Social Media: Walk the Talk

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If I’ve learned anything in social media, it is this: You have got to walk the talk. You cannot claim to be a social media expert or even an enthusiast if you do not use social media. How am I supposed to believe you when you talk about the power of social media if you do not use it in your own business? I can’t. You lose all credibility. Even if you have a good product or service, I will never see its value because I will assume you are not believable because you do not walk the talk. Let me give you an example:

Our wireless bill arrived yesterday. Its usually pretty scary, but this month it was downright frightening. It was my fault, I went over on my minutes. $300 over. I don’t know exactly how many minutes that equals, but it was not a massive number. The bill prompted a conversation (rant) whereby I told my husband our monthly internet/TV/phones bill is as much as many people pay for their house payment. I went on to say that something needs to be done about the wireless companies. Imagine my surprise when I opened my inbox this morning to find an invite to a new wireless service, Solavei. Social commerce as applied to cell phone service.

At first I was really excited. An answer to a prayer (rant). Solavei makes some pretty big claims. I don’t know about you, but when I hear big claims, I want big proof. For starters, Solavei is crediting itself with the birth of social commerce.

That alone made me say “hmmmm”. I’m pretty sure that social commerce has been around for quite a while. However, this is a direct (MLM) marketing company, so some grandiose verbiage is not unexpected. However, what did pique my concern was when I watched the intro video by the founder, Ryan Weurch. He highlights 4 trends: the economy, social media, mobile and direct sales. Though I don’t see the economy as a “trend”, I do agree that social media and mobile are where its at. Keep in mind, if you are going to preach at me about mobile and social, I expect you to have a bang-up mobile site and a jaw-dropping social media presence…and therein lies the problem. They don’t. On either count.

The build-up

Normally when I get these MLM invite emails, I just delete them. This one was from someone I knew, a client of a client. I have spoken with the person in the past, so I didn’t expect it to be an outright mass-mailed, MLM form letter. My first clue should have been when it opened with “You are one of the first 20 people” and goes on to say “If this is not for you, please forward this to a friend in need of saving and making $$$ and I will pay you $25 for each person that you refer that joins my team in the next 10 days”. Silly me, I kept reading. In my defense, it was really early, I hadn’t had my coffee and I was stuck waiting in a long line to drop my kids off at school. So, I clicked on the video link. I watched for a minute and thought, “This guy is GOOD!”. Likable, humble, sincere. Then, he started talking about social media and mobile. Music to my ears. I was so excited that I immediately wanted to cut to the chase and go directly to his website. Mobile and social! How could I resist?

An undelivered promise

Then it happened. Mr. Mobile and Social sent me to a non-mobile optimized website. I couldn’t fit the whole page on my screen. It wasn’t responsive, it didn’t resize. I had to SCROLL…sideways. My excitement changed to disbelief, then to annoyance as I started to feel like I had been conned. With a hopeful but doubting heart, I made my way over to their Twitter account. Of course, there was not a link to the Twitter account, but I was momentarily buoyed by the fact that Mr. Mobile and Social had a Facebook “like” box on his not quite mobile site, even if he did not have actual social buttons.

A little investigating

Being the social media investigator that I am, I took a chance that they could be found at Twitter.com/Solavei. Lucky guess. Mr. Mobile and Social has apparently been very busy, but not with social media. They had not tweeted in six days, and before that, in two weeks. A total of 98 tweets, ever, to 3,471 followers. They follow back only thirty people (less than 1%) in their community. Way to be social. Looks like Mr. Mobile and Social is having a few problems with mobile and social…but his real problem is this: He is not walking the talk!

Take-away

So here is the bottom line: Solavei might be the next best thing to sliced, whole-grain, organically grown gluten-free bread. I WILL NEVER KNOW. Mr. Weurch built his foundation on touting the benefits of mobile and social, specifically the fool-proof combination of social commerce via direct sales in a bad economy using social media and mobile. His site is not mobile-enabled and his social media is all wrong. That leaves him with direct sales in a bad economy.

My advice to Mr. Weurch and Solavei: Walk the Talk. Mobile enable your website. Add social buttons and create a social media campaign that engages your audience and builds your direct sales community. Do not rely on a couple semi-celebrities to generate enough buzz to “change the face of the mobile industry forever” as you claim.

 

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Kimberly Reynolds
Kimberly Reynolds is a social media and mobile marketing consultant that transforms ordinary websites into powerful marketing machines.  A serial entrepreneur since she was 12, selling books door-to-door, she now trains small business owners on how to leverage social media and the mobile web to attain financial freedom.  If you are interested in how to use social media to outshine your competition, visit her website for a free social media analysis and social media training. Also, visit her on Google.
Kimberly Reynolds
Kimberly Reynolds
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Comments

  1. Bravo! I'm not just patting you on the back, though it's well deserved. Calling out this kind of behavior is crucial, but you also walk the walk that you talk, Kim! Sure, some of us put our mobile site on the back burner – and shame on us for doing so. But a company touting their mobile prowess while failing to capitalize on a mobile site for potential client viewing? Dare I say ridiculous?

    • Kim @ QwikR.me says:

      Thank you so much Mallie. I do try to walk the talk, primarily because I am true believer in the power of social media. I was Solavei is that they took the most popular buzz words, threw them against a wall and crafted a business plan from what stuck.

  2. If you take the steps to sign up for a social media account as a business you better be ready to use it correctly. I hate it when brands use the likes of Twitter to just shout out their message to me and never engage. Nice job Kim. :)

  3. Kittie Walker says:

    Great article! How many times have we started to review a promotion and then it unravels before your eyes as you dig a little deeper. Luckily we do see through the talk and can work out that they are not walking the talk. I just feel so bad for the people that get hoodwinked… nice job pointing this one out :)

    • Kim @ QwikR.me says:

      You know Kittie, some might say, what is the harm? These people aren't investing their money. But aren't they? Isn't their time worth something? Mine is. Time is a valuable resource as are friends/social relationships. All have the potential to be misused, thus wasting scarce resources.

  4. Walk the walk – more people should. Not just participating in social media – but doing so productively and providing VALUE to your audience.

  5. There are no social police except for the guiding light of social norms. This is a classic exampel of a company who didn't understand the boundary. Thanks Kim!

    • Kim @ QwikR.me says:

      Wow, great insight Doug. Social justice is a concept you don't hear much about any more…not in the positive sense anyway. There is too much content online to even attempt to police all of it, but we can use our collective voice to sound the alarm.

  6. Great article. There are so many companies out there that are making false claims. We always need to dig deeper to make sure what's going on. I think we need to "walk the talk" is a great mission statement for anything in life. We always need to practice what we preach, people will believe us a lot more by our actions than words.

    • Kim @ QwikR.me says:

      So true Shari. Even if these people are not putting up any money, they are investing their time. You make a good point when you said: "people will believe us a lot more by our actions than words". I truly believe that truisms such as "By his deeds, he will be known" are every bit as relevant in business as they are in our personal lives. It is especially true in social media which has managed to eradicate the line separating business and personal.

  7. Kim @ QwikR.me says:

    I agree. I just find it incredibly ironic that a business based on the power of social media is failing to harness said power to develop their own business. I think I'd feel the same way if I found out all the people in the "Got Milk" ads were lactose intolerant. ;)

  8. Great article!!! You need to talk to your client's client again. They obviously need help from someone who walks the walk!

  9. Bravo, well done! One of many cases of not walking the walk. I love those those give a bad name to the social media industry, makes it hard on those that do it right.

  10. reason2believehim says:

    Well said! So much is said about social media, while so little is DONE!

  11. This is a great example, Kim. Everybody and their great aunt Martha are claiming to be Social Media Experts but very few can back it up with activity supporting that claim. If you claim you can help me promote my business on FB then I expect to find direct evidence of that on your FB page. (recent example from my own experience)

    • "Everybody and their great aunt Martha are claiming to be Social Media Experts …" Exactly! Great point Jeff.

    • Kim @ QwikR.me says:

      Absolutely. I get that sometimes an agency (or person) can get so busy doing client work that they neglect their own accounts, but that is usually a temporary situation. Anyone in social media knows (or should know) the value of social, so they would not dare neglect their accounts for too long.

  12. Thanks for sharing this info, its so important we need to know the difference between an expert or not

  13. Great example Kim. I wish company understood the concept of transparency. You cannot run or hide anymore.

  14. Awesome article Kim!

    Nothing bugs me more than people saying "We get social media!" but then not responding or conversing with anyone. I cringe every time now I hear someone say "I'm a social media guru". Because one has to call themselves a GURU and I've not heard of them means… They aren't a guru.

    I see that companies are starting to get the general jist of SM but SLOWLY :( If they were only so fortunate to have you in their corner to help out… well… that would be a different story :)

    • Kim @ QwikR.me says:

      Awww, thanks Justin. I try to keep in mind that social media is in its infancy. Its hard to believe anyone can be called an expert when the industry is growing and morphing so rapidly. Sure, they could be an expert, but of what? Yesterday's tech and practices. Social is fluid.

  15. Harold Gardner says:

    There is also the matter of the SEC investigation from his previous employment that seems unresolved.

    • Kim @ QwikR.me says:

      Yes, I didn't want to get into that because I don't have the facts, but it does seem that he was fired when the stock price went into a free fall.

  16. davidleoforbes says:

    Kim, you make excellent points. With such a knack for it, you should market evaluations of business profiles. Cheers!

    • Kim @ QwikR.me says:

      Thanks, David. :) I end up doing a lot of social media evaluations when developing client strategies. The pity with this company is that they seem to have the offline component handled.

  17. Bravo. Very nicely put.

  18. So happy I saw this and read it, thanks for sharing a very needed article about social media experts

  19. strategyplanone says:

    Great article. With any and everything, leading by example will gain absolute buy-in, convert leads to sales, you name it.

    I think too many corps and businesses jumped on "social media" as the flavor of the day without the background. But I don't want to be too critical as social media today will be ___ tomorrow and the same cycle will occur and all of us are adjusting. Until then it is in all of our best interests to weed out the faulty and go with the knowledgeable, experienced solutions.

    Again … Great thoughts … cheers!!

    • Kim @ QwikR.me says:

      Thanks so much. You know, the odd thing is that they have the offline component handled. The online fail wouldn't be so noteworthy if they didn't preach mobile and social.

  20. hmm … surprised you would read the whole spam mail, more so that you went to his non-mobile site … but with $300 in overages, someone really needs to find a different phone plan.

  21. Kim @ QwikR.me says:

    I'm surprised also Mr. Bill. However, I made a faulty assumption…that he would exercise discernment when sending out a mass mailing. On the flip side, good came out of it…this fine piece of blogmanship! ;)

  22. I love that you called someone out on their cynical approach to marketing. You take something that is confusing to some people, like social media, and call yourself an expert just to make a quick buck. It's an unsustainable business model except for the fact that there's a sucker born every minute. But who wants to wake up to go to work parting a fool from their money every day? Great post Kimberly. :)

    • Kim @ QwikR.me says:

      Thank you David :) That was my impression too! Lots of buzz worlds, but no real substance. Social media is tricky but it can be incredibly effective. Think what they could accomplish if they practiced what they preached.

  23. bojandjordjevic says:

    It's a surprise as usually well ran MLM companies have strong social media presence. Check out World Ventures for example.

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