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October 16, 2009
Sorting Out Social Media 'Fakers'

 In an invaluable guest post on Brian Solis' blog, Jennifer Leggio addresses the timely topic of spotting social media fakery in business settings.

There's such a swirl around social media that almost anyone who claims expertise in its techniques might get a hearing from some executive or other desperate to get into the game.

"You know the types," Leggio writes. "They call themselves innovators because they created a Twitter hashtag or have thousands of followers. They throw around buzzwords like 'authenticity' and 'transparency' and 'presence.' They think that all social behavior occurs on popular social networks. They’ve never lead a business."

What separates the good social media practitioners from the bad? A few simple things:

√ Proof of experience and demonstrated results. This comes in the form of a case study that shows how social media tied into the larger business strategy. It is not a discussion around tools. It’s not just a marketing discussion, either.

√ Business leadership, not necessarily thought leadership. The latter is wonderful but it is abstract and not always completely applicable. How does it apply to your business?


√ Self promotion. Dig deep into a consultant’s background and social media presence. Is he or she simply good at promoting himself or herself?


"It’s overwhelming, isn’t it?" Leggio asks. "You wouldn’t think it would be so hard to find a consultant with those three things, but it is. And those are the only ones to which companies should give their money."

To help in the weeding-out process, Leggio also asks good consultants to discuss in comments to her post how he or she got proven results from social media, and she includes a "Social Media Guru" You Tube video to spark the conversation.

The is frontier-clearing coverage.



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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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