My sister-in-law contacted me the other day to ask me about an individual, marketing themselves as a social media guru that promised her for $247 she could increase her Instagram following. She asked me if it was worth it.
I saw red, and not because of my sister-in-law, because there are idiots out there that fool people into thinking they actually know what they are talking about. This so-called-expert says she can “help you be the best version of yourself” – really? Besides the fact that is completely cliche, it is also insulting.
Growing your audience, engagement and success on social media is not a magic formula. It takes consistency, hard work and time. Anyone that tells you to pay them a lump sum of money to make you the “better version of yourself”, is more than likely buying followers – which is probably why they have 90k on Instagram in the first place. This individual also said that Facebook is ineffective due to all of its changes and Instagram is the only network that matters. Translation: This person, who is a fashion blogger, is confused by Facebook and can’t figure out how to use it effectively.
I polled some other social media managers/coordinators or strategists (who don’t declare themselves experts) to see what they think of these self-professed “gurus”.
- Jordan, recent grad working at a marketing agency: There is a stark difference between someone who will go out and “get you followers” and someone who is honestly interested in helping you earn them in the right places for the right reasons. Relationships are not something that are “got” in my opinion. They are earned, built and fostered in-person and/or in the digital space. Someone who is looking to give you the quick fix of getting followers for the sake of getting followers already has something wrong with their process and overall strategy. If they are making these rookie mistakes, then we already have an issue with the title they are giving themselves and we haven’t even started digging.
- Rebecca, 20+ years experience in digital: A notable “title” or reputation for something like that is earned, as is a solid following and strong connections. It’s like that old quote – if you have to say you’re a lady, you probably are not.
- Lindsay, social media manager for communication agency, managing 10+ accounts: You earn that title, you don’t give yourself that title. And that is how I feel about THAT.
- Lauren, strategist and project manager: I think of anyone who markets themselves as a guru is most definitely not. They should refer to themselves as enthusiasts
There is no replacement for working hard and taking the right steps to be successful. Read up below:
Have you run into one of these “experts” – share your experience with us below.