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.
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!
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.