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“Social Media Experts” – Snake Oil Anyone?

Posted on: February 23rd, 2012 by Cody Baird 5 Comments

“Social Media Experts” – Snake Oil Anyone?

I had a conversion with a new client this week that has become more and more common.  Each conversation becomes more frustrating, upsetting, and basically sad.   This new client is paying $400 per month for a Social Media service for his dental practice.

“They do something with my Facebook page and my blog, submit some articles I think….?”  ”What do you think about that Cody?”

“Does your practice track which sources send you new patients?”

“Yes, my staff asks each new patient how they found us.”

“Have you seen new clients from your Facebook page/blog/articles/#$% or whatever you call this Social Service”

“I don’t know”

Social Media - Snake Oil Promotions

Wasted Resources on Social Media

I feel for small business owners that are struggling in this tuff economy.  It is frustrating to see “Social Media Experts” snake oil salesmen take advantage of trusting SMB’s by using fear tactics and hype to sell them a bulls@&t service that will never cost justify the time, effort, and expense.  False hope is created.  Time and resources are wasted.  A sour taste is left in the business owners mouth making it more difficult for them to recognize a value added marketing medium in the future.

Social Media Sales Pitch

I’m guessing that the “Social Media Expert” sounded something like this:

The Oatmeal - The Social Media Asshole

3 Social Media Lies Myths

Myth #1: Your social media network is your #1 asset

Fact:  Your best digital assets are those that your business owns and controls -your website or your blog for example.  Not something that COULD disappear in a year or two from now. (AOL, MySpace)

Myth #2: Every business should invest in social media

Fact:  Many businesses are not social in nature.  (plumbing, hvac, doctor, dentist)  Many business owners or employees are not naturally social.  Don’t get me wrong, these businesses should have a Linked-in, Facebook, or Twitter account.  However, your social media accounts won’t make or break your business. I don’t believe social media will ever merit a $4,800 dollar budget for most SMB’s.

Myth #3: Social media initiatives drive customer loyalty and acquisition.

Fact: Engagement with a brand drives social engagement.  This myth cuts to the core of what organizations want social media initiatives to accomplish: getting new customers and keeping existing customers. Yet according to Gallup research, brand-sponsored social media initiatives have very little impact on consumer decision making. Nor do they drive prospective customers to consider trying a brand or recommending a brand to others in their social network.

Key Influences on Customer Decisions

Brand-sponsored social media initiatives don’t have much influence on a customer’s deep rational and emotional attachment, which we call customer engagement. Gallup analysis shows that it works the other way around: Customer engagement with a brand drives social engagement, the degree to which customers will work for or against your company or brand within their social networks.

And customer engagement can’t be won solely with an app. Gallup research has found that customer engagement is the result of the fulfillment of four psychological needs and three rational needs. For a company to benefit from social engagement, it usually must create customer engagement first.

Customer Engagement Hierarchy

Tracking the KPIs of Social Media

Social media receives a massive amount of attention on the web and attracts a great deal of interest from
marketers, too. The primary complaint of those who invest seems to be consistent: it’s hard to measure
the impact to the bottom line. While social’s an exciting new area for online
marketers, its value isn’t always commensurate with the effort required and even when it is, it’s tough to
prove that point to clients or business owners asking for justification.

In this post, Rand Fishkin takes a brief look at the topics surrounding this problem and offer
some solutions, tools and methodologies to make things easier.

Don't Believe the Hype

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About

In 2011, I founded milkmen.com, a firm specializing in local search marketing and local brand strategy. Local SEO, search marketing, SEO, conversion optimization, local brand development and messaging.

My role as President involves recruiting and managing our marketing and sales teams. Leading the product/strategic vision and evangelizing local search, local brand strategy, search marketing, and milkmen.com.

To relax I read on a variety of subjects, go golfing, hiking, running, & anything outdoors.

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5 Responses

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