Social Media Clowns

Gary Vaynerchuck explains why he said “99.5% of social media experts are clowns” and why I agree with him.

Like Gary, I see lots of small business owners hiring people to ‘do’ their social media for them or advise them on how to use Twitter, Facebook etc without having any idea or track record on how to grow a business.

Social media is only a part (an increasingly important part) of how to grow a business and can’t be ‘done’ in isolation. Unfortunately it is the latest bandwaggon for people who can talk the talk but have never walked the walk and it is muddying the waters for the genuine folk who really can help businesses to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.

If you are thinking of hiring someone to help you with social media, please check out their track record in growing businesses, including their own, which should be more than just being a social media advisor.

There is no quick fix and definitely not any ‘one size fits all’ solutions so if you are going to spend money, make sure you hire one of the 0.5% who understand what YOUR business needs. Its not about the technology!

Things to check:

What’s their track record in business (other than being a SoMe Guru)?

What do their own social media accounts show? Are they walking the walk or just talking the talk?

Anyone can get huge numbers of followers, connections and ‘likes’ but are they your target audience?

Do they understand PR? Will they make you proud of your on-line presence?

Do they write well? Good grammar and spelling are essential – even in a tweet.

Are they excellent communicators? Social media shows up poor communication fast and to many more people.

Do they understand engagement? Social media is not a broadcast platform.

Do they understand the importance of listening and responding?

Do they understand why automation has more drawbacks than advantages?

There are some excellent people who will give good advice on the best way to use Social Media and lots and lots of really good free advice on line. If you need help, send me an email and I’ll be glad to recommend some.

If you’d like to talk about how to grow your business, get in touch or say hello on Twitter @AnnHawkins

2 replies
  1. Max
    Max says:

    Really enjoyed this Ann – thanks for sharing. Did he really say “This needs to be debated Annie” at 02:08? Whether he did or didn’t the points are really valid. The 0.5% is a bit shocking though. Is there anything to substantiate that or is this just gut feel do you know?

    As a marketing person at the coal face (or end of a telemarketing call) I can completely see why there is such a strong opportunity with social media and marketing in general in preference to other overlap areas such as: sales, internet marketing, PR, IT etc.

    I have had countless chats with people who say “Oh, we ‘do’ social media really well. Our IT/Outsourced PR partners/Head Office are fantastic and have linked up our sites and regular content is shared automatically so we don’t have to do anything ourselves!” but they always go on to admit that they have not seen any tangible return from this approach.

    Personally I don’t subscribe to the SoMe people having to be experts in everything as I think that is a tall order for anyone and you wouldn’t expect that from other fast moving industries. But, I would really expect and recommend to people that before hiring they check that the resource understand their business and marketing goals and isn’t a one-trick pony.


  2. Ann
    Ann says:

    I think he said “Danny”, Max. I’m not on debating terms with Mr Vee!

    The 99.5% was an off the cuff comment in an interview for techCrunch and wasn’t meant to be a qualified statistic – that’s why he did this video to explain why he said it so it didn’t get taken out of context.

    In respect of SoMe people not being experts in everything on my list, if I was paying someone who was tweeting, blogging, running a LinkedIn Group or a Facebook page on my behalf, as a way of building my business, I sure as hell wouldn’t accept anything less and I’d probably want some understanding of SEO thrown in for good measure.

    People are still being sold dud websites because they get sucked in by the technology ‘experts’ who know how to code but have not idea of the wider issues of how people think, how they buy, what they do on a page, how colour and design affect their experience and, ultimately what makes a web site effective.

    So Me is no different. We’ve all had a giggle at a poor website and now we snigger at a Twitter feed that is so obviously being ‘done’ by someone who doesn’t understand (or care) about the wider issues so long as they get paid for their three tweets a day and add followers who probably haven’t even got a pulse.

    Just as good website designers struggle with the black hats in their industry, the good SoMe folk are rightly kicking against the clowns in theirs and I’m just sad for the small business owners who waste their money and end up missing a great opportunity and believing that social media doesn’t work when, as you and I know, it really does when handled properly.

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