close the sale. Or maybe they think their job is simply to drive traffic to your website and leave the sales to you.

Whatever the case, you are the expert in your business. You don’t have time to plan and execute social media campaigns. That’s why you hire someone else to do it for you.

There’s nothing wrong with being an expert – even a “social media expert.” If you can prove your expertise with results, then you deserve the business that comes your way. On that, Peter Shankman is wrong.

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