I’ll tread as carefully as possible here, as I’m likely to bring down the wrath of Mummy-dom on myself. However, I really have to warn you about the dangers of handing over your Facebook page to a work-from-home Mum who suddenly has started to pitch herself as a Social Media professional.
The same really could be said for a University student with a Hootsuite account, an unemployed bloke with an extensive YouTube viewing history or an at-home writer who attended an October Business Month seminar.
It seems that everyone, these days, is a Social Media, Business Growth, SEO or Web Guru (often using – and misusing – some very technical and professional terms to make themselves look more legitimate.)
You’ll see them at October Business Month waxing lyrical in small discussion groups about how they “don’t believe in the media” or “have seen amaaaaaaazing results on Facebook” or have helped “dozens of small businesses on Instagram.”
They’ll quote articles from Search Engine Land, The Social Times and the latest self-profesed marketing guru on LinkedIn. And you’ll often see them spruiking Doterra Essential Oils, ItWorks face masks, Le-Vel weight loss patches or Tupperware on the side, in their never-ending quest for “financial freedom” and the ability to spend more time with their families. And all those things are fine.
But the devil is in the details that they’re not sharing with you. What you’re not hearing are real case studies with real companies and real local businesses. You’re not being shown examples of major campaigns with measurable outcomes. You’re not seeing a resume of their previous work experience, qualifications, studies and certifications outside of “I know how to search Google for how to make a blog on WordPress.com.”
And whilst it doesn’t take a phD to make a website, book a Facebook ads campaign or post a photo on Instagram, it takes a whole lot of experience to pore through Google Analyics, Facebook Insights and your AdWords performance and make the approproate tweaks to offset competitive moves from others, market trend changes and to them use your instinct to pro-actively target a market that no one else seems to be. It takes time to research the algorithm changes on Facebook and Google, know the advertising standards in Australia for all kinds of media and then come up with a marketing campaign that doesn’t singularly focus on that person’s flavour-of-the-month social network.
But perhaps my most important warning is about the guy who rubbishes every other form of media aside from the one they specialise in. And I’d include the TV rep who rubbishes radio or the radio rep who puts-down Google. In fact, beware of any media, digital, social or other rep or media business owner who talks-down other media and platforms to promote theirs. If the medium they work with can’t stand on it’s own merits without having to tear down others, I’d be very concerned.
- It takes more than knowing how to Google to effectively manage social media accounts
- Ask for examples of how they’ve used social or other media to increase sales to real local businesses
- Ask about their pre-work-from-home career and how that gave them the experience to do what they do now
- Beware of those who have to put-down other media and platforms to make theirs look better