Earned media hype. Or are you being sold a bill of goods?

Do you want a substantial social media audience? One that can move the needle and advocate for your brand? Then you’re going to have to pay for it.

The recent craze for earned media I believe is misleading. Sure, a great deal of work can yield some decent results. But more likely than not, part of the mix will require paying for media to drive traffic and or PR representation to see significant results that will affect your bottom line. Unfortunately, many folks out there aren’t pitching it this way.

Kony 2012 received 120 million views on the substance of it’s content, right? Not only is this the exception that proves the rule, its success required influential celebrities to drive the initial hype.

Unfortunately, many Social Media gurus will fail mention converting fans, followers, viewers, and comments into buyers isn’t accomplished by some bit of Karma related to your hard work posting Facebook updates.

The real reason Apple and Nike have millions of followers and likes is largely because of great products and that they have been advertising like crazy for decades. They also both have experienced professionals managing and integrating their social and advertising presences.

Here are the top 10 clues your earned media guru is selling Kool Aid.

1) He repeatedly uses phrase “eco-system” to describe the capitalistic Websites owned by billionaires with yachts while he’s charging you $500 an hour.

2) Thinks that whipping out an iPad, while using a laptop and “checking in” on his iPhone all at the same time puts him in an elite group of super consultants.

3) Uses cryptic PowerPoint slides and sticks to talking points when presenting, even to a small groups.

4) Turns nouns into verbs and constantly uses silly buzzwords. Like “ideating” and “mocial.”

5) Thinks the average blogger’s opinion is more worthy than a CEOs.

6) Has a YouTube channel for rambling to his now dated Flip camera.

7) Finds overly deep meaning in random Google Analytics data points.

8) Understands “online transparency” but not click streams and that, for the time being, TV is still king.

9) Thinks user experience is 2 years of playing Farmville on Facebook.

10) Advises you to put him on a retainer instead of continuing actual ROI generating expenditures.

Posted on: July 24, 2012, by :