3 Reasons Too-Good-to-be-True Social Media Promises are Just That

May 27, 2013

by Jeanine Vecchiarelli                      return to JayVee Media Link LLC

Social media profiles set up, optimized and branded; 100 press release submissions; reputation management; daily content creation; ongoing SEO; forum participation; client relationship management; link building; article submissions; video creation… The list went on for two full pages:
email excerpt showing unrealistic social media promises
All for the low price of…and the named price was enough to hook the most gullible of business owners trying to launch social media as part of their marketing efforts.  Then, for the clincher, there was the GUARANTEE:  a top 10 Google ranking.  Such was the content of an unsolicited email recently received by a client of mine.  He forwarded it to me with the comment, “This sure looks like a lot for the price they are asking.”  I responded by thanking him for the opportunity to see what the charlatans in my field are doing.  My client then said, “You can do all that!  Why don’t YOU advertise like that?”  And so the lesson began once again.

fingers crossed behind backReason #1: There is no such thing as a guarantee of top ranking on Google or any other major search engine.  Be wary of ANY company who makes such promises, ESPECIALLY for bargain basement prices.  Top rankings are achieved through intensive, strategic work and constant monitoring of and adaptation to changing algorithms.  While all this is possible, it cannot be done cheaply.  Nor can it be achieved by one person singlehandedly.  Furthermore, even if this goal is attained, it takes just as much time and monetary investment to remain at the top of the rankings.

fingers crossed behind back croppedReason #2: There aren’t enough hours in a day for one or two or even three people to execute every one of the activities promised in this glorious sounding message.  The broad scope of what this company is offering must be undertaken by a closely integrated group of people, each specializing in one or two aspects, and each investing a considerable amount of time.  Again, this does not come cheaply.

fingers crossed behind back close upReason #3: The company’s promised time frame cannot be guaranteed because the process cannot be rushed. The outreach, engagement and trust building that comprise successful social media marketing take time; for the company to represent its “strategy” as a quick road to success is disingenuous and misleading.

As an interesting aside, I also noticed this company’s promise to build large numbers of fans/followers for the social media profiles it would set up for its clients.  Intrigued, I visited its Facebook business page.  The site boasted several thousand fans.  Wow!  Yet the vast majority of page posts bore a smattering of likes or comments by the same few people.  Employees, perhaps?  Made me wonder…

The only possible conclusion to draw from this experience is that messages we receive which promise the world for the price of a cup of coffee are not to be taken seriously.  Those who send such paraphernalia devalue the social media marketing industry and make the credible businesses in the field look bad.  And anyone on the receiving end of such nonsense who takes the bait will undoubtedly wind up paying much more than promised and receiving much less than guaranteed.  It is best to remember the old adage “If it looks too good to be true, it IS.”

How do you handle messages like the one discussed here?  What do you tell your clients if they approach you after having received one?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Broken Promises pic for blog post mildly touched up with watermark  5 27 2013


4 thoughts on “3 Reasons Too-Good-to-be-True Social Media Promises are Just That

  1. Oh, myyyyyy……

    First, this ad is definitely written by someone not fluent in English. Second, some of those items are quite vague.

    Past the grammar, there is something wrong with almost every item on that list. Either it is not defined, it would bring no value, or the method in which it would be delivered is questionable.

    It’s just like the ads I see on Facebook: “We’ll write and manage your blog for $29.95 per month.” Remember, the saying…? Ya get what ya pay for.

    This devalues the social media industry!

    Thank you for writing this post, my friend!


    • I only wish I could have included the ENTIRE enormous list of suspicious promises! My head almost spun off while reading them! 😉

      Thank you so much for validating my little “diatribe,” Keri! Activity like this absolutely gives our field a bad name! It preys upon business owners who are mystified over what role social media needs to play in their marketing efforts, and are trying to understand all that it encompasses. False promises such as those contained in the email my client received compel the unsuspecting to either demand the same of their hired authorities, or to cut loose those real workers and go with the false promise peddlers. Neither route will lead to the satisfaction the misled business owners seek. Worse, either route will unquestionably result in a very expensive lesson in disappointment AND distrust for the ethical, genuine authorities in the field.

  2. Wow……it’s truly sad when “fly by night” social media strategists try to pull off schemes like this.

    One of the biggest aspects of this article is the fact that a properly planned social media strategy TAKES TIME. I hate when people advertise services in a way that depicts social media success as something that can occur quickly.

    Great article!

    • Thank you so much for validating the premise of my post, Alan! It is sad when charlatans such as this one prey upon business owners who may have limited knowledge of the social media field, yet understand how important a component it is to their marketing strategies. Misleading pitches such as this one lead to unrealistic expectations and ultimately distrust for everyone and everything associated with the social media field. That’s why they need to be called out when we see them!

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