The “snake oil salesman” argument is not a new idea in the social media service industry or any industry, for that matter. And you don’t look any more intelligent for saying others fall into the category. It’s the status quo, though, and everybody knows it (but I think the situation is improving); even those who are responsible.

(As a note, this post has been sitting as a draft since mid-May.)

Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) recently added fuel to the fire when he said in a TechCrunch interview that “99.5 Percent Of Social Media Experts Are Clowns.”

Let me also say that the state of “professional services” in the social media service industry makes me cringe. But it’s getting better. On that same note, I find it difficult to point any fingers when only seeing the tactical execution of an activity.

The troublesome part of the ?clown? comment issue is that, from the outside, when we look at a brand?s social media tactics (their YouTube channel, Facebook page, messages on Twitter, whatever…), all we see are tactics. We have no idea what brand strategy that activity plays to. We have no idea how they want to leverage that activity to move to their next step in their strategy. We just don?t know. From an outside perspective, it?s easy to criticize.

Based on this, when you call others out based only on what they see them do, you look weak; you have no idea why those activities are taking place. Maybe your statements only refer to those strategies of which they are familiar. In that case, so be it.

?All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.? ? Sun Tzu in The Art of War.

There is no standard, turn-key solution for achieving success and meeting business objectives. Each business is different; even those in the same industry. People are different; even those in the same family.

Be valuable. Share what you know (strategically and tactically) when you have the chance so that others are able to understand, analyze, and learn. Everyone needs to think strategically about their own situations. Those who don’t will continue to be weeded out. Pay it forward.

Article image by Jayel Aheram.

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