UPDATE: After originally posting this article without the video below, I had to go back and add it in. I wish I would have seen this when I originally posted!
Everyone wants to be known as a social media expert, especially the people that have no business calling themselves that. Sifting through the pretenders to get to the real experts that genuinely understand what role social media should play in adding value to your business can be a little tricky.
Here are five phrases to look out for that you should consider as red flags if your looking to bring some social media suave to your business:
1.) “We need to build a presence on Pinterest and Google+ ASAP”
Really you can insert the name of any social network here, but the same issue applies in any instance. Just because a new social network is starting to take off doesn’t mean it’s worth the investment in time and resources to jump on board. At least not yet. Don’t let the social heads lead you away from the common sense question you probably want to ask: Is our audience there?
2.) “We need to drive more awareness for our campaign? Let’s post it on Twitter & Facebook!”
Here’s a lesson too many marketers are learning the hard way. Posting links to non-social optimized online assets doesn’t do any good. I you really want your social presence to amplify what you’re doing in other channels, you’re going to need to invest in social content (infographics, interactive assets, video, pictures, etc.). And that’s only assuming that you’ve been driving healthy conversation within your community and among influencers weeks, if not months, in advance.
3.) “We need to make it go viral.”
Don’t ever bet on making something go viral. Similarly, don’t use that as a benchmark for success. If something takes off and gets astronomical amounts of views, shares, etc. then great. But social isn’t about producing one hit wonders that rarely, if ever, connect to any real business value (I’m talking to you Old Spice campaign). You’re goal should be to grow your base, and activate your followers consistently, and over time. That’s what drives the customer lifetime value of your audience, and how you drive more positive conversations around your brand online.
4.) “We were mentioned 347 more times this week than last”
There are lots of angles I could take on this one, but I’m going to choose the big ones and commit:
- No tool will ever give us a perfect number. Ever. The internet, and social at an increasing rate, is full of bots, spam, and junk that just doesn’t matter.
- Who cares about the exact number! Being directionally accurate is key, but it takes a blend of art and science to surface the insights and value of conversations taking place around your product/brand. What’s more important to you?: 100 spam Twitter accounts that picked up a post related to you and Tweeted it 10 times each or 1 real person asking his social graph whether your product or a competitors is better?
5.) “I have Klout score of 62″
Given, it is important that the person you’re trusting with the social side of your business knows his way around the social sphere, but if they really understand how Klout or any other indicator of social media influence works, they wouldn’t tout their score. First off, anything that can be measured can be gamed. That’s why search engines algorithms brought forth black hat SEO tactics, and why Twitter bots make the listening and reporting part of my job a pain in the butt.
On a related note, although Klout probably does it better than anyone else, it still relies solely on the data offered by what’s available on the internet and what has been manually connected to formulate a score. While that might be a lot, it’s still not enough. Let’s not forget the obvious here: being effective in social media is ultimately about adding value to your business, not adding points to your Klout score.
So there you have it. Listen closely next time the person your trusting as your voice to the customer comes asking for more resources and promises fuzzy results. But then again, I guess you could just judge them by their Klout score, right?