Saturday, August 28, 2010

Social Media Smacktards

One of the things I've seen a lot of over the past year or so is a massive glut of people who refer to themselves as 'Social Media Experts'.

I hate to be the one to break it to these douchebags, but do you know what you need to call yourself a Social Media Expert? A Facebook and a Twitter account.

There are a ton of websites and 'Consultancy Services' set up by these assholes, claiming to be able to teach you (for a fee, of course) how to 'leverage' social media and make a ton of money. At best, heir advice is ridiculously basic (with such gems as 'create a twitter account and tweet about your service', or 'set up a facebook page for your service')…but mostly, these idiots just give ridiculous and counterproductive advice.

Here are some of my favorites:

"A twitter message is free, so send as many as possible and use lots of different hashtags. It doesn't matter if the hashtag isn't related to your product, lots of people will still see it!"

Translation: Spam the fuck out of everyone you can. I don't know about you, but the one thing that's guaranteed to make me buy things from someone or generate lots of good will is for them to clog my timeline with irrelevant bullshit. Hey, it obviously works for all those herbal Viagra emails.

"Go viral!"

That's literally all the info they provided on this one and it smacks of someone throwing out a buzzword when they have no idea what it means.

"Comment on other people's blogs and provide a link to your own site. It's easy, just comment with something like 'interesting post!" and you'll generate lots of traffic!"

This one made me want to track his guy down and stab him in the center of his forehead with a dirty fork. Yes, you'll generate traffic, from angry people telling you to fuck off. Does his twat think people will appreciate it when you comment on a post you obviously haven't read in the hope of stealing their traffic?

"Write guest posts. Find a blog in your niche and send the writer a post and ask them to put it on their site. Don't forget to include a link to your own site!"

Because there's nothing I like more that some guy I don't know sending me an unsolicited post that's a blatant ad for their own competing site. It's like going into a McDonalds and asking if you can set up your own table to sell your own burgers in the corner. 'Hey, dude, I know you've generated a large audience by creating worthwhile content, but I want to skip that step and just take your traffic to my content-free, ad-riddled excuse for a website, that's cool, right?'

"Publish a funny image. At the end of the day, people just want to have a good laugh. Publishing a funny image is a good way to help them with that, and it might increase your traffic at the same time. Want some inspiration? Check the pics section on Reddit."

Yes, steal other people's copyrighted content and publish it on your own site even if it's completely irrelevant. A stolen lolcat will really help me take your business seriously. Why not go for animated gifs and looping audio while you're at it.

"Create stickers with your website's URL and spread them around. If you really want to go guerilla, get some stickers with your website's URL and spread them around. Cars, windows, computers, you name it!"

Yes, because vandalism is awesome. I can't tell you the number of websites I started visiting because some douche stuck a sticker to my car's windshield. People love I when people start using their private property as a billboard.

Set your website as the homepage on any computer you use. If you apply this tactic consistently it might actually bring good results. For instance, you could set your website as the homepage of all computers in your school, work, libraries and so on.

(Facepalm) Are you FUCKING SERIOUS? Yeah, because changing the homepage to your shitty website in web cafes, businesses and libraries isn't going to piss off anyone at all. I know when I got to the library and have to click past some bullshit site, it really makes me want to buy things from the guy who did it.

List your website for sale. Even if you are not planning to sell it, that is. The interested buyers will visit your website to check it out, and that is how you'll increase your traffic. If you list your site on popular marketplaces you might actually get thousands of visitors.

Yes, because the important thing is seeing a spike in page views. It doesn't matter if all these page views are from people who spent five seconds on your site and left pissed off because you were just jerking them around. Traffic is traffic, right?

Fake a hacker attack. The community of bloggers and webmasters gets in turmoil every time a website or blog gets hacked. If you fake such an attack (i.e., by putting a weird message in your homepage) you'll certainly receive many backlinks and a bump in traffic.

I'm not even going to comment on this one.

Long story short, 'Social Media Experts' aren't 'experts' in anything. They're douchebags trying to cash in by selling worthless advice to the gullible. If you want lots of traffic, make a worthwhile, interesting website. Sure, you can drive a lot of people to your site with the above advice, but they're not going to stay and you're just going to piss them off.

To close with an example, with the right marketing, you can get hundreds of people into a restaurant on opening day…but if the food's shit, the service is crap and there's roaches everywhere, they're not coming back and none of their friends are going to visit either.


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