One of the staples of the ‘social media conversation’ is the social-media-consultant-as-snake-oil-salesman thing. (See this most recent offering from Business Week) A meme, in fact, is what I think it could be called. This often goes hand-in-hand with the whole social-media-show-us-your-metrics-or-go-away meme. The confluence of these two memes is the conclusion that unless a social media consultant can point to campaigns they have done and show you his or her metrics – they must be snake oil salesmen. And, by extension, all the social media car crashes out there (Toyota Matrix, Motrin Mums to name the two cited in the Business Week article) are therefore the fault of social media consultants.
Fair enough, there are a lot of people out there spouting nonsense at the moment, but is it really social media consultants who are to blame? Are social media consultants “leading clients astray” as the Business Week article suggests? I think not. Lets see whose fingerprints are actually all over most social media failures. Continue reading