The Blind Leading the Blind

Written by Caron Peirson
Friday 7th October 2016
After several years in business, we are becoming more and more aware of a phenomenon that could see your business wasting both valuable time and money.
The blind leading the blind
Many so-called experts provide social media marketing training to companies unable to ascertain the usefulness of what they are being taught.  When I take my car to the garage, I take at face value whatever they tell me.  Anything inside the bonnet of my car is arcane for me, and so is anything to do with social media marketing for many of those wanting to learn about it.
Social media marketing training and management is an unregulated trade.  There are ethical and moral guidelines, but not everyone adheres to them.
The different social media platforms have their own regulations to prevent spamming and other dodgy behaviour.  These regulations are not published, but if you don't adhere to them you could find yourself locked out of your account either temporarily or forever.
How does your business know who to trust for social media marketing training?
Many businesses depend on personal recommendations to make decisions on who to use for these services.  Is this wise?  Probably not.  Remember the old proverb "when the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into a ditch." 
Definition of "the blind leading the blind".
Source: Merrian-Webster Dictionary
Testimonials and recommendations left by clients who have very little knowledge of the platforms that they are being taught about, are probably going to be misleading.  Yes, they might have enjoyed the training but...are they able to distinguish between good and bad practices?
Do your own research!  Take a good look at the social media accounts of those who undertook the training you are considering, and indeed of the trainers' accounts.
Blue Bullet PointAre the accounts being used?
Blue Bullet PointDo they look professional?
Blue Bullet PointDo their posts get engagement without pestering* their followers?
      *We'll talk on another blog post about the practice of tagging other accounts to get retweets and shares.
Blue Bullet PointAre their followers real?  How many "eggs" Twitter Egg Avatar and "affectionate ladies" Affectionate Lady Icon are following them?
Blue Bullet PointDo they have verification ticks?
Blue Bullet PointDo they follow netiquette rules?
Blue Bullet PointDo they respond to their followers?
This gives you a good indication of how they teach social media marketing.  If the answers to the questions above are noes, it's likely that they are not getting any conversion with their social media marketing.  If the answers to the questions are yeses, you might want to give them a go.
How does your business know who to trust for social media marketing management?
This can be tricky as many companies that outsource their social media don't tend to like to divulge this information, i.e. you might not be able to see any of their clients' accounts.  However, you can see the social media marketing management company's accounts and take a good look at them as we recommended before.
We know of a few companies who have outsourced their social media and feel really embarrassed (not to Arcape, of course Smile Emoji).  They have paid good money only to have automated posts and direct messages sent from their accounts; have spelling mistakes in posts and messages; have genuine followers, clients and potential clients, unfollowed; have good posts deleted; or have their accounts run by an unpaid intern or apprentice without supervision.
In any case, even if you manage to hear good things about a social media marketing management company from one of their clients, you need to be careful with these recommendations and be aware of the do ut des factor:  You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.
We hope you found this post useful. 
Written by Caron Peirson

Caron is director at Arcape. Her expertise in social media marketing, and her excellent local business knowledge, translate into social media results for her clients. Caron is a keen photographer, and on her spare time enjoys art, travelling and the countryside.

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