Press "Enter" to skip to content

Beware of the Man Who Has Read One Book.

Lost We see it often. The carpetbaggers who use real client dollars to gain their education. You can almost live with the ones who at least know that they don’t know. It’s the arrogant ones that baffle me. As long as they know just a little more than their client they can make a living. I just lived through a real life example.

On a recent political campaign I was saddled with a social media “guru” (in his own mind at least) and sat by while he completely baffled his campaign team and the candidate with “social-media speak” – otherwise known as good old BS, managing a website that genrated no traffic, was extreemly difficult to navigate and it seemed nothing was where you would look for it.

News items were posted on Facebook or the Blog – and there was a News module that connected to the front page with the top 3 news items. Those 3 news items never changed over the 6 week campaign as news was being posted on Facebook and occassionally on the Blog. As a consumer looking for info, I had work to do once I landed on the site – if I ever did.

Social media can be effective, but it must be used well. There must be a sound strategy with clear business objectives. Social media is like deploying millions of small spider-bots – but they need a home base to return to with their “prey”.

In this case, it was dead simple. First you build a website that is complete. It should have simple navigation with information placed under the right tabs and sub tabs. because this was a political campaign the front page should be Campaign Central with links to more information inside the site. The site should have an active, categorized  Blog and the most recent blog entries should be featured on the front page – perhaps even in the main banner on the front page.

You can then bring in Facebook and Twitter feeds to key pages. But make no mistake, the social media’s function is to bring traffic back to the website. Not vice versa as our self appointed Guru had done. He was blogging on Facebook and Tweeting about it, linking to Facebook. This “strategy” actually by-passed the website! But because the feed was placed on the site everyone involved in the campiagn thought he was doing a great job.

Site traffic never happened.

I tried several times to politely suggest that we had it bas-ackwards but his arrogance and pride would not hear of it. He would not collaborate and figure out the best way to do it, which is how I have learned emarketing over the past 5 years. I bring 20 years of traditional ad strategy with a thirst to learn this new way of marketing, to every single project. And while I create great business value for our clients, I also learn more every time out.

Don’t be that guy who has read one book. It really sucks to work with you. The objective was to get the candidate elected, not for you to show off your newly learned emarketing “skills”. You and others like you are the “snake oil salesmen” who will give emarketing a bad reputation, when it has tremendous power to generate business.


  1. Stu
    Stu October 14, 2010

    Ignoring the fact that this tool had no idea what the term “user experience” means, what’s wrong with focusing on the social side?
    I have never worked on a political campaign, but I do know that of all the clients I’ve ever had most of them had average site visits of just under 1.1 / month. Facebook has average visits of about 40 / month.
    Given that candidates seem to want to hammer home their point, isn’t it easier to get to consumers as directly (and cheaply) as possible (where they’re already playing) rather than dragging voters to their website? I would think for their needs, it’s better to try and push the friending or following.
    That being said, the website sounds like a colossal waste of funds.
    Would love your thoughts on why NOT focus on social vs site traffic.

  2. mose
    mose October 14, 2010

    Personally I believe UE is after the fact and a result and product (call it a tactic) after a great strategy rather than a strategy in and unto itself. It is to me a way of thinking.
    Online is a small subset of the communications effort. Any company, service, association or in this case politician needs a sound communications strategy to reach people. Sure folks are online but are they REALLY online? Like all the time? No.
    I see recently Rocco Rossi who used the Net and SM extremely well – he is after all a seasoned digital marketer (I know that for a fact having worked with him) but all the hoopla and web savvy got him approx 4% support. The real world is STILL out there and that is where strategic decisions are important to effective communications planning.
    Net/net you have to have ALL (or as many as you can afford*) the options for people to reach you – dozens and dozens of touch points. A site and Twitter and FB and LinkedIn etc etc are all apropos.
    Now that being said, FB to me is a tough place to capture the emotion of the customer in the proper environment. If you think there is danger of someone clicking away from your site if you are not engaging them, FB to me has that threat X 1000
    Games, chat, notices, events … it is ridiculous to expect anyone to engage in a meaningful way.
    I like FB to AOL of the 90s – Hey I am on the INTERNET!!!
    Sorry Bubba you are not.
    Also with all the hubub about privacy on FB folks are associating anything you try and do there with that issue ie getting info = prying into their lives.
    Sites are important. SM is important. Advertising is important. Direct marketing is important and so on and so forth.
    * and if you cannot afford to do something correctly, why are you doing it?

  3. just here
    just here December 25, 2013

    Depending on the goal that you or me have set, anyone among the students like us is looking for a professional who will agree to write a short piece of information in short time. Generally it means that we all are concerned about our mental health and studies at high school we study in. I need someone who can do my term paper the meaning of details in educational process is well praised and fortunes success to its authors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *