There are some things in life and business that don't need a long introduction or fancy brand story before cutting to the chase. This blog post is one of them.
This week I received an email from a self proclaimed "social media expert." I've been subscribed to her email list for quite some time. To be honest I am not sure why I haven't unsubscribed before now. I think it is because she always bugs me when I am at dinner and I forget about it until the next spam mail pops in my inbox.
On with the story... I opened the email and my eyeballs literally almost fell out of socket!
It was one of the worst emails I have seen from anyone in marketing, ever. No joke!
A social media smoking success gun?
This email promised a "smoking gun" to the fast track for social media success!
I couldn't help but send her a reply and call her out on her scammin,' dishonest ways. Read on to hear her response which is almost worse than the email itself.
I have copied a few screen captures below highlighting the wild social cowgirl tactics. Enjoy and be careful. There are liars out there!
It's important to note that this particular social media consultant has received local media attention in her geographical area. She positions herself as a social media expert who cares about and helps small businesses.
Worst Social Media Spam eMail this Side of Texas:
Note: I removed all content that will identify this wild social cowgirl. She can remain in hiding from all of you.
Just for fun, let's dig a bit deeper into a few of her claims.
- Twitter Followers are equivalent to a stamp of approval from any credible source? Seriously? False, sorry!
- Conversion rate will dramatically be increased by a large Twitter following? Wow, does this mean we can just simply get a ton of Twitter followers and not have to worry about content? We can put an opt-in form on our website with a big graphic broadcasting how many Twitter followers we have and people are going to convert faster than we can tweet 140 characters? False - think again.
- Give website visitors a perceived sense of trust. She states "just take a look at how use on our site." Hmmm... as if the use of the word "perceived" isn't bad enough she didn't include a link to her site? False.
- You will start ranking on the hundreds of Twitter related websites? What websites? What are these going to do for me and my business?
- Increased traffic to your blog in the tens of thousands of visitors? Hmmm... well I have 72k+ Twitter followers and can tell you it has taken a lot more than a good tweet schedule to get my website traffic in the tens of thousands. False.
- She promotes ability to direct mail followers to promote your business. This is the only truthful statement made in the entire email. However, even though you can SPAM all of your Twitter followers with direct messages, I highly encourage you not to. Many people will automatically unfollow you if you do. I for one do not read spam DMs and would NEVER click on a link in such message.
- Wow, what a deal! Purchase 5,000 Twitter followers for only $149.
- You can also get 50% off of social media coaching and training until Friday. Purchase and listen to such advice at your own risk! Don't say I didn't warn ya'!
Pam Contacts the Wild Social Media Consultant
I am not one to reply to bad, scammy, lying and annoying emails. I usually just delete & unsubscribe. However, I couldn't hold my fast typing iPhone fingers back.
I sent her a message blatantly calling her out for her scammy ways.
Her response? "I did it for one of my clients."
Lessons for the Wise Social Cowboys & Cowgirls:
- There is no magic pill, magic ticket or free ride to success in social media and business.
- You will not pass go, collect $200 or see the positive side of the ROI equation for any business metric based on tactics such as these.
- Focus on building long term relationships. What happens to the business leaders who fall for her tactics one time? Do you think they'll be back for a second time? Think they'll tell their friends about her great services? My guess is NO.
- Do you research. Trust your gut. If it seems to good to be true, chances are it is!
- Don't waste time looking for or learning tips and tricks sold as a smoking gun. Take the same time to build and execute a plan that will inspire and connect you with your audiences and help them meet their objectives. If you focus on the objectives of your audience and community, your objectives will be met by default.
- Social media consultants, do not sell your social business soul to any partner, client or colleague for a few bucks. Your reputation, credibility and trust factor is everything. Without it you have, well, nothing!
What You Say?
Have you ever ran into or been taken advantage by wild folks like this? What did you do when you found out? What would you do if a client asked you to promote a product for them that was unethical or took advantage of unknowing business owners and leaders?