social media guru

Social Media for Kids

I am a member of a LinkedIn group – Steve Clarke’s Eureka Sales Solutions Group – and a very good one it is! One of my favourites because it’s pretty lively, plenty of contributors – and actually useful!
Now, Steve is a great person to get a discussion going – he’d be good at your next dinner party in fact! Likes a bit of controversy, or maybe just likes using it to fire off a juicy discussion that is going to get people’s attention ;-). Either way it works in terms of engaging the people around – and engaging people is what we are all about at Saucy Horse.
He certainly engaged me this morning.
I have been thinking about a pretty rubbish presentation on how Twitter can help businesses with their marketing effort that I sat through a week or so ago, at a local networking event. The networking event itself was actually brilliant. Full of really interesting local business people from a really diverse cross-section of companies, well organised – and I met some excellent contacts.
However, what made my blood boil was that the person doing the presentation managed to turn an opportunity to promote a superb and effective marketing tool to these good people – all keen to grow and improve their businesses – into a bit of a joke. The presentation was basic, simplistic in fact, wrong in parts and, for me, the worst of it was when a case study was used. A case study of how a mobile cup cake van revolutionised it’s business… in the USA! I am based in Buckinghamshire – this didn’t translate! In fact, many of the audience were laughing and I felt sure, left the meeting believing their misconception that Social Media was for kids, was probably correct – what a waste of an opportunity!
It didn’t seem to engage the group in terms of how this could translate to their own businesses – which included the banking, health & leisure, PR, local government, B2B marketing consultants, graphic designers, print, local trades etc. And why would it?? Alarm bells ring for me immediately when someone from the Home Counties wants to give examples of how Social Media works – and then relates a totally irrelevant story from our friends across the water!
That’s not to say it’s not a great example of what social media can do for that sort of business, because it actually is – read about it here – but if you don’t have any relevant examples from your own experience, and if you don’t want to spend too much time researching what’s going on in your own markets, then a case study found on Google, from the States about mobile vans giving out their locations on Twitter to sell cakes is probably the easiest thing to drop in to your slide presentation. (Slides!! Not even a video… and there are plenty of those in the social media space which would wow the socks off most business people). Easiest, but not the most effective.

Social media guru or expert?

Okay – let’s move on. Social Media is a tool and there is no doubt it is a brilliant one in the hands of an experienced Marketer – BUT only one who has spent some time learning about, understanding & implementing a Social Media approach that they are able to imbue with passion, positivity and relevance to the business that they are working with.
For those that are interested here’s my comment –
Social media is a tool as Steve says – tools in the hands of the uninitiated or those with only the most basic understanding of what they can do are pretty useless – hit and miss I’d say. No “Social Media Expert” can advise on how best to utilise the tools – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, FourSquare, Quora et al – UNLESS they understand & have experience in how to market. I sat through an absolutely catastrophic presentation on Twitter recently, having to bite my lip until I could add something to the questions from the floor. The so-called expert (who runs a marketing consultancy but doesn’t even Tweet properly, let alone really know what YouTube could do for a business) then sold seats on a training day for £100 a head. So my advice to anyone accosted by either an ‘Expert’ or ‘Guru’ (what a dreadful term in this context) is to do exactly what Tessa did – ask for a strategy- and this will include how to deliver your message, to which audience and how to locate that audience, as well as specific content strategy & how it will link across all the platforms. Please bear in mind – when discussing this area of your marketing, you will need to ensure coordination with existing marketing efforts – but make no mistake, you will need to capitalise on the potential of these explosive platforms before your competitors do. Your customers are on them in their millions. Lots on this on our website at Saucy Horse – and you will not see one mention of either Expert or Guru, but what you will see is that we are experienced marketers – BUT not just marketers. We have invested time & effort in learning how to use SM and we understand the power of social media SEO & video content SEO. As Steve says, the less confident tecchies don’t like how the search engines are  now ranking SM so high in rankings –  we do! However, don’t just sign up with an established marketing team for your Social Media help – you need to identify a team who have a total passion for the sheer power of Social Media so that they can engage in the right SOCIAL context on the platforms. No good being simply a broadcaster or a salesperson. I could go on – just be wise in your choice of who you ask to work with you – meet, chat, ensure they want to know about your business before they even start telling you what they can do – and don’t let the wagon jumpers put you off. Make no mistake – Social media is absolute marketing brilliance for business owners in the hands of a professional who you believe can encapsulate your values, your culture in the social media profile they help establish for you. Bit of a rant but I get frustrated when I see idiots & chancers putting businesses off what is a truly remarkable opportunity :-)”
Please leave me a comment – tell me what you’re experiences are of Social Media Gurus & Experts…
And if you fancy joining the group & following the discussion, I’m sure Steve will be pleased to have you…