I could not resist commenting on Dilbert on Social Media: Vague Plans , or costly BS Plans. (Comic by Scott Adams: Dilbert)

A great illustration of the two polar reactions to social media experts.

  1. We don't know exactly what you do nor do we understand what you are talking about so, then you must be right.
  2. Social media experts are full of costly bullsh**t.

People who believe 1. will eventually be disappointed because you are not performing magic.

The people who believe 2. will never trust you.

Part of our responsibility is to educate people about online marketing and to give them value for their investment.

Just because some people believe those one of the statements does not mean that social media gurus, inbound marketers, and online experts have to be that way.

Here are a few things to practice:

  1. Be Transparent: There is no secret sauce. Anyone with a Google Search Engine and some time can learn what you know about social media. Tell people what you are doing.
  2. It's a Science: There is a science to all of this. If you don't think so spend some time on Marketingexperiments.com DanZarrell.com, and SEOMoz.org.
  3. It's an Art: This is marketing and you are asking people to do things like click something or like something. People are different and they react to different things differently. Because something worked once in one situation does not necessarily mean it will work in another situation. Be upfront about the variances but don't be vague.
  4. Don't Over Promise: Just like any business it is important for you to understand what you can deliver and what you cannot. Getting more "likes" on Facebook may not get your client more sales. Be realistic and remember: Under promise and over deliver.
  5. Return On Investment: Measure, track and quantify to demonstrate what your client is getting. Be sure everyone knows what the goal is and how you will show you have achieved it. Offer value.
  6. It's a Tool: Social media is one of the tools in your toolbox and it is not the objective.
  7. Look at the Big Picture: Aligning your skills, tools and methods to your client's goals will help both of you be successful. They say the devil is in the details, but don't drown in a sea of minutiae.

I attended a webinar this morning by Seth Godin, and someone asked him about how to convince people who don't understand social media or inbound marketing to try it.

In essence he said not to bother. The people who think it is bull will continue to think it is bull no matter what. Those who think social media is some vague type of voodoo will never have reasonable expectations. Spend time with those who see the value you can offer and will work with you to achieve their goals.

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