How to spot a fake Social Media Marketer?

 

Whenever an effective avenue for business opens up, along come many snake oil salesmen who feed upon the ignorance of gullible consumers and make hay while the sun shines. Social media – which is at an all time high right now – is one such avenue where many people fake to be an expert to earn a quick buck.

I am writing this article in order to make business owners aware about such people and why they shouldn’t work with them. Moreover, genuine folks like me have been painted with the same brush and it doesn’t feel good at all. I hope through this article people come to know the difference between a real and a fake social media marketer.

 So, are you ready for some fake spotting? Read on:

All They Talk About Is The Number of Followers

This is the easiest way to spot any fake expert out there. These ‘gurus’ belong to the pre-2010 era when the number of followers/likes is what mattered the most. The world of social media has come a long way since then. Today, the buzzword is ‘engagement’. The focus today is more on interaction and brand building.

 But for these experts, the success of any social media strategy ends with getting a specific number of followers for the brand.

Why you shouldn’t work with them:

  • They are most likely to use unethical ways to inflate your follower base; such as creating fake accounts or paying people to like/subscribe/follow you. And because your community was built using unethical means, you run the risk of getting banned. Social networks are dead against such practices.
  • Your messages will fall on deaf ears, because your ‘fans’ are not exactly your fans. They are either fake, or paid to be a part of your community. They don’t have any loyalty to you and your interaction rate will be abysmally low. Eventually, you end up with a ghost town.
  • You will lose the trust of your real fans. People can easily gauge if your followers are real or fake. By simply looking at the Facebook updates (having a miniscule interaction rate), or just going through the follower list on Twitter, one can come to know if the community is bought or built.

They Offer Their Services in Packages

Not all do, but I have personally come across several marketers who offer their services in the form of packages. Their pricing is based on the number of updates they post every month. So, while the Silver package will get you 50 Facebook posts and 50 Tweets a month for Rs. 25,000, the  Gold package costs you Rs. 50,000 and – you guessed it right! – the number of posts will be double.

Why you shouldn’t work with them:

  • Stay away from those social media marketers who think their job is limited to posting stuffs on your behalf!
  • Social media is a two-way communication channel and requires continuous interaction with the community; you can’t put a monthly limit to the number of interactions.
  • They either skip the strategy part, or simply write few lines about how they will promote you and call it a strategy. Moreover, they don’t even talk about how they will monitor (and analyze) the raw stats.
  • But any marketer worth his salt will tell you that strategizing and data analysis are far far more important than posting content. In fact, the content that you post depends heavily on what strategy you employ and what your stats suggest you. You don’t want useless updates to be posted on your social media platforms, right?

They Don’t Make An Attempt To Understand Your Company

While genuine social media marketers make sure that they absorb the soul of your brand, the fakes simply don’t care about what you stand for. The personality, the voice, the target segment, the company motto, the vision – they never make an attempt to know about anything that defines your organization. They’re just too busy selling their packages to everyone out there who wants to have a social media presence.

Why you shouldn’t work with them:

Your core values make you stand out from your competition; and these should be explicitly visible in your social media communications.By handing over the communications to someone who is indifferent to your brand, you’re just ensuring that your communication is hollow. You will end up with a community that fails to connect with you and your dreams of conquering the web will fall flat on its face.

While there is no dearth of fake experts out there, there are also countless other genuine marketers who provide exceptional service to their clients. They are honest, proactive and work really hard to help you tap into the huge potential of the world wide web. If you’re looking to work with one, look for someone who:

  1. Has a deep knowledge of social media (I know it’s a no brainer, but still).
  2. Asks more questions than you in your first meeting (He wants to connect with your brand).
  3. Interacts regularly with his friends on his social profiles (He knows that social media is a two-way street).
  4. Has a creative bent of mind. (Social media involves a lot of ideation).
  5. Is a prolific content generator. (As they say: Content is King).
Featured Image Courtesy :  Nina Matthews Photography
 
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