Social media marketing and how to spot a faker

Social media marketing outsourcing

Social media marketing and how to spot a fakerFollowing on from my last post on how to establish your authority by using social media marketing, I wanted to concentrate on what to look out for when you’re outsourcing your social media marketing, or employing someone to do this as part of your team.

Today, more and more businesses are looking to social media as a way to grow their business, promote their brand and engage with their clients.

However, businesses often have little experience with this new technology and consequently don’t really know how to tell if they’re engaging with the real deal or a fake social media expert.

With the growing demand for expertise in this field, unfortunately there’s not enough supply of real talent. Gary Vaynerchu recently commented that 99.5% of social media marketing experts are clowns and sadly from what I’ve seen I’d have to agree. Not everyone who claims to be a social media expert is one. So, it’s important to be able to identify who’s a fake and who’s competant.  So, here are some key indicators to help you.

Social media marketing experts are…

Social media experts are experienced and active users of social media. In my opinion it doesn’t matter whether they’ve been consulting, training or managing social media for years. Let’s face it, it’s a new technology and not even a decade old. However, what does matter is that they’re active users, engaging with their networks, and getting results.

You’ll want to see if:

  • They’ve updated their profiles
  • They’ve completed their About page and it has hyperlinks
  • They’re adding fresh, unique content daily i.e. posts, Tweets, pins and blogs
  • Their branding looks professional and isn’t breaking any of the social media platform rules
  • They’re up-to-date with the latest social media trends
  • They’re using the latest and most appropriate tools
  • They’re engaging with their network promptly.

How to check engagement…

On this point there are a few ways to check. For example on:

  • Facebook, see how many fans are talking about their page. It will say this next to their profile picture.
  • Do they have apps installed?
  • Are they branded professionally?

On Twitter, you can see from their Tweets.

  • How often are they Tweeting other people’s content?
  • How often are they Tweeting unique content?
  • How often are they replying?  (Look for the @ sign)

On YouTube, check to see:

  • How many views they have
  • What’s going on with their comments

On LinkedIn:

  • How many people are they connected to?
  • Have they set up user groups?
  • Are they a publisher that’s publishing good quality content?

Social media marketing fakers are…

Social media fakers are well connected but lack quality connections. Whilst they may have lots of Facebook Likes or Twitter followers, they lack relevant followers and actual clients. They chose volume over quality every time.

On this note, it’s worth knowing that you can buy hundreds and thousands of connections for as little as $5. You can also buy services to follow or add fans that are automated.

Social media fakers are poor at engagement. They don’t connect or get back to their fans. They’re still operating push marketing strategies. They’re inexperienced at converting prospects into ‘fans’ and clients. And, they often lack a niche and insight into their clients. As a result they don’t have the knowledge to meet their clients needs.

To wrap this up…

Social media is a powerful tool for business development. However, it’s not the only strategy that should be used for business development. Social media marketing should always be complemented by other elements of marketing. It doesn’t replace traditional marketing methods. Instead, it’s used to enhance them.

Always be wary of those claiming it’s the right strategy for every business. Whist there are many merits for employing social media as a tool to develop the business, especially for exposure, influence and ranking, determining whether it’s the right strategy requires careful analysis of the business and the context in which it operates.

Unfortunately it’s so easy for people to jump on the social media marketing bandwagon and say they’re experts when they’re not. Fakers give social media marketing a bad name and as a result many in business simply render the use of social media ineffective. However, when social media marketing is used strategically it’s an incredibly powerful tool to support the business’ commercial efforts.

Now I want to hear from you…

What are your thoughts? Are you a believer in social media as a technology to drive your business development forward? Have you fallen victim to a faker or been lucky to engage with an expert who knows their trade? What makes someone a social media marketing expert in your eyes?

Please share your stories and experience here, and if you’ve got a question, just pop it down here. If you want to contact me for a strategy call click here.

Thanks for being a sport and participating!


Finally, if you know someone who’d LOVE the insight from this social media for business post, please send them a link. You’ll find business owners, consultants and yes, even sales and marketing managers who manage people who’ll be interested to hear about this.

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Jane Frankland is a successful cyber security entrepreneur, consultant and speaker who has had a diverse career encompassing art and design; business development; and operations. Having held directorships and senior executive positions within her own companies and at several large PLCs, she now provides agile, forward thinking organisations with strategic business development solutions. Right now she is writing a book on gender diversity in cyber security and is focused on increasing the numbers of women in the profession.

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