I’ve taken my fair share of shots at the self proclaimed gurus, experts, ninjas, etc. Mainly I think that it’s silly to proclaim oneself an expert in a field with tools and practices that are less than 6 years old. Some of those self proclaimed experts may actually be very smart and may actually produce results for clients, they just chose a stupid moniker for themselves.
In my experience, the backlash against the self-proclaimers seems to outweigh the number of snake oil salesmen I’ve actually encountered. There is an abundance of “Haterz.” Apparently there are a number of Social Media Professionals drunk on “Hatorade.”
I want to talk about the detrimental effect that these “haterz” are having on the Social Media professionals as a whole. If you agree/disagree please sound off in the comments.
The Snake Oil Salesman: An Epidemic?
Don’t get me wrong, I think that there are people in this field who have no idea how to count anything other than friends and followers. They are quick to tell you how great Social Media is and how it will revolutionize business. They’ll toss around words like “Engagement” and “Conversation.” For more examples go here.
They exist…we get it. Unfortunately the number of posts I’ve read about these individuals makes it seem as though anyone that dare utter the word “engage” is a Social Media D-Bag.
Here’s the truth as I see it:
- Real Social Media professionals have the same vernacular as the snake oil salesmen. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true.
- Those at the top and those at the bottom FAIL. Best Practices are here and there but the definitive Social Media Marketing guide does not exist.
- Social Media is more than just ROI because it permeates all levels of an organization.
- Much of the advice from Social Media Professionals sounds basic, but if it is why do so many organizations have trouble with it?
- The authentic thought leaders at the top and the phonies at the bottom say that Social Media will change / is changing everything.
So what happens is that every time someone posts one of these obnoxious Social Media D-Bag posts or overuses the term Snake Oil Salesman it sets all of us back, because even though you can tell the difference, it doesn’t mean that potential clients can tell the difference.
Let it go. Why so angry? If you have nothing but time on your hands to rip on “Snake Oil Salesmen” then you are probably not bringing in the results you want in the first place. The truth is, and you know this is true, the same blogger that rips on a New Media D-bag this week, was just talking to a potential client last week about the value of engaging their customers and turning loyal fans into evangelists.
Maybe it’s too competitive out there for some, so they go campaign ad style, tear down their opponents to make them seem like the better choice. Those with no business acumen and no mind for actual results will likely be out of a job…that’s fine. What will happen is what happens in virtually any other area of the economy; survival of the fittest. Those that don’t produce business will not be in this business.
In the end I think that the posers in this field do harm to the credibility to genuine Social Media professionals. However, I think that the incessant blog posts decrying the state of the industry do just as much harm.