Back in December, Geoff Livingston and Beth Harte created a lighthearted blog post entitled "Top 25 Ways to Tell if Your Social Media Expert Is a Carpetbagger." With the wild rush to capitalize on social media, the pair note that "there are many, many companies, agencies and consultants rushing to offer social media services. Unfortunately, they don't know what they're doing."

Their picks range from the serious ("Doesn't understand how social media integrates into larger corporate communications or business strategy") to the absurd ("Doesn't know what Technorati is"). Livingston recently updated the post with a video from Andrea Vascellari, who provides a comical reading of the list, and adds a few suggestions, including this gem: "They tag everything with 2.0. 2.0 this, 2.0 that. They use it as a shiny little tag to attract clients that have no clue of what social media is."

In a follow-up post at Harte's own blog—in which she details what social-media consultants get right—she explains that none of their warning signs should instantly disqualify a potential social-media consultant. "To help separate the wheat from the chaff," she says, "we are sharing these general suggestions, but if many qualifiers are missing in your potential partner's offering, as a marketer, PR or communications professional you should probably be concerned."

In these two lists, we see lots of Marketing Inspiration for a new field that's still in the process of inventing itself.

More Inspiration:
Jason Baer: How Hard Are You Playing at Social Media?
Jonathan Kranz: Teaching Our Customers to Hate Us
Paul Barsch: Is Inventory Still Evil?

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