PRBreakfastClub Social Media Expert Challenge

It’s an issue many have talked about, even on this blog. Do you claim to be a social media “expert” (insert word of your choice here, i.e, guru, maven)?  If so, it’s now time to prove it.

Contact us at prcog1+expert [at] gmail.com and, working together, we’ll set you up with an “identity” and a target goal (number of followers, RTs, web traffic, fans, etc.) and a deadline to see what kind of a dent you can make.

At the end of the run, we’ll post the results on PRBC (win or lose—so be careful). There are no prizes other than bragging rights (and maybe we’ll make you a badge to put on your site).  Entries will be open for 2 weeks.

There’s only one real rule—your “real” persona can’t promote your new identity—so no telling your current following what you’re up to, no RTing or referencing to your new account. It’s all gotta be organic and from scratch. Other rules (i.e., no deleting directs (sent or received), etc., will be put in place to ensure there’s no cheating, etc.).

“Experts” that have accepted the challenge (as of 9/18/09 12:00p (Eastern)): 6

[reus id=”3″]

Share on Tumblr

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention PRBreakfastClub Social Media Expert Challenge :PRBreakfastClub -- Topsy.com()

  • How many followers or following you have is not a sign of an expertise. Anyone can get 20K followers if the let every spammer and undesirable follow them and then follow as many people as Twitter will allow. It doesn't seem you are taking social media very seriously here.

  • Obviously we have forgotten the basics of how to read… Obviously you just don't get it dude.

    Read the post. Try Again.

    Thanks!

  • As number of followers is only one of the targets, this looks like it could be quite a tough one. Site traffic- do you have to build a new site for that?
    Will think about it.

  • Marie Baker

    Hey there! The judging will be based on more than just followers. As stated above, it says the PRBC will look at RTs, web traffic, and other engagement quantifiers.

    I actually think it's a great challenge to all those who claim to be social media “experts.” It's providing the perfect platform to prove your expertise. With that, you get lots of free publicity and bragging right.

  • Hi –

    Thanks so much for your comment.

    As my esteemed colleague was attempting to say — we do address that issue in the post: “working together, we’ll set you up with an “identity” and a target goal…”

    It may not be followers at all as twitter isn't the end-all and be-all of SM.

    In regards to taking SM seriously – quite the opposite. As a group (and there are others outside the PRBC that have expressed this) we're tired of seeing SM expertise/guruism/etc. bandied about.

    I know I've seen more than my fair share of bios/auto-follow responses offering the person's expertise (exact language changes) on social media. Follow the bio and there's no twitter following, a dead (or inaccurate) web page/blog, minimal facebook presence, etc.

    My favorite though was the PR Pro, offering her insight through her business twitter account, which is protected.

    Simply put we're curious to see which of 'experts' is actually willing to show up and lead rather than talk about leading. We are in-fact quite serious.

  • kelleykassa

    PRCog — any other parameters? What type of personae (sp?) we can create other than not a celebrity? Any limitations on the content?

  • It'll all depend on the proposal from the contestant. We're not claiming to know everything or be 'experts' in the field either. Since there's so many platforms (and combinations of platforms / ways to have an 'sm presence') defining strict parameters for everyone would be difficult.

    That being said, if you want to give free iphones to each of your followers that would probably be out, or the number of targeted followers adjusted accordingly.

  • Re your contest prcog1+expert….contest,
    You are creating the entity, but is it real or is it Memorex? … I have to make a comment here about doing this due to the undercurrents of misleading the “public” aka, social media crowd. I'll sign up so I understand what you are doing, Perhaps there is a positive twist you can take with it all – such that you do not appear to be deceiving or diluting the strength you appear to be promoting. – Thanks, Barbara Colley

  • Re your contest prcog1+expert….Contest. It isn't quite clear to me; You are creating the entity, will said entity be real or is it Memorex?…. If it's completely false, wouldn't the undercurrents of misleading the “public” aka, social media crowd, be contributing to deceiving or diluting the strengths and foundation of social media? I'll sign up so I understand what you are attempting more clearly. Perhaps there is a positive twist you can take with this, – such that you do not appear to be deceiving or diluting the social media programs you appear to be promoting. A few ideas come to mind. – Thank you, Barbara Colley

  • Hi Barbara –

    Thanks for your note, I look forward to your email.

    There's room for it to be not misleading and still not be what the person is normally about. I'm certainly not advocating creating a false product/service for the purposes the challenge.

    Anyone branding themselves as an expert is doing it (most likely) to get clients. Here the client is the expert themselves. The persona could engage the public in a hobby, on any topic from photography to SciFi novels of the 60's, or even discuss their professional life (w/o letting the cat of the bag). That's entirely up to them.

    We're all more 3 dimensional than we let on in our public profiles and that additional depth should provide plenty of material for someone to work with while still staying genuine. At the end of the challenge they can continue with their personas, merge it with their real identities, or simply fade.

  • PRCOG,
    Thanks for taking the time your esteem college didn't to outline your intentions that were not clearly stated in this blog.
    I am with you that someone calling themselves an expert should be based on actual experience and I agree that there seems to be a large number of people calling themselves experts in Social Media when it is obvious they are not. This challenge you have developed is clear wanting to test those individuals.
    My point is that being rated an expert purely on the number of followers or friends a person can accumulated on the assortments of Social Networks does not make them an expert in Social Media. I do not agree that popularity qualifies anyone as an expert in anything.
    That was all I was attempting to point out.
    Thanks for you rebuttal to add more insight in what you whee wanting to get out of this discussion.
    Cheers

  • I don't claim to be a social media expert (kinda part of my tag line) NO ONE can be an expert in something that changes day to day and minute by minute which is why you need to have a Social Media Strategist (not guru) because they will research new, unique and innovative ways to use the Social web in their clients favor. This little contest would be great if there werent a million ways to get around it like: auto tweets, hash tags/keywords that generate auto RTers to RT your content, spamming (yes I believe this is encouraging spam) .. to name a few. I may not have 100k followers, but I connect with my followers and am happy to follow people that understand Twitter is not a contest, race or game. Everyone builds their Twitter in their own way so what works for me may never work again or work for you.

  • Hi Kim –

    Thanks for your comment. Since everyone entering the contest will have their own goals each will also have their own guidelines. If part of the goals is a follower count we'll certainly be discounting any spam accounts collected and while I thought it went without say spamming would not be permitted.

    Thanks again,
    P

  • This is silly… quantity doesn't equal quality. It probably also violates TOS for Twitter, Facebook, etc.

    Shouldn't you be a bit more responsible than trying to see who can astroturf the best?

    Joe (my “persona”)

  • Hi “Joe” (interesting link you chose to include btw).

    Yes, quantity != quality. However, anyone claiming to be a SM expert would define success in some manner to anyone retaining their services. We're asking the contestants to do the exact same thing.

    Something to note though — it does boil down to numbers — there are entire companies dedicated to providing metrics on campaigns.

    Whether it's an SM campaign to drive donations for a non-profit or increasing downloads to a music artist's website, it all boils down to numbers. There's certainly good and bad numbers but it's still numbers. That's the business we're in — circulation, impressions, pass along rate, viewership, VPMs, etc. We weigh these numbers differently based on if they're good or bad hits, but it's still numbers.

    Regarding the violation of Terms of Service — I haven't reread the TOS of each, but I know there are numerous corporate/persona/fake accounts on twitter that are accepted (even permitted), as there are on FB. If it becomes an issue we'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

    I don't see how it's irresponsible at all. Here are the possible outcomes:

    1) One more person chooses not to self-label as an 'expert' — Win

    2) The half-dozen or so that have signed up so far get out there and engage with the world. If they do it right they'll make new friends, provide conversation, etc. If they do it wrong they'll a) not engage and not bother anyone except themselves and/or b) if they start spamming, etc. will obviously be out of the challenge (and if they of the spam variety they'd do that whether or not the challenge existed) — Win.

    Will it “prove” anyone's an expert — of course not. We're not giving out crowns or medals or claiming to be formal expert licensing group. We're seeing who's willing to take on the challenge, how they do it as they would on behalf of a client, and seeing if they achieved their goals.

  • This is silly… quantity doesn't equal quality. It probably also violates TOS for Twitter, Facebook, etc.

    Shouldn't you be a bit more responsible than trying to see who can astroturf the best?

    Joe (my “persona”)

  • Hi “Joe” (interesting link you chose to include btw).

    Yes, quantity != quality. However, anyone claiming to be a SM expert would define success in some manner to anyone retaining their services. We're asking the contestants to do the exact same thing.

    Something to note though — it does boil down to numbers — there are entire companies dedicated to providing metrics on campaigns.

    Whether it's an SM campaign to drive donations for a non-profit or increasing downloads to a music artist's website, it all boils down to numbers. There's certainly good and bad numbers but it's still numbers. That's the business we're in — circulation, impressions, pass along rate, viewership, VPMs, etc. We weigh these numbers differently based on if they're good or bad hits, but it's still numbers.

    Regarding the violation of Terms of Service — I haven't reread the TOS of each, but I know there are numerous corporate/persona/fake accounts on twitter that are accepted (even permitted), as there are on FB. If it becomes an issue we'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

    I don't see how it's irresponsible at all. Here are the possible outcomes:

    1) One more person chooses not to self-label as an 'expert' — Win

    2) The half-dozen or so that have signed up so far get out there and engage with the world. If they do it right they'll make new friends, provide conversation, etc. If they do it wrong they'll a) not engage and not bother anyone except themselves and/or b) if they start spamming, etc. will obviously be out of the challenge (and if they of the spam variety they'd do that whether or not the challenge existed) — Win.

    Will it “prove” anyone's an expert — of course not. We're not giving out crowns or medals or claiming to be formal expert licensing group. We're seeing who's willing to take on the challenge, how they do it as they would on behalf of a client, and seeing if they achieved their goals.

  • Pingback: This is Another Call (Out) « PR COG'S GEAR GRINDINGS()

  • Pingback: This is Another Call (Out) [Updated, please read to the end] | PRCog's Gear Grindings()