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Are most social media experts clowns?

  • Thread starter Scottish Business Owner
  • Start date
Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
Someone who i've grown to like recently is a guy called Gary Vaynerchuck. I've read his excellent book Crush It! and am about to start his new book The Thank You Economy.

Gary recently appeared on Tech Crunch and said “”99.5 percent of the people that walk around and say they are a social media expert or guru are clowns,” he says, continuing with “we are going to live through a devastating social media bubble.”

The article and videos on the Techcrunch website make really great reading so I've also linked to this below.

Gary Vaynerchuk: “99.5 Percent Of Social Media Experts Are Clowns” (TCTV)

What do you think? Does Gary have a point? What's your perception of social media people in Scotland? :)
 

Brian McIntosh

New Member
I've not had much dealings with the so called SM "experts" but I did attend a course last week which was arranged by Highlands & Islands Enterprise and run by a company called Hubspot which was all about being found by customers using inbound marketing. I thought it was a brilliant course and it gave me tons of ideas which I'm starting to implement. There was also a free book which explains the basics of SM which has explained a lot of things to me. I'll look forward to looking at Gary's video later this week.
 
Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
Hi Brian,

I'm a huge fan of Hubspot - they give lots of content away for free and most of it is very high quality.

I actually have their book Inbound Marketing which is a great read so if you want to borrow it drop me a note and i'll fire it up to you :)
 

Brian McIntosh

New Member
That's their business model and that's what they preach on their courses. It's all about content and the more high quality the better. I was sent a couple of links for the slideshow and handouts. I'll dig them out and post them up.
 
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stugster

stugster

New Member
This is an interesting one. How do we know for sure if they are clowns? What credentials can we use to verify their position? I suppose the social media professional's role is similar to that of an SEO in that there isn't yet an accepted and proven course or academic degree in the subject. Regulation in the industry might help, but would that just cause a mess and perhaps stifle the industry?

Is social media really that difficult? Could one just read and learn from a good Marketing book and then go off and learn how the various Social Networks work and interlink? Is there really any more to it than that?

Interested to hear from any SM gurus on here!
 
aviemorebusiness

aviemorebusiness

New Member
Whilst I wouldnt say we are 'social media gurus' we do offer start up social media as one of our services as it goes hand in hand with SEO and Internet marketing. Our philosophy on the whole social media thing is that you can't just dip in and out when you feel like it. If you are going to actively engage in social media it has to be a committment that you enter into. There is nothing worse than seeing someone on Facebook or Twitter post several things one after the other and then disappear off the planet for another month.

As far as the question are social media experts clowns... hmmm I think that is a bit harsh. Stugster made a good point that there is no accepted or academic degree in SEO or social media and similar to 10 years ago where everybody's neighbours dog was into web design I think there will be a lot of 'experts' out there who actually should just step away from the computer!

Our theory is that you have to have a joint approach to your Internet marketing that includes good base SEO, link building, social media and a genuine interest in what your customers are saying. To get a social media company to do it all for you is probably a bad idea, if you can work alongside the people that are 'assisting' you then ultimately you will reach a point where you are ready to get rid of the bike stabilisers and go it alone, but by then your social media expert should have given you the tools to do a proper job yourself and not make you think that you have face paint on or big shoes.

Feel I may have ranted a bit there - sorry!
 
lizmelv

lizmelv

New Member
I'd be wary of anyone claiming to be a social media 'expert'! They may be consultants, trainers, or managing social media for clients, but the world of social media is so fast changing and dynamic that I'd challenge anyone who claims to be a guru.

Is it really that difficult? Well, in so far as just using the networks - maybe not. And yes, you could read a book, learn the theory, and try to apply it. Perhaps we could all become car mechanics too.......or leave it to someone who knows what they're doing, and has tried and tested practices in a particular area. Because sometimes, what you really need is someone who has learned their trade through application, who has applied the theory to real life, and knows some of the tricks of the trade that can really make a difference. I'd never claim to be an expert in social media - but I do know what works for businesses, can help them use it effectively, and save the average business owner hours of precious time in trying to navigate it all themselves.

But a word of caution - there are clowns and cowboys out there. People who think you can read a book, base a business on what you've learned, and sell a service to those who know less than you do. Just in the same way that there are cowboy mechanics, quack doctors, rubbish accountants, and poor web developers, there are social media 'experts' who are clowns. But there are also those who know that social media isn't just a shiny new toy; that it has to be carefully integrated into an overall marketing strategy.

Want to know how to tell the clowns from the good guys? We're the ones not hiding behind our make up.
 
aviemorebusiness

aviemorebusiness

New Member
Just want to say a big 'here here' to Liz - very well said in a more concise way that I managed!
 
Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
Thanks you Liz and Gavin/Katie (i'm not sure who replied :p),

I actually agree with what you both have said and it's nice to see we have some local social media people who've actually spent a bit of time replying. I've generally dipped in and out of social media for the past few years as I felt it took a lot of investment and not much of a reward. I remember Liz telling me a while back about Hootsuite and just a few days ago I decided to have a proper look at it.

To be honest it's given we a completely new insight into social media. I guess the biggest thing i've always struggled with was all the noise that gets created, it's really hard to cut through this and actually get to the stuff that interest you. It kind of feels like Hootsuite will be able to help me with this.

I guess the main reason for posting up the Gary Vaynerchuck video was to create a bit of debate, I think it's very hard for small businesses in Scotland to actually work out who in social media you can actually believe and trust and who are only in it to make a quick buck.

Again appreciate you both responding :)
 
aviemorebusiness

aviemorebusiness

New Member
I will encourage Gavin (and myself) to maybe put our initials at the end of each post / rant - for your info it was Katie that wrote the above x 2 posts (K) :)
 

debtheweb

New Member
I think being classed as a clown is harsh too but I understand where people are coming from and knowing who to trust is difficult at the best of times. Gary is great and has so much useful information although much of it doesn't relate to the UK. Here it takes a different approach but Social Media is very important here and I've already seen the huge benefit of it, even at a low committment level, for small businesses.

I would hate to see the industry 'regulated'. So much of our society is currently 'regulated' and it ends up being controlled by big multi-national companies and removes small, genuine and incredibly talented individuals, like Gary, having any chance of moving ahead in business. I think what people are concerned about is whether companies/businesses that claim to be experts are doing just that, 'claiming' and not proving their talents.

I would suggest to anyone considering an SEO or Social Media expert for their business is to first, talk with them and see how you get on. It's the most overlooked thing when choosing to work with someone. Do you like them? If you don't, it won't matter whether they get you to the No. 1 spot in Google, you won't appreciate what they've done to get you there. Then I would ask for proof of what they can do. There's nothing like another business saying how good an agency is because of the improvement to their business. Oh and that's word-of-mouth, and that's social media too, except that the word bit is done online via Twitter, Facebook, etc. Getting others to recommend you is the number one way to build a business and that's what social media sites do best. Knowing how to take advantage of that is key and ensuring your are doing it right. That's really what a so called social media expert should be doing.

I've worked online with websites and SEO for over 25 years and the core issues remain the same. Good quality content, information (now in the form of videos) that provide your website visitors really useful information is the most important thing you can do online. The rest is just refinement.

Hope that helps?
 
Adventurelife

Adventurelife

New Member
Social media is nothing more than the ability to communicate with others via multiple online channels. Each business needs to learn how and develop there own unique style. It is not difficult but like everything that is worth while it takes time and effort. As for the experts just ask them show me the money? Not sure if 99% will start talking about all the other benefits but the majority will. Why because they cannot show you the money so they go into spin mode. I am not discounting the many other benefits as there are many but in business cash is oxygen.

So who is the clowns the so called experts or the business owners using them? Would you as a business owner refuse to talk to potential clients on the phone or answer emails? Probably not I suggest and social media ranks in the same level of importance so learn you own unique style and usage and do not expect it to be a project it is an ongoing never ending business task.

Want to see the money? I am sitting in a hotel in ulan bator Mongolia broken and tired after 51 days walking 1000 miles across the gobi desert. The whole expedition was put together online and all those taking part were recruited via social media by the expedition leader who has no expertise in social media. 147 people wanted to pay $ 6500 each to take part, everyone applied via social media channels at zero marketing cost apart from time.

My own businesses have expanded rapidly from Scotland to morocco and Spain social media is putting real £ into those businesses as we speak. There are clowns in every business sector and some sectors attract more than most but do not let clowns put you off learning something that is already fundamental to your business and will only become more so in the future.
 
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