There’s an interesting article at BusinessWeek that talks about the self-proclaimed experts of Social Media. I’ve felt similar sentiments on occassion, and while I believe that social media is an important part to online branding, I’ve noticed that a lot of people have jumped on board the social media band wagon. And most of them seem to be saying the same things. There’s a lot of preaching about building a following for your community, reputation management, and online branding.
They’re often valid points and advisable for an online strategy, but like anything worthwhile it doesn’t come easy either. If you feel that social media is something you wish to do for your business, it’s not only essential to have the right person, they need to be invested in it full time.
Probably this newest label of hucksters is partly because of the endless hype and large influx of gurus. The amount of conferences on the topic, both local and beyond, has businesses drinking the kool aid. But without the right Internet marketing goals in place, many start slinging comments about snake oil salesmen.
There are numerous social media success stories, and even more failures. Probably similar to a business startup, without a good strategy I’d bet than close to 90% of the social media strategies flop. From my experiences, its like most cases involving strategy, even the best one fall short without proper implementation and follow through.
SEO has gone through the snake oil cycle, and depending who you talk to, its still stuck in that light. The main problem in either case is the business often doesn’t understand enough about how it works and what to expect, which can often lead to hiring the wrong individual and being soured on the entire experience.
In most cases, either are important to your business. Both can drive sales, and both can help with online branding. While I tend to favor SEO as I can justify why one might invest in it, there are are numerous examples of social media success as well.