Social media snake oil

Snake%20Oil%20SalesmanIt’s the latest thing. What every brand needs to be engaged in if they’re going to survive. You have to be on it.

That’s the message that a lot of people are sending to marketers out there. Unfortunately, many of them are listening and haphazzardly putting their brands and reputations at risk. Creating a Facebook group, a Twitter feed and a Ning social network is not something every brand needs or can benefit from.

Here are ten ways to know if you’re selling social media snake oil:

10. You tell your clients that EVERY brand needs a Twitter account.

9. You really think the web will eventually be more like Second Life and everyone will have an avatar.

8. You think even B2B companies should have a Facebook page.

7. You have more social media presentations than actual examples of social media work that you’ve participated in.

6. You think Ashton Kutcher really is more popular than CNN because he has more followers.

5. You’re considering opening up your own twitter agency.

4. Most of your experience with social media is due to your own self-promotion via social media tools.

3. You’re speechless when people ask you how to measure social media.

2. The NING network you set up only has five members, one of which is your mom who hasn’t been on it in months.

1. It’s the only thing you sell or do.

The bottom line here is that social media is great. It may disrupt and change everything we do in on-line marketing but it’s not likely. If you’ve been doing on-line marketing for more than five years, you’ve seen a lot of these things come. They don’t usually go but they become part of the framework. At the end of the day it’s about your competitive environment, your customer and your strategy. Work on those first and then understand which tool is the right fit.

I don’t agree with everything he says but Jaffe had a great rant on Twitter:

– Paul Herring