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.