I’ve been reading GaryVaynerchuk’s book titled “The Thank You Economy.” I’m also reading his other book “Why Now Is The Time To Crush It.” Both books are very well written by someone who has mastered social media. If you don’t know of his social media pedigree, go to You Tube and listen to some of his talks at conferences or take the plunge and purchase his books through Amazon.com
Essentially social media has been around for about 14-15 years with the advent of the first recognizable social network site launched in 1997. SixDegrees.com allowed users to create profiles, list their Friends and, beginning in 1998, surf the Friends lists.
Since that small inauspicious beginning there have been literally hundreds of (SNS) or Social Networking Sites with members, friends, connections counting in the millions.
So where am I going with this? Okay, since you asked I’ll tell you. There are thousands of people in the United States that refer to themselves as Social Media Experts, Social Media Gurus etc. Some of the more humble call themselves Strategists and bill out to other companies to tell said companies how to build a social media strategy that will guarantee an almost immediate ROI.
Granted most companies have a FaceBook, Twitter & LinkedIn profile but have no clue as to what to do with that profile to make it work for them. I know this to be true because I’ve been given the privilege to talk to Sage partners and I would estimate that 80% of those that have a profile don’t know how to utilize it. How did I come up with that percentage? I always ask at the beginning of each session and the number has remained pretty consistent.
So what do they do? They find someone who will work inexpensively and promises to increase their Social Media profile if they will just do the following…blah…blah…blah…etc…etc…etc…
But the partners trust them because their business cards says they’re a Social Media expert and they wouldn’t stretch the truth on their business card, would they?
I just corresponded with a business partner whom sat in on my session at Sage Summit 2011 and afterwards he wanted to talk about increasing his profile and tailoring it for his needs. Guess who is helping him? His girl friend because she’s his girlfriend. Good luck with that.
In a business arena that is as young as Social Media is there are very few experts. There are, however, people who have learned how to monetize Social Media and I guess that makes them experts in making money. There are also those who have studied it enough to be able share their knowledge with others.
I don’t have anything bad to say about someone who is lucky enough to work for a corporation that believes that Social Media is our future, because that’s what I would like to do. No, my problem is the Experts and Gurus out there who are giving the rest of us that really care about our customers a black eye by taking the money and running.
To borrow from Gary’s book “The Thank You Economy” Blockbuster didn’t think that the Internet was going to be around very long and basically they handed the business to NetFlix. Can anyone tell me who is no longer in business as the direct result of not recognizing the power of the internet? The same goes for Borders, they handed a goldmine to Amazon, as the Founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos says, “If I had a nickel for every investor that said that this (Amazon) wasn’t going to work”…….
I recently changed my e-mail signature to read LinkedIn Enthusiast because I am very enthusiastic about all things LinkedIn & Social Media as a whole.
Be leery of those that call themselves experts, ask to see their certification, ask them for business referrals, ask them if they wouldn’t mind you calling some of their customers (that you get to pick)
Embrace the Internet and Social Media, they’re here to stay and if you’re not spending time there you’re missing out because I’ll bet your customers are spending time there.