A lot of chatter these days in social media circles is about new hires, or old guards, having “digital expertise” when what they really mean is social communications chops. The two can be mutually exclusive, but are not necessarily, and are rarely fully integrated.
What qualifies as “digital expertise”?
Search Engine Optimization and Marketing
User Experience Design
Landing Page Optimization
Creative Placements (banner ads, takeovers, etc)/ media planning
Offline creative integration
Analytics & how they inform business decisions
Tools / Widgets
Database building/ mining/ usage
Website builds and creative applications
Understanding the different kinds of Tech – e.g. XML vs HTML
Flash (strengths & weaknesses)
Contest development & rules and regulations
… I’m pretty sure I missed stuff too…
What is social communications?
Social platforms/ networks knowledge
Plug-ins and WYSIWYG understanding
… probably missed a few points here too, but you get the idea…
While the two should ideally be part and parcel and fully integrated (and can be), currently having social communications expertise does not necessarily mean you have digital expertise. Lots of people have spent 10+ years building digital expertise while the social web is not only not even 5 yet, but in reality (business reality), is closer to two. Semantics matter – let’s not confuse the two, and let’s be clear about what the web is capable of delivering in its entirety. It is important.